Travel is back and how! Countries around the world are lifting travel restrictions and relaxing their borders. The United States recently announced that it is not necessary to pass a Covid-19 test to enter the country. Germany and China have also relaxed standards. The global tourism industry is now on track to fully recover after two years of pandemic-induced restrictions. It’s not just the Maldives or Bangkok, people are once again looking to travel far abroad for their next vacation destination. While the pandemic has changed many things associated with travel, one thing that remains constant is the affordability factor. People like to visit places that are within their budget. They want to cut costs while taking a vacation, but surely one trend is rubbing them the wrong way. Airfares have increased recently and have an impact on travelers’ budgets.
There is surely an increase in demand for travel as Himank Tripathi, President of External Affairs, EaseMyTrip told FinancialExpress.com: “There is a huge pent up demand which is empowering the travel industry and pushing it towards a revival earlier than expected. After being cooped up in their homes for almost two years, people are craving to travel again, and because of this, revenge tourism is seen as one of the main reasons for this growth. Speaking to FinancialExpress.com, a spokesperson for MakeMyTrip echoed the same sentiment and said, “Consumer sentiment for travel, particularly leisure travel, continues to remain strong and is expected to grow further in the coming months. May saw a significant increase in hotel and homestay bookings across the country.
When asked where everyone was going, Himank Tripathi said: “We are seeing more and more people traveling overseas to routes such as Dubai, the Maldives, Thailand and the UK. There is also an increase in domestic travel where destinations like Jaipur, Goa and Himachal are the most preferred destinations.
The MakeMyTrip spokesperson said that domestically, “travelers have been seen vacationing in Goa, Mysore, Rishikesh, Leh, Srinagar and Manali. On the international travel front, Dubai, Phuket, Bangkok and the Maldives remain a perennial favorite for leisure travel bookings this summer. When asked about the reasons for the increase in airfares, Himank Tripathi of EaseMyTrip said, “It is mainly due to an increase in the cost of fuel as well as increased demand. However, we hope that prices will come down once there is a reduction in fuel prices.
The recent hike in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) by petroleum marketing companies confirms Tripathi’s claims. On Thursday, June 16, ATF prices were increased by 16.3%. Kerosene prices have now hit an all-time high of Rs 1.41 lakh per kiloliter in Delhi. These factors, such as the massive rise in ATF prices, as well as the fall of the rupee against the dollar, are expected to increase the cost of airline operations, thereby increasing airfares by up to 15%.
Sabina Chopra, co-founder and COO of Yatra.com, head of corporate travel and industry relations, said in a statement: “The increase in aviation turbine fuel (ATF ) represents one of the greatest challenges for the aviation industry, as it is one of the major factors affecting airline operational costs.There is a pent-up demand for summer holidays in the nationally and internationally and together with the rise in ATF prices this has a direct impact on airfares in all markets.We have seen a 30-40% increase in airfares in the last two months , with moderate demand for the month of June. On the international travel front, as airlines are not operating at full capacity on all routes, fares have continued to rise. It is also important to understand that ‘outside ATF prices, airfares are impacted by the depreciation of the rupee, the moderate market recovery and airlines not operating at maximum capacity.
How do travel agencies plan to mitigate the impact of high airfares on travel? MakeMyTrip said it plans to make travel profitable. “We recently launched the Great Summer Travel Sale with various offers and added values across our wide range of travel deals. We hope to see an increase in family travel in June as people go on holiday with children. and larger groups due to summer school holidays.Will it help travel the height it’s fighting for?It will be interesting to keep an eye on travel trends for the next two weeks.