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Domestic travel market to lead recovery, growth, says MakeMyTrip


Last updated on May 6, 2021 at 09.12 pm
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The UAE residents are looking inwards to travel domestically, which will continue to lead recovery and growth in domestic travel market, said Vipul Prakash, chief operating officer at MakeMyTrip.

“We are noticing a consistent month-on-month recovery – with domestic bookings returning to pre-Covid-19 levels. At the back of a successful vaccination drive across UAE, we foresee a surge in demand for the upcoming travel season. With Eid just around the corner, searches and bookings for staycations on MakeMyTrip have risen significantly,” said Prakash.

“Within the flights and hotels segment, we have noticed an average growth of nearly 40 per cent over the past few months. To enhance the overall planning and booking experience on the platform, we have also rolled-out special benefits and other lucrative offers for our customers. Currently, offers on our platform include discounts up to 40 per cent on select hotel properties, holiday packages and meal plan upgrades, flexible check-in options among others.”

MakeMyTrip — forayed into the market in April 2020 — recently launched the platform in Arabic language suiting the local market’s linguistic needs.

“We hope to introduce our exhaustive outbound holiday inventory – that currently focuses on short-haul travel within GCC or to countries that are within five to six hours of air travel including UK, Singapore, Maldives and Thailand among others. Soon, we will be foraying into other countries within GCC,” added Prakash.

“We are bullish on the amazing opportunities that the market has to offer and are confident that in the coming months, we will be able to truly transform travel experience of discerning travellers in UAE and other GCC countries. Our biggest differentiator is our full-suite of travel offerings that are offered on a single platform – helping customers book their end-to-end journey in just a few clicks. Now travellers can discover, choose, and book travel options without switching between platforms to book their flight, hotel or their preferred holiday packages. At MakeMyTrip, we are looking forward to pass on the numerous benefits of booking through a ‘one-stop-travel-shop’ to customers across GCC.”

Currently, MakeMyTrip offers free cancellation at hotels up to 48 hours prior to departure and a no-cost date change option to flyers – guaranteeing travellers against any uncertainty in the current environment.

Future Travel trends and behaviours

Staycations and micro holidays are here to stay: The one or two big family holidays that people had been taking will now turn into multiple micro holidays. With many postponing any long-haul leisure travel, the annual break will now turn into micro holidays that one will take to explore weekend getaways, wellness retreats, alternative accommodations like luxury private villas or vacation rentals or high end resorts that give the comfort of mind related to safety and social distancing.

Flexibility over Cheaper Options

The outbreak of the pandemic caused disruption for the travellers at a scale never known before. Globally, airlines, hotels, vacation rentals, online travel companies and all associated with travel struggled to provide support to customers especially those who had made fixed travel bookings that didn’t provide for flexible change. COVID has definitely brought along a change in demand for flexible offerings as travellers now value flexibility around cancellation or modification of bookings more than ever before.

Eco-travel to find more takers

While conventional tourism will continue to be preferred post the pandemic, the crisis has proven to be one of the most effective wake up calls for the global travel ecosystem and travellers in UAE and beyond to build and support, a stronger and more resilient eco-tourism economy. With customers thinking eco-friendly first, there is a great opportunity for the travel value chain to come together to promote responsible behavior amongst travellers by designing and building sustainable travel products that suit their varied travel interests and demands.

7 best staycation ideas

The much anticipated Eid-Al-Fitr holiday is just around the corner and MakeMyTrip have curated the best staycation packages for people looking for that much needed break. From ultimate beach escapes to adventure, and luxury getaways across the UAE, there’s something for everyone.

Best Beach Experience

Switch from the city scene to a spot where the beach is at your doorstep as you enjoy the stunning vistas over the azure Arabian Gulf. We suggest a night or two at serene Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Coral Beach Resort Sharjah, Caesars Palace Bluewaters or Fairmont The Palm.

Best City Hangout

Want to spend Eid in Dubai if you are visiting from the neighbouring Emirates? What could be more exciting than spending holiday experiencing the five star treatment at Taj Dubai, Address Boulevard, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi or Downtown Plaza Hotel Apartments. In close proximity to retail and food destinations such as Dubai Mall and City Walk, you are bound to have a true city holiday. If you prefer a mix of retail therapy but be near attractions like Skydive or beach activities, then head to Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Marine Beach resort and spa- Near La Mer Beach or head to Concord Hotel Fujairah if you prefer a road trip to a fresh new city scene.

Best for Adventure

Spend action packed days and entrancing nights under the stars this Eid with our hotels in the desert and close to adventure parks. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort and Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara will give you a true Bedouin style experience. If your kind of adventure includes roller coasters and thrilling water parks, head to Yas Island and spend the night recovering at Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island or Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi Yas Island.

Best all-inclusive Experience

Most all-inclusive resorts offer accommodation and meals with numerous entertainment and recreational activities for guests of all ages. The Rixos Bab Al Bahr even offers a variety of indoor and outdoor activities such as sunrise yoga at the beach, water aerobics, paddling board, indoor billiards and darts, and many more. Depending on which Emirate you prefer to be in, head to JA Beach Hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, Miraj Bab Al Bahar Fujairah or Rixos The Palm.

Best for family

For Eid Staycation for the whole family, we have properties that offer recreational opportunities for fun with kids and adults’, together with entertainment and wellness options. Our top picks include Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort By Anantara, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah, Bahi Ajman Beach Resort, Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Palace Downtown and Sahara Beach Resort.

Best Culinary Experience

Want a holiday and top class culinary experiences too? Indulge in multiple dining options at hotels offering delectable cuisine and unlimited beverages just to keep the festive Eid spirit away from home. Head to Taj Dubai, InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Atlantis The Palm or Caesars Palace Bluewaters.

Best for Luxury

Spoil yourself and your loved one with a truly luxurious staycation surrounded by the world’s most beautiful natural settings, be it close to the beach, near or in iconic buildings or properties that have luxury led facilities and amenities such as wellness centres, salons and close to world class shopping. Thankfully we have plenty of this in the UAE. We suggest a few nights of indulgence at Palazzo Versace Dubai, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, Burj Al Arab, Armani Hotel Dubai or Jumeirah Al Naseem - Madinat Jumeirah. We’re also giving you Dh500 worth access to Atlantis Aquaventure and The Lost Chambers Aquarium when you book at the Atlantis, The Palm. — sandhya@khaleejtimes.com

Sandhya D'Mello Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.