Travel during COVID-19 2nd wave: More than 95 per cent of travel bookings are for one-way trips: Rajiv Subramanian, Cleartrip

Rajiv Subramanian,VP, Cleartrip

How will India’s travel segment tackle muted travel bookings that have cast a shadow on it during the second wave of COVID-19? With many Indian travellers now confined to their homes and staying safe indoors, travel bookings have been hit. For many travellers, chronic stress and fatigue have been key factors during the second wave of the pandemic. Yet staying indoors is viewed as a lifesaver for most Indians at this point of time. Emergency travel, however, is on the rise as people continue to move to other cities for better healthcare facilities.
Trends also indicate that interstate emergency travel is mostly driving cab bookings as people are hesitant to take flights or travel by trains due to safety concerns.

Given how the second wave of the pandemic has impacted travel bookings, Financial Express Online reached out to Rajiv Subramanian, VP, Cleartrip to understand the current travel trends and what can be expected in the coming months.

What are the key travel booking trends Cleartrip has noticed and more importantly, in which routes and cities?
In the last month, nonmetro share has seen an increase. Mumbai-Varanasi, Delhi-Patna, Bengaluru-Patna are the top 3 booked routes.

Can you elaborate more on emergency travel related bookings?
In the last one month, we have noticed that nearly 90% of the bookings are for travel within a week and more than 95% of the bookings are for one-way trips.

These trends indicate that most travellers are traveling only for emergency purposes and not for planned trips.

We had seen similar trends last year during the first wave and expect this to ease as confidence returns.

Any key travel trends in states where lockdown has been extended and to what extent is it emergency travel or work related/family related travel?

As expected, travel to leisure destinations has come down considerably as there is largely emergency travel taking place.

Any other key booking patterns you expect in the coming months based on current insights?

The upcoming festive season would be critical for the overall travel sector.

We hope to see a reasonable increase like last year, with accelerated vaccination coupled with the overall demand sentiment turning positive.

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