India’s hotel bookings recover with the news of the vaccine; records 15% higher bookings YoY in December: RateGain

India’s hotel bookings recover with the news of the vaccine; records 15% higher bookings YoY in December RateGain

RateGain Technologies, a SaaS company for travel and hospitality, recently mapped the latest as well as emerging trends in the post-pandemic travel & hospitality landscape in India in the second edition of its PULSE report. In the first edition of the report, the company had focused on travel trends in the US after the presidential election and Thanksgiving weekend.

With the long wedding season behind us, Indians of all age groups have begun moving out of cities, filling flights to almost 100% capacity to domestic destinations as International travel was mostly restricted to UAE.

The millennial traveler inspired by social media has been heading to remote destinations to enjoy a well-earned break from 2020. Majorly dominated by last-minute travel bookings, India consistently made higher travel bookings than last year in December.

India’s recovery was above 100% for all the weeks of December. It was observed that Indians booked last-minute travel mostly to travel during the end of December and the first week of January. Popular destinations such as Goa, Shimla, and Jammu still figured in the top 10 destinations for the first month of 2021.

The recently released annual Edelman Trust barometer suggested that close to 80% of Indians surveyed were willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine within the first 6 to 12 months of it being available, which was close to 2.5 times higher than the global average of 33%. This makes Indians the most optimistic about the vaccine, giving hope to the tourism industry in the fastest growing outbound market of the world of some revival.

“In the new normal, the Indian millennial traveler would play a critical role in the recovery of the region and therefore this recovery is not encouraging for the domestic hotel industry but also for neighboring Asian markets that rely on China and India to drive their tourism markets.” Kamesh Shukla, EVP, and Head APMEA, RateGain, said.

“Inspired by the travel taken by their family and friends, travelers continue to travel to tourist destinations such as Goa, Shimla, and Jammu two weeks after the new year emphasizing the role that social media is now playing in the recovery of the industry.”

Another key trend observed in India was that 65% of these bookings were for the first two weeks of January with no surge observed for the upcoming Republic Day long weekend, proving once again that in the new normal, Indians are making the last minute booking, making it more difficult for hoteliers to plan demand and continuously changing their forecast.

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