The recent report released by Sciative, a leading deep-tech technology company specialising in AI-powered automated price optimization solutions, highlighted the trends in intercity bus travel demand during pre-Diwali and post-Diwali, especially between tier 1 and tier 2 cities of India.
This Diwali, there is an onset in the travel period in India, as people take advantage of the following festivals, and long weekends to visit their hometowns, pilgrimages, or take a vacation. This year, travel demand has been particularly high, with a record breaking number of domestic travel bookings made in the weeks leading up to Diwali. However, the post-Diwali period is when travel has really ramped up, as people plan their holidays for the winter break. This is the busiest time of year for Indian airports, railways, and buses, and with good reason – there are a number of popular tourist destinations within easy reach of most Tier-1 Indian metro cities.
A recent report released by Sciative, a leading deep-tech startup specialising in AI Bots for automated price optimization, revealed over 80% spike in intercity bus travel commute pre and post Diwali period. Pre-Diwali Indians travelled from Tier 1 cities outside for pilgrimage, vacations, home towns, etc., consequently, the prices were 40–100% higher for travelers originating from these Tier 1 cities. Post Diwali, the same trend is seen in the return routes back to Tier 1 cities. Out of all the metro cities, travelers from Chennai have shown the highest demand during the 5 days pre-Diwali period, followed by Mumbai and Bangalore. Delhi and Hyderabad, on the other hand, did not show as much demand as they showed during the August 15th long weekend.
Originating from Chennai, high-demand routes included Chennai-Usilampatti, Chennai-Sivakasi, Chennai-Cumbum, Chennai-Tenkasi, Chennai-Salem, Chennai-Pavoorchatram, and Chennai-Trichy. While the demand for Intercity bus travel has increased by over 80% for Chennai-originating bus travel, the prices of bus tickets have maintained parity with non-festive travel days owing to strong interventions by the Tamil Nadu government and other local bodies.
On the other hand, as per expectations, price and demand surges were seen in travel to and from other metros. For Hyderabad, a high demand surge was seen on the Hyderabad-Goa, Hyderabad-Raipur (CG), Hyderabad-Pune, and Hyderabad-Bangalore routes. For Mumbai, a high surge in prices and demand is seen on the Mumbai-Indore, Mumbai-Goa, and Mumbai-Ahmedabad routes. The three most popular destinations for Bangalore travellers were Goa, Vishakhapatnam and Nagercoil. Delhites are travelling the most to Gorakhpur, Varanashi, Azamagarh, and Bir-HP in this festive season. This season the travel demand surpassed the supply of travel mediums by 18%. Which means several travelers had to take alternate personal transportation like rental taxis and cabs as the seats in airlines, luxury buses and trains were already consumed or priced at high peak numbers.
Additionally, it was a surprise to observe travellers preferring luxury buses over airlines for tourist destinations like Goa. Especially tourists from Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore booked bus seats to Goa at prices comparable to that of Airlines. Similar trend was also observed on short routes in North India.
Analysing the travel sentiments of the research report, Dr. Anshu Jalora, Founder and MD of Sciative, said, “As the positive travel sentiments were seen during this festive season, the travel industry is expecting demand surges to continue post Diwali at similar pre-pandemic levels. As more people travel for pilgrimages, vacations, or to their hometowns, the travel industry will see robust demand irrespective of price increases due to fuel prices and other input costs.”
Commenting on this significant increase in demand for pre and post Diwali travel trends, Ms. Vijeta Soni, Co-Founder & CEO, said, “This is good news for the travel and tourism industry in India, which has been struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pre-Diwali rush was a sign that people were beginning to feel comfortable travelling again, and that they were willing to pay higher prices for the privilege. This trend is likely to continue in the coming months, as more and more people feel comfortable venturing out of their homes. This positive demand was speculated early on by the industry. Infact in some of the interviews with owners of Bus Operation companies we have learned that over 30% of them are now investing in purchasing of new luxury buses to suffice for the increasing demand. “
It is noteworthy to mention that even after the high surge in prices in some of the Tier 1 cities, intercity bus service providers can expect a YOY growth of 20% in demand over the next two to three months, especially during the festive and long holiday season. So, if you’re planning to travel by bus over the next three months, make sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.
About Sciative: Sciative specializes in Dynamic Pricing solutions with its award-winning AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered bots that think like humans but at 10X scale and 10X Speeds. These automated bots are empowering over 200 brands and companies find the right prices for every product, every market, every customer, and every transaction. Sciative is powering the price optimization of +5 billion prices globally across industries, such as retail, ecommerce, hospitality, travel, entertainment, technology services, CPG, and industrial products.