2023 is set to become one of the biggest years for India’s Inbound travel market

India’s travel landscape is undergoing a dynamic transformation, marked by an unprecedented surge in travel demand. From the bustling streets of Delhi to the international skies above, the country is experiencing a remarkable influx of visitors, driven by a confluence of events, festivities, and a renewed sense of exploration.

Let us now unravel the reason of this surge, weaving together distinct yet interconnected chapters that illuminate the fascinating journey of travel demand in India.

Causes of India’s Travel Resurgence

  1. Delhi’s G20 Summit Fever

    Delhi, the heart of India, has emerged as the epicenter of a monumental surge in travel demand. As the city prepares to host the prestigious G20 Summit 2023, insights from RateGain data showcase a demand index soaring over 87, a remarkable 40% higher than usual. The past 75 days have witnessed an extraordinary travel demand trend for the National Capital Region (NCR), setting the stage for an unparalleled experience.

    1. The Hotel ADRs are Skyrocketing

      The surge is palpable in hotel rates, reaching new heights between September 7th and 11th. With an average increase of over 200% in hotel rates (ranging from INR 18,000 to INR 25,000), Delhi’s accommodations mirror the intensified interest in travel during this momentous event. The meteoric rise of the Average Daily Rate (ADR) to INR 26,000 during the G-20 period, as compared to the year-long average of INR 6,000, further underscores the city’s magnetism during this time.

    2. Occupancies are at 100%

      Delhi’s hotels are at full throttle, operating at an impressive 100% occupancy rate between September 7th and 11th. The prominence of solo travelers indicates a strong business-centric trend, reflecting the city’s global significance. A 63% Y-O-Y rise in international flight arrivals for business purposes at the IGI airport validates this surge, with business arrivals from Riyadh, Dubai, and Doha showing unprecedented growth.

    3. Delhi will see 20% Higher Y-o-Y Demand

      As Delhi’s skies welcome approximately 73,000 domestic and 30,000 international air arrivals, the city anticipates a 20% higher overall demand Y-O-Y. The Length of Stay (LOS) paints a vivid picture of visitors’ intent to explore, with the average LOS surging to 6 days during the summit. The trend of extending business trips for leisure, or bleisure trips, adds a new dimension to the city’s appeal.

  2. Inbound Travel Renaissance During India Festive Season

    The surge witnessed in Delhi is a microcosm of the larger narrative of India’s inbound travel renaissance. The period from September to November 2023 has seen international inbound travel to India reach an all-time high. A significant 23% increase Y-O-Y during the festive season in 2022 reflects the country’s unparalleled appeal to global travelers. Strategic marketing, eased travel restrictions, and India’s diverse cultural experiences are all driving factors behind this surge.

    1. Top Origin Countries

      Top Origin Countries during Festive Season

      Source: Adara, a RateGain Company

      The top origin countries exemplify India’s global allure. Australia leads with 24%, closely followed by the USA at 21%, Singapore at 17%, Canada at 9%, and the U.K. at 6%. These statistics signify a broad spectrum of interest from both diaspora travelers and those seeking enriching experiences.

    2. Top International Origin Cities during the Festive Season

      Rank Cities
      1 Melbourne
      2 Sydney
      3 Toronto
      4 Singapore
      5 London
      6 San Francisco
      7 Brisbane
      8 New York
      9 Perth
      10 Kuala Lumpur

      Source: Adara, a RateGain Company

      The geographical spread of visitors is reflected in the list of top origin cities: Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto, Singapore, London, San Francisco, Brisbane, New York, Perth, and Kuala Lumpur. These cities form the nexus of India’s burgeoning travel renaissance, underscoring the nation’s global connectivity.

    3. Staggering Increase in Domestic Inbound Travel

      Domestic travel is also experiencing a seismic shift, with a staggering 65% increase in domestic inbound travel Y-O-Y. Indians are embracing regional festivities and events, exploring their own country with newfound enthusiasm. Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, and Lucknow represent the spectrum of domestic origins fueling this surge.

  3. Cricket World Cup Ignites Fervor

    The cricketing fervor sweeping the nation is amplifying the surge in travel demand. The Cricket World Cup 2023 has turned the spotlight on India’s host cities, igniting unparalleled excitement among fans. Hotel demand is soaring across these cities, reflecting the passionate engagement of fans from around the globe.

    1. Surge in ADR Rates on Match Dates in Host Cities

      Growth in Hotel Pricing (1st Oct'23 - 30th Nov'23); vs. 2022

      As October 5 approaches, hotel rates in the host cities are soaring to new heights. Data from RateGain reveals that from October to November, hotel prices in most cities have doubled or even tripled compared to the same period last year.

      • Cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, and Dharamshala are leading the pack with hotel rates up by a staggering 300% compared to 2022. These cities have fewer hotels available compared to Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru, which has led to these inflated prices.
      • Ahmedabad shows an impressive 308% increase in hotel prices, thanks to the much-anticipated India-Pakistan match. Dharamshala follows closely with price surges of 300%, reflecting that the other matches are no less in demand. Hyderabad and Chennai continue the trend with growth rates of 230% and 220% respectively.
      • Cities like Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Delhi are experiencing impressive price increases of 205%, 210%, 215%, and 165%, showcasing the electric atmosphere gripping the host cities.
    2. How is the Industry Responding

      Travelers are expected to extend their stays in these host cities to explore the surroundings. OYO, among other industry players, plans to add 500 new hotels before the tournament kicks off to meet this increased demand.

      In addition to hotels, travelers are also looking for alternative accommodations. MakeMyTrip is expanding its range of homestays to cater to the growing demand.

    3. Airfares are Rising as well

      Airfares are also on the rise, especially for top venues like Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Kolkata, which have seen prices increase by 40% to 60% over the past year. Other host cities are experiencing a 20% to 30% hike in flight prices. This surge in pricing underscores the remarkable surge in travel demand.

  4. Miss World Returns to India

    Lastly, with Diwali festivities and the World Cup bringing joy to the hospitality industry, the year will conclude with the Miss World competition returning to India after a 27-year hiatus, featuring contestants from around the globe.

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Clearly, the resurgence in travel demand across India in 2023 is not just a statistical anomaly, but a testament to the enduring allure of this diverse and culturally rich nation. As we have delved into the data, it’s clear that a perfect storm of events, from high-profile summits to the excitement of a cricketing extravaganza, has catalyzed this extraordinary upswing.

With India’s consistent efforts in easing travel restrictions, bolstering connectivity, and showcasing its diverse heritage, the trajectory of increased inbound demand is set to soar even higher. As the country gears up for the months ahead, including major festivals and more cricketing action, the stage is set for the travel industry to flourish and flourish big. The charm of India’s landscapes, the warmth of its hospitality, and the kaleidoscope of its cultures are beckoning travelers from all corners of the world to embark on a journey that promises unforgettable experiences and cherished memories.

So, as the curtains rise on the forthcoming months, let’s anticipate a crescendo in India’s travel narrative, where wanderlust meets vibrant festivities and sporting spectacles.