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The intercity bus travel industry in India is bouncing back with remarkable revenues during the festive seasons: Sciative

The travel industry was amongst the worst hit during the pandemic. As most people have been vaccinated now, the travel industry is gradually witnessing a rise in demand. Sciative, a leading deep-tech startup specializing in AI-powered automated price optimization solutions, has released a report analyzing the trends in intercity bus industry during Dussehra and Diwali in 2021 compared to 2020. The findings suggest improvement in sentiments toward travel in the minds of travelers. Positive travel sentiments are foreseen during the upcoming festivals too.

As per the report by Sciative, the travel industry is getting back on track as higher revenue contribution is seen from 24 cities such as Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Dehradun, etc. including top 55 routes in India such as Mumbai-Goa, Bangalore-Hyderabad, Ahmedabad-Delhi, Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Pune-Shirdi, Delhi-Lucknow, Delhi-Amritsar, etc. These routes are segregated into Business, Pilgrim and Holiday. The supply and demand data for these high-demand routes in India were analyzed to enable travel companies to optimize on the opportunity.

During Dussehra 2021, supply referring to the total number of trips in PAN India has increased by 20% compared to Dussehra 2020, which resulted in a 31% increase in revenue per trip. Bus occupancy on the top routes has increased by 17% in Dussehra 2021 compared to 2020, which helped bus operators to capitalize on prices this Dussehra.

The best performing routes in Dussehra for both years were Gorakhpur-Delhi and Ahmedabad-Delhi, have increased the revenue per trip by 11% and 36% in 2021 compared to 2020. Apart from this, the other top performing routes during Dussehra festival were Ahmedabad-Hyderabad, Bangalore-Vijayawada, Hyderabad-Bangalore based on the revenue generated.

By looking into the data, during Dussehra, Business routes have got huge demand; hence revenue per trip has increased by 33% compared to 2020. Holiday and Pilgrim routes are also getting good traction in revenue per trip with 25% and 26%, respectively. Improved market conditions have enabled bus operators to gain average selling prices by 17% for business routes during the Dussehra week.

In Diwali 2021, demand and supply has increased by 10% and 28% respectively, which resulted in a 19% increase in revenue per trip. Top performing routes in Diwali week were Ahmedabad-Delhi and Delhi-Varanasi, which have improved their revenue per trip by 23% and 20% respectively this Diwali compared to 2020.

Additionally, during Diwali period, people are travelling more to holiday destinations compared to business and pilgrim routes in 2021. Revenue per trip for holiday destinations has increased by 41% and supply in the market has also increased by 58%. Because of that the average selling price (ASP) for holiday routes has increased by 35% during 2021. On the other hand, business and pilgrim routes witnessed a hike in ASP by 17% and 3%, respectively.

According to the analysis, AC Sleeper is the most preferred bus type on business, holiday and pilgrim routes for both festivals in 2020–2021. Supply referring to total number of trips for AC Sleeper on business routes has increased by 21%, 150% for holiday routes and 325% for pilgrim routes in Dussehra 2021. Spike in the supply is because of a huge lift in demand, which can be seen in the revenue per trip, and has increased 42% for the business route, 25% for holiday route and 9% for pilgrim routes. Same case with Diwali 2021, 37% revenue per trip has increased for Business route, 52% for Holiday route and 25% for pilgrim routes for AC Sleeper bus.

Non-AC Sleeper buses are also performing well in the Diwali period, and have also been able to attract the higher prices by 32% for business routes, and 49% for pilgrim routes resulting in increased revenue per trip of 36% and 44% for business routes and pilgrim routes, respectively.

In addition to this, there are very interesting insights that have been observed in the analysis that-The selling price of AC Sleeper buses for the pilgrim route is lower than for business and holiday routes for Diwali and Dussehra period. As a result, travel companies can capitalise higher prices on business and holiday routes during holiday seasons compared to pilgrim routes.

The prices (ASP) of Volvo sleepers and Volvo seaters have increased exponentially by 45% and 27% compared to 2021 for business routes, because of which revenue per trip increased by 63% and 20% for Volvo sleepers and Volvo seaters, respectively, indicating high demand for Volvo buses for business routes in 2021.

Dr. Anshu Jalora, Founder and MD of Sciative, commented, “The findings of the report clearly demonstrate the positive behavior of people towards travel after the pandemic. Travelers have accepted the ‘new normal’ and are gradually moving towards their routine travelling patterns. This new trend in demand has opened up several opportunities for the travel industry.”

Ms. Vijeta Soni, Co-Founder & CEO of Sciative, added to this by saying, “The insights that the report has revealed can prove to be instrumental for travel companies. The data can be used to predict traveler preferences and behavior which can help to plan and strategize pricing during the upcoming festivals too.”

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