Travel aggregators pin hope on the long weekend, the upcoming holiday season for business revival

As the travel industry prepares for the start of the first holiday season of the new normal, any excitement seems fuzzy, according to industry experts. In fact, travel in revenge and work-from-anywhere has hit travel aggregators and booking companies, and in some cases even crossed pre-pandemic levels.

Manan Bajoria

With August having two to three consecutive long-weekends and the upcoming holiday season, search queries for travel destinations have witnessed significant growth. However, travelers are likely to be enthusiastic about planning their adventure in the UAE, US, UK and Canada as all four destinations are seeing weekly growth, according to Manan Bajoria, VP Growth Marketing and Analytics, ixigo.

According to a survey done by Ipsos India UrbanBus, 7 out of 10 urban Indians are comfortable while traveling in the new normal. The most confident travelers were self-employed and students, at 79% and 73%, respectively.

Pallavi Chopra

According to Pallavi Chopra, SVP Brand-Head of Marketing, redBus, “We are seeing a strong return of travelers, especially in the past one month as most organizations have started working from offices across the country. This has led to an increase in demand for travel between cities, especially in the metro and large cities. In the months of April-May-June, we witnessed more than 100% business recovery from the pre-pandemic period. ”

Continuing the same line of thinking, ixigo’s Bajoria added, “Confidence and demand in travel is strong this year due to the ease of restrictions for domestic and international travel. However, interest in international travel this year is strong due to pent-up demand, despite rising fuel prices. At the industry level, flights saw an 83% recovery in domestic travel and 70% recovery in international travel.

Asif Riaz |

Asif Riaz, VP Marketing, SOTC Travel, also highlighted how the new normal was favored for the company when he said, “According to our internal data, we have seen demand increase of 30-35% month-on-month. month basis, with a positive booking pipeline from metro, mini-metro and city of India in tier 1 and 2. Closer to home and easy visa destinations are also driving the basic demand for nearby travel, along with domestic travel.

Rikant Pittie

“EaseMyTrip achieved a huge milestone when it joined the elite club of India’s first 100 unicorns while remaining bootstrap and continuing to profit despite the pandemic and, thus, reflecting the resilience and solid foundation that has earned the trust of stakeholders, ”said Rikant Pittie, Co-Founder,

Although industry specialists have revealed that their primary customer segment ranges from avid single travelers to couples, to multigenerational families, to millennials, to retirees seeking pilgrimage in other categories, the main focus still remains on tier II, III, and IV towns as before. relatively less affected by the pandemic and thus return more quickly.

As a result, travel-related brands such as redBus,, ixigo and SOTC Travel ensure that they continue to target netizens through their 360-degree advertising strategy by using both , traditional and digital mediums, to their advantage. Aside from television advertising, out-of-home and over-the-top platforms, social media has also seen huge increases following the pandemic and rise of digital media.

“We will invest enough in ads, especially in digital platforms, because that is the catchment area for interaction with the majority of current and future generations of travelers. Influencers have become an important part of our social media outreach because they help us connect with a large group of people with powerful and engaging content, and the inclusion of our messages and briefs in their content, helps i optimize and maximize visualization for the brand in different types. spectators, ”Chopra said.

Interestingly, Bajoria also revealed that apart from influencers, they have also used their in-house talent pool to churn out good content, “We usually prefer to utilize our employees’ talents to create unique content. Our ‘Covidiots’ video, with a Bollywood artist’s impersonation as voice-over, was made inside the house of one of our employees. ” has also managed to get extra attention from the public since they contacted Varun Sharma and Vijay Raaz as their brand ambassadors and used influencer marketing for their brand development initiatives, according to Pittie.

“We’ve seen a gradual shift towards digital media because of the ease and accessibility of targeting different demographics. After the pandemic, we experimented with some top influencers that were successful. We’re expanding now. our mediums and exploring more ways as part of our digital strategy today, ”Riaz emphasizes.

According to the India Brand Equity Foundation report, the Indian travel market is expected to grow from an estimated $ 75 billion in 2021 to $ 125 billion in 2028.

Commenting on how they plan to approach the very first festive season of the new normal, Pittie said, “Excessive marketing spending is not something we support, as we continue to receive great verbal recommendations from our “We believe it is very important to maintain a good balance of offline and online activities. We oppose spending large amounts on unnecessary advertising and instead use it to offer additional value to our customers.”

Chopra concluded by saying, “We conduct both, pan-India brand and sales campaigns, along with focused regional engagement activities, especially on important regional festivals and occasions. We localize the our communication with Indian markets with vernacular content and local nuances. ”