The past 15 months have been quite crazy for the Indian travel tech sector. Not only was there an unprecedented lockdown that froze nearly all movement of people, but even now personal or business travel continues to be fraught with challenges and dangers of transmission, despite the opening up of the economy in a number of countries and sectors. For the Indian travel sector, recovery is a distant prospect, with the ever-changing market conditions due to the pandemic and its consequent impact.
By March 2021, one year after the pandemic first hit India, things had turned around for the travel industry. Hotel bookings had revived, Indians were travelling outside their home towns again and business seemed to be picking up. Then came the second wave in late March, which wiped off the recovery. Now in the aftermath of the second wave, while business for travel and hospitality companies has shown some green shots, nothing is certain.
And how can it be — after all, there is a third Covid wave coming up in the next 6-8 weeks as per some estimates. As travel and hospitality startups and companies deal with a rollercoaster of revenue and slowdown in the next few months and a range of scenarios for recovery — U, V, W, Z, anyone? — there is a sense that the flux will continue for the foreseeable future.
Stop-Start Life For Indian Travel Sector
Before looking at what the next few months and fiscals hold for the travel industry, let’s take a look at the Indian travel sector recovery gains in late 2020 and early 2021 after a brutal nine months in 2020.