Ahmedabad: With business and leisure travel witnessing a significant revival in the last year, travellers footfalls at the city airport dramatically improved by 21% in 2021. Passenger movement including both international and domestic passengers stood at 56.84 lakh in 2021 against 47.06 lakh in 2020.
While travel has improved as compared to 2020, the overall spending continues to remain less with continued restrictions on international travel.
“Travel bookings picked up well in the second half of 2021. With most people working from home, the overall sentiment remained good for long weekend getaways through the year in 2021, particularly in the second half.”
“That apart, even Diwali holiday bookings continued to remain buoyant with domestic travel recovering very well, so much so that even hotel tariffs had increased sizably,” said Virendra Shah, president, Travel Agents’ Association of India (TAAI) – Gujarat chapter.
As Covid-19 cases receded and continued to remain low due to better vaccination and ease in restrictions, air travel picked up in a big way, according to travel agents and tour operators.
“Several exhibitions and conferences were also held at a smaller scale. A lot of business delegates resumed travelling which gave a major impetus to air traffic.”
“Moreover, the Ministry of Civil Aviation also eased guidelines for airlines, allowing them to operate at 100% capacity. As a consequence, the overall travel sentiment remained upbeat,” said Manish Sharma, president, Travel Agents’ Federation of India (TAFI) – Gujarat chapter.
Even though air travel revived well, as compared to pre-pandemic levels, passenger movement has still reduced by 44% as compared to 2019 when passenger movement breached the one-crore mark.
“Non-operation of international flights across most sectors was a major drawback for the travel and tourism industry due to which the passenger movement remained curtailed. With the change in visa norms, a lot of students aspiring to study abroad could not go. At the same time, due to the deadly second wave of Covid-19 infections in peak summer, summer vacation bookings were cancelled too, which also impacted air travel,” said Sharma.