PUNE: For the first time since March 2020, summer travel inquiries jumped 100% – reaching 2019 or pre-pandemic levels, tour operators told TOI.
Nikhil Thakurdas, CEO of Odyssey Tours and Travels, said: “After two consecutive summers in lockdown, 2022 will be the first summer in three years where people can travel without worrying about a wave of Covid or travel restrictions. quarantine, a major factor fueling the rebound in tourism’. Vaccinated Indians now have the choice of traveling to overseas destinations. Singapore Airlines has converted all flights from India to Vaccinated Taxiway (VTL) flights for quarantine-free travel.
Daniel D’Souza, President and National Head of Vacations, SOTC Travel, told TOI: “With the easing of restrictions and the removal of RT-PCR testing for fully vaccinated travellers, the destinations driving demand are the Western Europe, led by Switzerland, France, Spain and Austria, Italy and the UK The reopening of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Singapore and recently Malaysia has led to a further increase in demand, with our online search jumping over 100% for short-haul destinations.
Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head, Holidays, MICE, Visa-Thomas Cook (India) Limited, said, “We already have 45-50 groups confirmed for the first half of 2022. For the Corporate Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions segment (MICE), we have started to see an increase in international destinations due to ease of visa issuance, flight access and entry/health protocols.
Convenience in terms of visa issuance has also led to an increase in applications for Maldives, Thailand and Mauritius visa on arrival; Dubai, Sri Lanka and Australia due to provision of e-visa.
“Furthermore, we are seeing a strong recovery, with interest from medium to large groups, with the sporting calendar driving travel intentions for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and T20 in Australia,” Kale said. .
A Cleartrip spokesperson said: “Domestic destinations such as Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Ooty are among the most sought after this summer. ”