The surge in bookings signifies growing consumer enthusiasm for festive travel plans as the industry continues its recovery.
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Travel platform EaseMyTrip anticipates a robust quarter during the festive season, with a big increase in Christmas week bookings – a year-on-year surge of 20% to 30%.
Prashant Pitti, co-founder of EaseMyTrip, expressed optimism during his interview with CNBC-TV18. During the winter vacation season, 3.5 million arrivals in India are expected, per EaseMyTrip insights.
Profitability Focus in the Fiscal Year: Pitti emphasized the company’s commitment to “growing at double the pace of the market, with a focus on profitability while expanding the gross merchandise volume (GMV)”. Pitti said the company’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) was about INR 8,000 crore last year.
Eyes on Expansion: EaseMyTrip is also reinforcing its non-air business by planning to acquire a 51% stake in three travel companies in India. It also recently collaborated with telecom company Vodafone Idea (Vi) to introduce exclusive travel offers for subscribers, including special deals on flights, hotels, train reservations, bus bookings, and cab services.
Where Indians Are Headed This Festive Season
As the year concludes and festive cheer fills the air, Indians are eager to create holiday memories with loved ones. Online travel portal Booking.com shared recent data on Indian travelers’ domestic preferences during the festive period.
Top Domestic Destinations (December 2023- January 2024)
- Puducherry (up from 3rd in 2022)
- Puri (up from 7th in 2022)
- Udaipur (down from 2nd in 2022)
- Goa (down from 4th in 2022)
- Jaipur (down from 5th in 2022)
- Mumbai (up from 6th in 2022)
- Manali (down from 1st in 2022)
- Ooty (up from 11th in 2022)
- Munnar (up from 10th in 2022)
- Bengaluru (down from 9th in 2022)
While hotels remain the preferred accommodation, Indian travelers are exploring alternative options. The top five searched accommodation types for festive travel include hotels, resorts, guest houses, villas, and apartments.
International Travel Preferences to India
International travelers visiting India also exhibit specific preferences during the festive period.
Top Destinations Searched by International Travelers (December 2023- January 2024)
- Mumbai (maintaining 1st rank from 2022)
- New Delhi (maintaining 2nd rank from 2022)
- Bengaluru (maintaining 3rd rank from 2022)
- Chennai (maintaining 4th rank from 2022)
- Jaipur (up from 6th in 2022)
- Kochi (down from 5th in 2022)
- Hyderabad (maintaining 7th rank from 2022)
- Udaipur (maintaining 8th rank from 2022)
- Kolkata (up from 10th in 2022)
- Goa (up from 11th in 2022)
Top Nationalities Searching Destinations in India.
- United Kingdom (maintaining 1st rank from 2022)
- United States of America (maintaining 2nd rank from 2022)
- Australia (maintaining 3rd rank from 2022)
- United Arab Emirates (maintaining 4th rank from 2022)
- Germany (up from 7th in 2022)
Deep Kalra is New Chairperson at WTTCII
The World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), has appointed Deep Kalra, founder and chairman of MakeMyTrip India Pvt. Ltd, as the new chairperson.
Jyotsna Suri, chairperson & managing director of the Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, will serve as the vice chairperson for the 2024-25 term.
Karla takes over from Dinesh Khanna, executive director of Eastern International Hotels, who chaired WTTCII during 2022-23.
Kalra highlighted WTTCII’s active engagement with states, emphasizing collaboration with the Goa Tourism Board as a member. The organization has formalized a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of West Bengal to develop a comprehensive marketing and public relations roadmap, Kalra said.
WTTCII serves as the apex industry council for India’s Travel and tourism sector, representing Chief Executives from various organizations, including leading airline, business advisory, hospitality, public sector, and travel services entities.
Amadeus Gets Sandeep Dwivedi as Managing Director of Travel Sellers
Amadeus has named Sandeep Dwivedi as the new managing director for Travel Sellers in India and the subcontinent.
In this role, he will be responsible for overseeing Amadeus’ commercial activities within the region. Sandeep takes over the responsibilities from Ramona Bohwongprasert, who will continue her role as senior vice president for Southeast Asia, with an expanded focus on Inside Sales and startups throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Bringing extensive experience from various senior leadership roles, Sandeep has a background in the travel industry. His most recent position was with InterGlobe Technology Quotient, where he played a crucial role in driving growth across the Asia Pacific region.
About Amadeus: The Spain-based company primarily operates the world’s largest global distribution system, which provides information that travel agents and others use to provide booking services to customers. Amadeus also offers software for travel agents, hotels, airlines, and other travel companies.
Radisson Launches Uday Palace Navsari in Gujarat
Radisson Hotel Group announced the launch of Uday Palace Navsari in Gujarat, India, now a member of Radisson Individuals. Positioned strategically within an hour’s drive from Surat airport and a brief 20-minute journey from Navsari railway station, the hotel caters to the needs of both business and leisure travelers.
About Radisson Individuals: Radisson Individuals is a brand that allows hotel properties to maintain and promote their “unique characteristics and personalities by focusing on one-of-a-kind locations and experiences, whilst meeting the high standards of quality and service that guests have come to expect from the Radisson Hotel Group”.
About Radisson Hotel Group: Radisson Hotel Group is an international hotel group, operating in EMEA and APAC with over 1,250 hotels in operation and under development in +90 countries. The European-based company aspires to double its portfolio by 2025.
Air India’s Manish Malhotra-Designed Revamped Crew Uniforms
Air India has revealed its collection of new uniforms for cabin and cockpit crew, crafted by Indian couturier Manish Malhotra.
Phased Introduction: The new uniforms will be introduced in phases over the next few months, starting with the entry of Air India’s first Airbus A350 into service, which is expected to arrive in India during December.
Modern Indian Style: Malhotra’s approach to modern Indian style aligns with Air India’s recent global brand identity as a symbol of a more confident, progressive, and resurgent India. The uniforms reflect a “balance between tradition and sophistication, embodying the essence of India’s diverse culture”.
Outfit information: The female cabin crew attire features a ready-to-wear ombré saree paired with a blouse and blazer. The ready-to-wear sarees can be worn with pants. For the male cabin crew, the airline has gone with a bandh gala. The cockpit crew’s uniform features a classic black double-breasted suit with a print inspired by the Vista, Air India’s new logo icon. Female cabin crew will be provided dual-tone (black and burgundy) block heels, and the male cabin crew will wear black brogues. The uniforms include pearl earrings and sling bags for the female cabin crew.
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Photo credit: Tourists at the Amer Fort in Jaipur. Annie Spratt / Unsplash