Post Covid, India has been witnessing a rise in corporate travel, driven by face-to-face meetings and conventions. New business hotels and convention centers are being developed to cater to the rising demand.
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Flipkart-owned online travel company Cleartrip has launched ‘Out of Office’, a corporate travel management product. The product launch comes against the backdrop of Cleartrip’s aim to focus primarily with corporate booking travel.
In a statement, Cleartrip has said that the platform has been processing a monthly business volume of INR 200 million ($2.4 million). The Out of Office platform, which has several early-stage adopters including ACC Limited and MGM Healthcare, allows organizations to manage multiple booking behaviors, such as self booking and travel desk booking, and change or build policies in real time.
Increasing demand: Post Covid, corporate travel has been on a rise in India. The country has been witnessing a rise in meetings and conferences, and this has been supplemented by rapidly developing MICE infrastructure all over India in the form of Jio World Convention Centre, the revamped Pragati Maidan, which hosted the G20 Leadership Summit, and Yashobhoomi convention center. Apart from this, multiple business hotels are also being developed to cater to the growing demand for conferences and meetings.
More Indian Tourists Flocked to Sri Lanka Than Maldives in January
More Indians traveled to Sri Lanka in the month of January than to Maldives. After the relations between India and Maldives soured last month, Indians rapidly cancelled their bookings to Maldives. This led to India falling to the fifth position as a source market from its previous undisputed top position.
According to the figures released by Maldives Tourism, 15,006 Indian tourists visited the island destination between January 1 and 31. On the other hand, Sri Lanka, where India remained the top source market for the month, witnessed 34,399 tourists from India.
Soon after the India-Maldives row, Indian companies and celebrities took to promoting domestic beach destinations such as Lakshadweep. Online travel agency MakeMyTrip launched a new campaign called ‘Beaches of India’, while EaseMyTrip suspended all flight bookings to Maldives.
Hyatt’s Ronil Goa Opens, Marks Entry of JdV in India
Hyatt has announced the opening of 135-keys Ronil Goa, making the entry of JdV by Hyatt brand’s entry into India. The brand’s launch is a part of Hyatt’s expansion within the leisure market in India. According to Sanjae Sharma, managing director, India and Southwest Asia, Hyatt, the company is looking to expand the JdV’s footprint throughout the subcontinent.
Last year, the company had said that it is planning to reach the milestone of having 100 hotels in India over the next five years, and has been expanding aggressively with Hyatt Place and Hyatt Regency brands. In December, it opened its first-ever Hyatt Place hotel in Bihar with the launch of Hyatt Place Bodh Gaya.
IHCL Signs Ginger Hotel in Dibrugarh
Indian Hotels Company, parent of the Taj Hotels brand, has signed its first hotel in Assam’s Dibrugarh. The 77-key hotel will open under the company’s budget brand Ginger. With this, IHCL has six hotels in Assam, of which four are in the development stage.
The company has been undertaking aggressive expansion, making the most of the surge in travel in India. Till December 31, 2023, IHCL signed 28 and opened 16 hotels. With this, its portfolio reached 285 hotels, of which 85 are in the pipeline. The company has specifically been looking at scaling its budget hotel brand Ginger, while strategically expanding in the East and Northeast regions, having opened Taj Taal Kutir, Kolkata, Vivanta Tawang and Ginger hotels in Durgapur and Gangtok, and a signed hotel in Itanagar.
Over 400,000 Foreign Tourists Visited Goa Between Jan-Nov 2023
Between January and November 2023, the coastal state of Goa recorded the arrival of 403,000 foreign tourists. In 2022, the state recorded 175,000 visitors, marking an increase of 130% in 2023. The state witnessed a significant decline in tourists due to the pandemic, but is on its way to recovery, with the 2023 figure standing at about 45% that of the pre-pandemic statistics.
India has been actively promoting its destinations, and recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to praising Goa for its charm during the India Energy Week 2024 held in the state.
New York City Expecting over 380,000 Visitors From India in 2024
In 2023, New York City welcomed 336,000 travelers from India, as the city’s total visitation level reached 93% of the pre-pandemic figure. In 2024, New York City is expecting an increase of 14% from the Indian market, hoping to receive a footfall of 383,000. Makiko Matsuda Healy, senior vice president, Tourism Market Development for New York City Tourism + Conventions, said that India is a rapidly growing feeder market for the tourism in the city.
Considering the potential market in India, New York City tourism has introduced the Travel Trade Academy program with Hindi subtitles for the Indian travel trade industry.
Akasa Air Adds Srinagar as 20th Destination to its Network
Akasa Air has forayed into Jammu and Kashmir by adding Srinagar to its network. The airline is set to operate daily flights between Mumbai and Srinagar starting March 1, 2024. This comes days after Akasa Air entered Madhya Pradesh by commencing operations in Gwalior and launching weekly flights between Gwalior and Ahmedabad.
The budget carrier has been operational for 17 months, and has served more than 6.3 million passengers. As of December 2023, Akasa Air accounted for 4.1% of the market share in India. It also had the highest on-time performance at the four metro airports of Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai in December.
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Photo credit: Cleartrip strengthens commitment to corporate travel. Victor Freitas / Pexels