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We expect a significant recovery in the travel sector in 2022: Pallavi Chopra, redBus

Adgully is back with a new edition of its annual feature – TRENDING NOW – where we present the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders as they go about reclaiming lost time and market opportunities and build for a stronger future, armed with the lessons of the pandemic period.

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Over the next few weeks, Trending Now will bring insights from industry leaders on how their organisations are gearing up to seize the opportunities in 2022, break through the Covid disruptions and find growth and remain resilient.

In an interaction with Adgully, Pallavi Chopra, Senior Vice President, Brand - Head of Marketing, redBus, speaks about the revival seen in the travel sector as Covid cases subside across the country. She expects a surge in domestic travel and sees a larger role of technology in reviving the travel sector.

What are the trends that you expect to dominate in your sector in 2022?

We expect travel across states to get a strong boost as soon as Covid cases subside and all restrictions are lifted. There will also be a surge in domestic travel as international travel restrictions would take more time to ease, we are already witnessing domestic travellers seeking quick getaways through road trips, weekend breaks and staycations and this will increase in the near future. People are exhibiting a sense of urgency with respect to travel after missing out on their travel plans for two years. Technology will play a key role in reviving the sector, especially through Internet penetration, which can induce new travel habits.

What are the challenges and new opportunities that you see emerging in the year ahead?

The industry will be looking at overcoming the business impact caused by the pandemic first and this could take a while, depending on the sector or size of the business. On the positive side, the emergence of Tier 2/3 travel destinations and influx of people from Tier 2/3 cities and towns back to the metros presents a big opportunity for the travel sector. There has also been a major advancement in adoption of digital systems across rural India, enabling more and more people to explore the advantages of booking tickets online. On a wider note, improvement in highway infrastructure and facilities poses a big opportunity for the bus travel sector to increase reach and serviceability. With increasing focus on EVs, we expect major tailwinds and developments in this sector this year.

How is this year’s turnout to be in this sector as compared to the last two years? How strong the recovery will be? How will this sector’s growth be compared to the last two years as well as the pre-Covid period?

We expect a significant recovery in the travel sector this year and it may well exceed the numbers witnessed over the last two years. The expected growth in bus travel this year will certainly cover up for the dip observed during the pandemic and may even exceed trends of the pre-Covid period. Another positive change for bus travel over the past two years has been the improvement in road infrastructure and services, which will undoubtedly benefit the sector.

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