Travel scores well on the cricket pitch

In­dia’s hottest cricket sea­son is not just about the game any more. Travel brands are now putting their in­no­va­tion caps on to cash in on the IPL game.

TravTalk - India - - Analysis -

MEGHA PAUL Into

its sixth year now, the In­dian Pre­mier League (IPL) has nine teams from var­i­ous parts of In­dia bat­tling it out in the field. But go­ing be­yond, OTAs have launched new of­fers to grab a share of an in­creas­ingly large pie of the book­ings. Thanks to the cricket fever, ho­tels are wit­ness­ing in­creased oc­cu­pancy dur­ing the on­go­ing sea­son and the car rental in­dus­try is ex­pect­ing more de­mand for its lux­ury cars.

On­line travel por­tals have got IPL spe­cial schemes and dis­counts. MakeMyTrip, the prin­ci­pal spon­sor for the Sun­rises Hyderabad team, has launched a spe­cial of­fer called ‘Toss Ka Raja’. It of­fers peo­ple to get live on TV with the Sun­ris­ers Hyderabad as they flip the toss, says the web­site home­page. Opines Man­ish Kalra- Mar­ket­ing Head, MakeMyTrip, “We are de­lighted to part­ner with Sun­ris­ers Hyderabad and reach out to mil­lions of IPL fans through this as­so­ci­a­tion. The IPL demon­strates the syn­er­gies of the twin pas­sions of cricket and travel, with fans fol­low­ing their teams to match-venues across dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try. Our part­ner­ship with Sun­ris­ers Hyderabad will help us reach out to the next set of peo­ple who are go­ing to come on­line, since cricket gives us the op­por­tu­nity to reach out to Tier-II mar­kets.” This year, the main fo­cus of the com­pany will re­main on the ho­tels. IPL is a nat­u­ral fit­ment, as cricket in­volves a lot of travel as well, he adds. Rev­enue from the ho­tels and pack­ages busi­ness has also in­creased by 55.2 per cent in this quar­ter, show­cas­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties in this seg­ment, Kalra in­forms. Ya­tra.com has seen a surge of 15-20 per cent in ho­tel book­ings on week­ends dur­ing the IPL sea­son. “This trend is be­ing seen in cities such as Pune, Jaipur and Chandi­garh, where aver­age room rates have risen by 25 per cent on the week­ends,” Sharat Dhall, Pres­i­dent, Ya­tra.com re­veals.

Ac­cord­ing to Gau­rav Ag­gar­wal, Founder and CEO, Savaari Car Rentals, there has been a spurt in the de­mand for lux­ury cars dur­ing IPL con­sis­tently since the six years. “This year, the de­mand for cabs has risen by 40 per cent and the re­quest for lux­ury cars has risen up to 35 per cent, which is oth­er­wise around 20-25 per cent on nor­mal work­ing days. IPL is one of the peak sea­sons, where the busi­ness sees a rapid growth, re­sult­ing in good prof­its,” he com­ments. Dur­ing IPL there have been a lot of tak­ers for lux­ury cars. “Our fleet of lux­ury cars such as Jaguar, Mercedes C/E/S Class, BMW 3/5/7 se­ries, Toy­ota Camry, Honda Ac­cord and Toy­ota For­tune are in huge de­mand,” Ag­gar­wal adds. Su­nil Gupta,

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Avis In­dia feels IPL has given the com­pany a mar­ginal in­crease in busi­ness of ap­prox­i­mately 15 per cent. “Th­ese book­ings are through ho­tels and travel agents as well. How­ever, for us, it is limited to the day of the match,” he points out. The Ra­jasthan Royals have tied up with Gilpin Travel Man­age­ment as the team’s ex­clu­sive travel part­ner for the 2013 and 2014 edi­tions of the Pepsi In­dian Pre­mier League. Of­fer­ing end-to-end travel so­lu­tions and high qual­ity ser­vice in all facets of travel in­clud­ing cor­po­rate, in­cen­tive and leisure, the com­pany’s as­so­ci­a­tion with Ra­jasthan Royals is even more sig­nif­i­cant now. Ac­cord­ing to Adil J. Ba­ji­rao, Vice Pres­i­den­tOut­bound, Gilpin Tours & Travel Man­age­ment(I), “We are pro­vid­ing hol­i­day pack­ages to des­ti­na­tions, which in­cludes RR mem­o­ra­bilia as well as lucky draw prizes, which en­ti­tle the re­cip­i­ents to an evening with the Ra­jasthan Royals team in Mum­bai.” Gilpin Trav­els is also of­fer­ing sev­eral IPL match-based pack­ages, which in­clude ac­com­mo­da­tion, trans­fers and tick­ets to the match.

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