The surge in airfares and tour packages, coupled with millennials’ shift in spending patterns, is quite possibly driving the demand for travel loans.
The Skift India Newsletter is your go-to platform for all news related to travel, tourism, airlines, and hospitality in India.
More Indians are taking personal loans to meet vacation-related expenses, according to the findings of a survey titled ‘How India travels using holiday loans’, conducted by online loan platform Paisabazaar.
As many as 21% of consumers took a personal loan for vacation in the past six months. Among those who did in the first quarter of financial year 2023, 81% were for domestic travel while 19% were for foreign travel. Popular foreign destinations for these loans included Dubai, Thailand and Europe, while Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand were top choices within the country.
Paisabazaar surveyed and spoke to more than 4,000 respondents from 105 cities and towns.
While personal loans are traditionally taken for need-based expenses such as medical emergencies, higher education of children and home renovation, now, taking a personal loan for travel has emerged as a rising trend among the youth, the survey showed.
“Over the years, we have seen consumers getting more confident and comfortable in accessing credit for varied needs and aspirations, including travel and vacation. This augurs well for the overall ecosystem and would be a strong enabler towards the country’s inclusiveness agenda,” said Naveen Kukreja, co-founder and CEO of Paisabazaar.
Travel firms are also partnering with banks and financial technology platforms to offer a range of payment services. Earlier in March, online travel company EaseMyTrip partnered with travel fintech start-up SanKash to offer travel insurance and travel-now-pay-later services.
ITC to Hive Off Hotels Business Into Separate Entity
Yes, we’ve reported this before, back in September. Indian conglomerate ITC said its board has in principle approved the demerger of its hotels business into a separate entity, to be called ITC Hotels. The Kolkata-headquartered tobacco and hospitality firm will hold 40% stake in the new company, with ITC shareholders holding the remaining 60%.
The new scheme of arrangement will be considered at a board meeting on August 14. The company said in a statement the demerger would help the new entity attract investors and strategic partners whose investment focus and risk profiles are aligned more sharply with the hospitality industry.
ITC’s decision for a separate listing is fueled by a strong recovery in the industry. In the past 12 months, ITC has opened nearly one hotel every month for its recently launched brands Mementos and Storii and its existing brands Welcomhotel and Fortune.
India is Now Oman’s No. 2 Source Market
Oman welcomed 1,548,630 visitors from January to May this year, as India went on to be the second largest tourism source market for the sultanate. In 2022, Oman welcomed 355,459 visitors from India, a significant leap from 106,042 in 2021 and contributing 12.2% of all tourists to the country.
Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has launched a multi-city roadshow in New Delhi on Monday, and will visit Jaipur and Kolkata before concluding in Mumbai on July 31. The initiative seeks to introduce and promote the numerous attractions that make Oman an attractive destination for Indian tourists.
Goa’s Mopa Airport Inks Two Hotel Deals
The developer of Manohar International Airport at Mopa in North Goa has signed agreements to build two hotels at the plots earmarked for the purpose, according to Indian media reports.
GMR Goa International Airport Limited has tied up with Tata Group-owned Indian Hotels Company subsidiary Roots, which owns and operates the budget brand Ginger. The second agreement is with a prominent entity in the food and beverage industry, and it is yet to decide which brand would be used for the hotel development, though it is considering the French hospitality firm Accor.
The hotels will come up at plots of 2.13 acres each close to the airport’s parking lot. They may have around 200 and 150 rooms respectively in the three- or four-star category, but these numbers may increase once details are finalized. The airport has a total of three plots reserved for hotels, and a partner for the third plot is yet to be finalized.
Additionally, Goa has announced that all of its new tourist vehicles as well as rental cabs and motorbikes will be required to be electric from January 2024.
Air India Launches Program to Simplify Purchased Cabin Upgrades
Tata Group-owned Air India has introduced Upgrade+, which will allow guests with eligible bookings to purchase instant, confirmed upgrades to the front cabins at fixed prices.
Upgrade+ enables Air India guests to opt for upgrades to premium cabins between 72 hours and 12 hours before a flight, subject to availability, the airline said in a statement. Upgrade+ guests will receive benefits such as increased baggage allowance, priority check-in at dedicated counters, boarding and baggage handling, among others.
With the launch of Upgrade+, Air India has discontinued its ‘Bid Upgrade’ program, which allowed passengers with qualified reservations to bid for cabin upgrades and wait for upgrade decisions for up to four hours before their flight’s departure.
The Ultimate Travelling Camp to Expand to Nine Destinations by 2024
Luxury tent hotel company The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC) has expanded its portfolio to select destinations in Shimla, Rajasthan and Chandigarh.
While The FHR Wilderness Lodge by TUTC in Mohali is set to open doors this September, the company further aims to expand in nine destinations across India by the end of 2024. Currently, TUTC runs the Chamba Camp Thiksey and Chamba Camp Diskit in Ladakh, the Kohima Camp in Nagaland that operates only during the Hornbill Festival, and the Sangam Nivas Camp in Prayagraj for the world famous Kumbh Melas that occur every six years.
“Expansion plans have been in the works for the past few years now. Given that choice of destination is an integral part of our philosophy, we took this time to scout and zero down on the right locations and experiences,” said Rajnish Rai, chief operating officer and founder member of Ultra Resorts and Hotels that now operates TUTC.
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Photo credit: Taking a personal loan for travel has emerged as a rising trend among the youth. Santosh Sinha / Flickr