IPL host cities see rise in traction for hotels, flights

Cities hosting IPL matches are witnessing a marked rise in traction this season, mainly on the back of red­u­c­ed airfares, summer vacati­o­ns and the love for cricket, according to experts.

“In India, cricket is like a religion and IPL, with its do­se of action and entertainment, has taken the excitement off to another level. The platform is witnessing a marked rise in traction during this IPL season as you­n­g­er population begins to flock for marking their support for their favourite teams,” Pay­tm V-P Abhishek Rajan said.

As IPL 2018 kicks off, th­e­re is a 15 per cent surge in air ticket bookings for cities hosting the cricket tournam­e­nt, he said. He said with ju­st a few matches of the season having been played already, the average age of passengers travelling towards the respective cities has already decreased from 34 years to 32 years.

Bulk booking orders (having more than 9 tickets boo­k­ed in a single order) have also increased during this season, he added. Further, he said, the trend also comes in the light of reduced airfares in comparison to the previous month.

The average ticket prices have dipped by as much as 13.25 per cent for Jaipur, 8.35 per cent for Delhi, 6.47 per cent for Chennai, 12.73 per cent for Hyderabad, 2.06 per cent for Chandigarh and 9.18 per cent each for Kol­kata and Mumbai.

Echoing the view, Cleartrip chief business officer (in­ternational markets), Amit Taneja said, “This year, mo­st matches are to be held across tier I & II cities. Coupled with the summer travel boost, we are seeing a consi­derable increase in air bookings to these places in April and May, the months the IPL matches are scheduled”.

The IPL-led accommod­a­tion bookings are expected to speed up by the end of Ma­rch through mid-April, he added.

Cox and Kings head (relationships) Karan Anand sa­id this year the demand for these destinations is expected to grow by 10-15 per cent compared to the last IPL se­ason. “IPL is a big draw with fans and they follow their favourite teams to different destinations. We have seen a demand for people booking flights and hotel accommod­a­tion with us to watch their favourite teams battle it out. There is more demand for matches on the weekends. Most of the people visiting these cities for IPL tend to spend more than two days at the location as they like to combine it with local sightseeing,” he added.

Over the years, IPL has be­come a sports activity that cricket enthusiasts all over the world look forward to, Expedia India marketing he­ad Manmeet Ahluwalia said. “This year we have seen interest among consumers to travel to nearby cities to wa­tch matches, top destinations being Mumbai, Hyderabad, Mohali, Delhi and Kol­kata. Mohali near Chandigarh has been one such destination and we have witne­ssed a 25 per cent rise in queries for the city.