Hotels, flight bookings shoot up ahead of Independence Day weekend

Hotels, flight bookings shoot up ahead of Independence Day weekend

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As the second wave of coronavirus has subsided, travelers are returning back to spend their leisure time with family and friends. Bookings across trains, hotels, and flights have shot up dramatically over the past two weeks.

Airlines like Go First and Vistara are running promotional schemes to lure passengers ahead of Independence Day weekend. While Vistara is offering a 10 percent discount for passengers traveling with family and friends, Go First is giving its passengers a chance to win a free holiday at Novotel Goa Dona Slyvia.

In addition, online travel aggregators (OTAs) are running campaigns to spur demand. EaseMyTrip, for example, has a traveling carnival between August 4-22 during which it is offering discounts on flights and hotel bookings through tie-ups with banks.

“All bookings are up. Not just because of the weekend ahead but also because of lower fares offered by the airlines. In the past two weeks, the prices of domestic flight tickets have come down. The flight bookings are up about 30 percent; hotels bookings have shot up by 55 percent across the industry,” says Rikant Pitti, co-founder at

Experts say that during the October 2020-March 2021 period, only the tourist destinations got traffic. However, this time the city hotels have also made a strong comeback as people just want to move away from home and stay in a hotel for three-four nights.

“With lower Covid cases in most parts of the country, tourists are getting their confidence back. Domestic travel is on a rise. Some hill stations had suffered due to heavy rains but otherwise, the demand has increased. Since many salaried people are working from home, it becomes easier for them to take a break in between their work. City hotels are also seeing demand. We are now waiting (for) international borders to open up and visa dates to be announced,” says Jyoti Mayal, president of Travel Agents Association of India(TAAI).

The travel industry is now hoping that the government will raise the cap on the number of passengers who can travel through domestic flights from the current cap of 65 percent of the pre-Covid level. Last December, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had allowed airlines to fill up to 80 percent of their seats, but it was brought down to 50 percent in June.

“We are asking the government to open more flights. They are still capped. We want the capacity to come back to at least 80 percent. There’s a rise in demand, and if this kind of demand persists, the fares will start to move up,” says a travel consultant.

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