After the pandemic-induced collapse that brought travel and tourism to a screeching halt, the sector is now marching towards revival, foreseeing a new dawn. India is experiencing a tremendous rebound too; case in point is the increased traffic surge on the airports recording almost 7000+ aircraft movement daily, proves the Yatra report.
“The last three years have not been easy for the trade with multiple reasons including the aftershocks of the Covid, the Russian Ukraine conflict, appreciation of US Dollar and widening of current account deficits worldwide, however, our country’s growth story continues with time. India is projected as the fastest-growing major economy at 6.5 to 7.0 percent in FY23,” said Sabina Chopra, Co-Founder and COO, Yatra Online.
Quoting Mark Twain’s phrase- “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition,” Chopra said that the country is “poised for growth in the travel and tourism sector.”
Since travel is now at its peak, the aviation industry in India is brimming with excitement. The Yatra overview stated that 7000+ aircraft movement happens daily between domestic international departures and arrivals along with approx. 5.5 lac departing travellers. “We are looking at 198 million plus flyers in 2023 vs. 170 million recorded between January to November 2019,” Chopra added.
Looking at the flights going packed and airports getting more crowded, she said the government now has set up 147 airports and by 2025, the number will increase to 220, allowing the much needed boost to airport infrastructure as well as air connectivity into and from the country.
Speaking about DigiYatra, the biometric boarding system using Facial Recognition Technology and an initiative by the Civil Aviation Ministry, Chopra said it’s an amazing feature and must be put into practice at every Indian airport.
Digitisation is surely the way forward, she said while informing that the UPI also touched its highest ever mark in December with 782 crore transactions.
Lauding the government’s push on infrastructure with Gati Shakti Master Plan, Chopra said that this will lead to better connectivity in terms of connecting people, states and goods and will help the development happen on regional level as well as of the entire tourism eco-system.
India has the second largest road network in India and is the world’s largest, she said, adding that the scope of expansion is unlimited with the upcoming highways and road networks under construction.
Additionally, spirituality, religious and wellness are the three emerging popular choices for the travellers going ahead, the report revealed further. For the matter of fact, Varanasi has outlisted Goa in searches, given its increasing popularity amongst various sects of travellers, Chopra revealed.
Sharing further insights on the travelling trends, Chopra said that while 2022 being an uncertain year saw last minute travel planning dominating the charts, this year has seen the advanced bookings coming through instead. Most of the customers are the young, millennial population, stated the Yatra report.
“An average Gen Z’er spends an average of six hours or longer on their phone. They engage in content that is authentic, dynamic, stress-busting and multicultural. Given that their spending power is significant and huge, the Young Indians will continue to travel for the rest of the year,” the report added.
Adding to this, Chopra said this new age traveller believes in the Carpe Diem philosophy when travelling. “Revenge tourism is bygone; the travellers are living for today,” she added.
Rebound in corporate travel, increased use of EMIs and Travel Insurance for flexibility and ease of travelling, multiple trips taken by a traveller, were among the other few facts and trends mentioned by Chopra.
She was giving the presentation during the 1st edition of the Economic Times Travel and Tourism Conclave and Awards on March 16. Besides the industry overviews, the day-long event comprised five insightful panels along with an exciting travel influencers session.
The conclave and awards event was held at the Grand Hyatt, Gurgaon and was attended by almost 500 delegates including the government officials, state tourism boards, industry representatives, airlines, hoteliers, travel agents and more.