Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic causing a whirlwind of emerging trends in the travel industry, Ritu Mehrotra, Regional Manager – South Asia, Booking.com, said after the second quarter of the current financial year, the platform saw a rising interest among travellers as the festive season approached.
Founded in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com is one of the largest online travel platforms in the world, which provides a host of services, including lodging reservations, travel products, etc.
At Booking.com, the team has been propagating “safe travels” as a priority, as India is doing a brilliant job in vaccinating its citizens and taking other measures.
Image Credit: Booking.com
In a conversation with YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, she said, “Travel has picked up greatly as people were cooped up in their homes, and now, they are finding ways to go out, meet friends and family, explore unique destinations, and so on.”
She added in India, especially, closer-to-home destinations are doing well. Destinations like Delhi, Udaipur, Manali, Jaipur, etc., are doing well, and for Bengaluru, destinations like Hampi, is doing well.
Additionally, with the cricket season in play, travelling to Dubai and other places to see cricket matches is also receiving a fair amount of traction, shared Ritu. Besides, international destinations, including the Maldives, the UK, etc., are also sought after by travellers.
Ritu said staycation as a segment is growing, garnering ample demand in this area. Moreover, workation as a segment is witnessing demand because of the work-from-model, with employees realising they can work from anywhere.
“People have found an interesting amalgamation of work and leisure,” she said.
At present, longer duration stays and same-day-reservation trends have also grown multifold.
Commenting on the pricing scenario, Ritu pointed out — at the end of the day, it’s a matter of demand and supply. It is usually dynamic pricing for the hotel partners, therefore, based on the demand, the prices are decided.
“We will continue to see high Average Daily Rates (ADRs), and it’s directly proportional to the demand we see in the market,” she said.
With 880,000 listings, Booking.com is one of the largest travel and hospitality platforms in the market in terms of supply.
“As the demand is picking up, we will continue to increase our supply while also being mindful about ensuring the current partners get the adequate share of their business,” shared Ritu.
Lastly, Ritu said, safety and sanitation will continue to be an important aspect in the coming years for the platform.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on a lot of people’s jobs, for which they are now looking for value. For this, Booking.com has launched multiple initiatives.
According to Ritu, it will all be about convenience and flexibility in terms of bookings and cancellations. While there is a spike in international travel, domestic travel will continue to rule the travel space.