Holidays just got expensive.

Posted on May 20, 2022 by

The travel firms are witnessing a remarkable surge in demand from Indian tourists for overseas holidays, despite the air ticket prices being much higher than in the summer of 2019.

A family of four people from a southern state of India is flying out this week for their annual summer break to Switzerland, France, and Austria. In the last two years of the pandemic, the couple and their two teenage children have not been on an international holiday. This time, the business family, which prefers traveling in style, is shelling out ₹32 lakh for the 12-day holiday, nearly twice what it might have paid in 2019 for a similar trip.

The travel agency, Pathfinders Holidays, claimed that most families for whom they are organizing holidays have had to nearly double their budgets for trips to Europe and other favorite international destinations such as the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, and even South Africa, as holiday expenses soar.

Yet, the travel firms are seeing a significant surge in demand from these Indian tourists for overseas holidays, despite the ticket prices, which, in some cases, have grown nearly double what they were in the summer of 2019. Moreover, hotels hike rates by 30-40% on an average for locations generally frequented by Indians.

Karan Vakharia stated that flight and hotel costs are rising rapidly. “Sometimes, it’s difficult to hold on to prices for customers because there is so much demand. But it’s not like customers are unwilling to spend, despite over a 100% increase in ticket prices and 30-40% increase in hotel prices,” he claimed. He is the director of Pathfinders Holidays,

According to Indiver Rastogi, this spur in demand for flights has also boosted airfares, especially since jet fuel prices are also at a record level and available flights are not yet back to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. Favorite destinations for various Indian travelers remain Switzerland, France, and Italy, followed by the United Kingdom (UK), Egypt, Turkey, and the United States (US). While flights to these places have grown costlier by 25-30%, there’s been another 25% increase in fares to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Rastogi said. He commented that flights to Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Maldives continue to remain almost the same as 2019 levels. He is president and group head of global business travel at Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC.

Arun Ashok commented that the average order value (AOV) for key destinations has soared, up nearly 25% for the Maldives and about 13% for Thailand from 2019 figures. “However, nowhere is this increase as sharp as it is in Dubai, where the AOV has increased by over 60%. We looked at an average length of stay for each of these destinations, which is more or less similar during the two periods of 2022 and 2019 for travel between April and June this year,” he commented. He is the regional head for India and the Middle East at online travel agent Luxury Escapes.

Arun Ashok noted that the United States (US), United Arab Emirate (UAE), and the Maldives are the top three destinations being searched for on their platform, and all three have shown significant increases compared to 2019 (+32%, +82%, +62%, respectively) in terms of search interest.

Daniel D’souza commented that it has seen overall holiday travel costs rising 25-40% across countries. However, he expected this to stabilize with airlines gradually raising capacity and routes. He said short-haul favorites would be seeing growing demand, and corresponding holiday costs to Dubai, Abu-Dhabi – Yas Island, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam are witnessing a surge. While medium-haul destinations like Turkey and Egypt have also seen a 10% increase in holiday costs, long-haul destinations like Europe, the US, and Australia are 25%. He is the president and country head for holidays at SOTC Travel,

Rakshit Desai claimed that Canada and the United States (US) had seen the steepest rise in airfares, with an average increase of 80-90% versus pre-COVID-19 pandemic fares. He is the managing director for India at travel retailer Flight Centre Travel Group,