With the second wave behind them, Indians are back to thinking about international travel

In search of a paradise.
In search of a paradise.
Image: REUTERS/Charles Platiau
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With several countries easing travel restrictions for Indians, people in the country are gearing up to fly.

The search queries about foreign destinations like Germany and the Maldives rose sharply month-on-month in August on travel platform ixigo. ”Search inquiries for travel to international destinations have seen an average increase of 45-50% in the first week of August 2021 as compared to the same time last month,” said Aloke Bajpai, co-founder and group CEO of Gurugram-based ixigo.

Currently, many countries have lifted travel restrictions for Indians. Some of the European countries that have allowed inoculated Indians to travel include Switzerland, Germany, and Spain, among others.

Domestic travel continues to be in high demand

As per ixigo, bookings from Indian cities like Varanasi, Darbhanga, Patna, and Gorakhpur to metros have also gone up, increasing by 30-35% in the last month.

One of the primary reasons for this uptick is the easing of restrictions by various states and the resumption of economic activities as Covid-19 cases came down in India, ixigo said. On Aug. 19, India had 364,129 active Covid-19 cases, which was the lowest in almost 150 days.

“We are seeing rising interest in bookings to leisure destinations like Srinagar and Manali,” Bajpai said.

Train travel versus air travel in India

Despite the lower airfares and the government’s cap on the prices of plane tickets, Indians prefer to travel by train. As a result, that recovery in train travel is faster than that with flights.