Intercity travel demand in India increased by 200% since 2021
During the holiday season, travel often experiences a big uptick in India, according to the mobility industry. This time of year honours the enduring Indian spirit in all its splendour. In the wake of post-covid unpredictable and uncomfortable travel experiences, today’s millennial traveller looks for a safer, more dependable, connected, and comfortable experience.
In order to satisfy that demand, numerous branded intercity buses are making a lot of effort to elevate the bar. The travel sector has been energised by the surge in tourism and has been getting ready to greet travellers this Christmas season with genuine festive spirit. In order to learn more about trends, the present situation of intercity bus travel in India, and other topics, Financialexpress.com spoke with Manish Rathi, Co-Founder and CEO of IntrCity.
Data showing a rise in intercity travel demand of 180–200% over previous year underpins the industry’s optimism. The Indian traveller is more equipped than ever to explore within India, and “work from anywhere” options are now available now that there are no longer any travel limitations and people can work more flexible hours.
Additionally, a portion of travellers who are thinking about spiritual travel or a visit to their hometown add to the travel resonance. IntrCity SmartBus experienced 1.8x growth in the first half of 2022, with revenues approaching a run rate of $45 million annually and the company establishing operating profitability. While the intercity bus sector as a whole is predicted to expand at a CAGR of 15%+, the company projects a 60–70% increase from the same period in 2020.
While intercity routes connecting major metros to II or III-tier locations continue to show increasing demand as people return to or after enjoying holidays with their families or loved ones, intercity travellers are reported to gravitate toward less travelled locales. As a result of constant performance and acknowledging customer issues, which are then addressed on the platform, SmartBus’ growth is also accelerating.
The modern SmartBuses provide never-before-seen amenities for a comfortable boarding experience, including onboard sleeper cabins, clean urinals/washrooms, personnel, and fully-furnished boarding lounges. In-bus wi-fi connectivity is also a feature. For single women, elderly people, and those travelling alone, these facilities have made bus travel simpler and safer.
This trend can only be predicted to expand as people increasingly combine business and leisure into “Bleisure” journeys as hybrid work cultures and remote working become the norm. Furthermore, a casual traveller should not worry about missing out on early reservations as new transporters are emerging and infrastructure is being strengthened to provide a choice of travel options. Well-traveled, discriminating tourists desire to maximise their holiday time by combining the advantages of the hybrid employment model with experiential travel.
In terms of size, coverage, revenue, earnings, and all of this with strong margins, the brand has solidified itself as the clear category leader. While the intercity bus sector as a whole is projected to expand at a CAGR of 15%+ in 2021, IntrCity SmartBus anticipates a rise of 60–70% from the same period in 2020. In line with the summer trend, Dussehra was moderately successful and was 55–60% greater than in 2021.