Industry Experts sharing statistical insights on Cricket Tourism
Rajan Malhotra Commercial Director, Conrad Bengaluru “The ICC Cricket World Cup tournament is one of the most sought-after events in India and we foresee a significant increase in travel. Bangalore has witnessed an uptick in bookings by a
Commercial Director, Conrad Bengaluru
“The ICC Cricket World Cup tournament is one of the most sought-after events in India and we foresee a significant increase in travel. Bangalore has witnessed an uptick in bookings by a whopping 15-20% since the World Cup schedule was announced. We expect 10-15% increase of occupancy at the hotel during the tournament. Overseas travellers who come specifically to witness the match add to our bookings significantly. Many of these discerning travellers plan their visit well in advance to add in an extended vacation that coincides with the match schedules. Conrad Bengaluru has been hosting sports teams for many years now and cricketing events have always led to an increase in occupancy as well as guests who visit the property for match screenings”.
Director of Sales and Marketing, Hyatt Regency Pune
Cricket evokes more than mere sport; it stirs deep emotions among Indians. Hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup this year after a 12-year hiatus is a cherished privilege. Enthusiasts from around the world are journeying to India for the 2023 tournament, spanning October 5 to November 19. The event marks India’s return to the cricketing spotlight, featuring ten nations with matches distributed across cities like Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune, and Hyderabad.
The rooms are booked for players, support staff, cricket board officials, media etc. apart from booking from spectators. Many hotels in bigger cities also indicate that occupancies for match days are already running high which has resulted in rates rising sharply and rates are likely to mostly increase further closer to match dates.
Further to this the hotels are working on 70-90 percent occupancy.
Undoubtedly, this will substantially boost the hotel industry’s revenue. In fact, room rates have surged by 80% to 150% in the week leading up to the matches. In recent years, the hotel business faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now, hotels are well-positioned to leverage this opportunity and tilt the business in their favor.
Accommodations beyond traditional hotels, such as guest houses, have been reserved in advance. Homeowners are leasing their properties for rates exceeding INR 60,000 per night. Furthermore, hotels are planning to engage additional staff on an hourly basis, providing assistance to those requiring employment. The entire market stands to reap substantial profits from this dynamic situation.
Cricket fever is about to grip the country as the Men’s Cricket World Cup tournament is scheduled to be held from October 5 to November 19. Matches will be held across 10 cities, including Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Dharamshala, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.
Since cricket is the most popular sport in India, it is going to have a great impact on different businesses, including tourism and the allied sectors. The hospitality sector, which was hit very badly during the pandemic, is slowly recovering. We saw how the G20 meetings held across cities were able to lift the mood and so will the coming Cricket World Cup.
The hospitality sector is experiencing a surge in flight and hotel bookings and higher tariffs, especially for the cities that are hosting important matches, such as Ahmedabad and Dharamshala. For the past couple of months, we have been observing over 45% increase in flight ticket searches for cities where the important World Cup matches will be played, such as the India-Pakistan match in Ahmedabad. Flights to these cities are also becoming more expensive around match days. There is an 80% increase in flight ticket demand for October-November over that in the last year.
This has led to as much as 50% increase in airfares, especially for top match venues, with Ahmedabad witnessing a massive rise of 50-60%, Mumbai 40-50% and Kolkata 30-40%. Other match venues, such as Delhi, Dharamshala, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Lucknow and Pune are also witnessing a 20-30% increase in fares. Despite the price hike, Wowtickets.com is trying to offer the lowest prices with promo codes, besides special offers and discounts, to its valued customers from across platforms.
Not just air fares, but hotel bookings are also witnessing a surge. The rates for 4- and 5-star hotels have increased by an astounding 10-15 times.
Interestingly, we are witnessing this demand not only in big metros and small-metros, but also in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. According to a recent report, 75% of respondents are ready to increase their travel expenses to watch cricket matches live.
FCM India, General Manager, Products & Industry Relations.
The hospitality industry greatly benefits from major sporting events such as the ICC World Cup 2023. Such events significantly boost the economy of the host cities as the entire hospitality industry from airlines to hotels, restaurants, transportation, events-related logistics and other businesses sees a positive uplift.
Given the immense popularity of cricket in the Indian subcontinent, it is no surprise that FCM India has seen an average of 31 per cent price surge in corporate hotel bookings during the ICC World Cup 2023 versus the same period in 2022 as Bleisure is here to stay. This is also a 19 per cent price increase as compared to 2019.
FCM India compared 10 cities* in India hosting the cricket World Cup matches and saw the most significant price increase was of 472 per cent in Lucknow, followed by 82 per cent increase in Pune, 77 per cent increase in Hyderabad, 47 per cent increase in Mumbai, and 20 per cent increase in Ahmedabad.
Despite the increase in price, FCM India has seen an increase of 58 per cent of number of nights booked within 10 cities* versus 2022.
(*Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi/NCR, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune)
The average number of domestic air tickets booked has gone up by 38 per cent compared to the same period in 2022. Kolkata saw the highest uptick of 104 per cent, Lucknow 97 per cent, Delhi 49 per cent and Bangalore 46 per cent.
Lately, due to the increase in air seat capacity, domestic airfares in India have started to see a dip in prices. The average increase of prices is just 7 per cent as compared to 2022.
With airlines planning to expand their capacity to meet the heightened demand during cricket matches, there is optimism that airfares may not see a spike as drastic as hotels. Host cities such as Ahmedabad hosting the most sought-after India versus Pakistan match experienced just a surge of 17 per cent when it comes to corporate travel bookings which is generally made less than 7 days in advance.
For the month of September, India’s domestic seat capacity is at 105 per cent and is almost as strong as its international seat capacity at 103 per cent. October shows both domestic and international capacity at 102 per cent. This additional seat capacity is welcomed by cricket enthusiasts, and we expect that flights will be filled up quickly.
Restaurants & Pubs:
Restaurants & pubs around India have started rolling out exclusive live screening packages for the match days. Similar trends were observed during FIFA World cup & World T20 Cup.
Many restaurant owners already have a client base who enjoy gathering in restaurants & pubs with friends and families during sporting events to have fun with like-minded sports fans in a vibrant atmosphere.
Also, to accommodate the expected increase in food delivery orders during the Cricket World Cup, restaurants have already started taking steps to ensure smooth operations.