With decline of second wave, travel sector sees light at the end of tunnel

Published on : Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Airline industry veteran Sanjiv Kapoor is the new president of the Oberoi Hotels & Resorts group. Kapoor, a former executive at SpiceJet Ltd. and Vistara (Tata SIA Airlines Ltd.) who took charge at the hospitality chain on 1 June, spoke regarding the pandemic’s severe impact on the travel and tourism industry, the emergence of green shoots and the need to create new hotel brands within the company targeted towards younger consumers.

Mr. Kapoor said that Covid-19 is the worst crisis that the global travel industry has seen ever. It has been a completely unimaginable challenge because the first thing that most countries globally, and especially India did was lockdown to curb the virus. There was no choice, and the travel industry suffered drastically from that.

Wave one was tough because there was a complete lockdown for months. Then things started to bounce back and wave two was a shock because people thought that the worst was over. There was a complete lockdown again even though the term was not used.

The encouraging thing amid everything in the last two or three weeks, is select segments of travel getting back quite robustly.

For Indian travelers, especially the premium and luxury segment, for well-off Indian travelers used to traveling abroad…that option is not there since borders are largely shut. So, they are traveling within India—with domestic travel increasing in demand. The recovery is being felt in the more high-end luxury segment. It’s hard to get a room in various hotspots during weekends.

Some amount of corporate travel has started to come back as well. People are also keen on staycations or work from anywhere, so one can see these options pick up during weekdays.

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