ICC World Cup set to boost domestic travel industry


The ICC World Cup 2023 is all set to kick off on October 5 and is giving a big fillip to the travel and hospitality industry in India. Taking place in India after a 12-year gap, the ICC World Cup will see five matches each in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune, and three in Hyderabad. The semi-finals will be held on November 15 in Mumbai and November 16 in Kolkata; the final will be played on November 19 in Ahmedabad.
Booking.com data shows that the top searched destinations in India from October 5 to November 19 are cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Dharamshala where the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is taking place. According to a Jefferies report, hotels in smaller cities like Dharamsala are already sold out.
The Jefferies report said, “While major cities are seeing very significant increases in hotel rates, our interactions at hotels in small cities like Dharamsala suggest that rooms are completely sold out for multiple days. The rooms are booked for players, support staff, cricket board officials, media, etc., apart from booking from spectators. Our checks with reservation desks of 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.”
Currently, it is the India-Pakistan clash in Ahmedabad on October 14 that has seen the most demand in terms of accommodation and flights. Reports stated that room rates have soared eight to 15-fold for bookings in the city with many corporates also vying for rooms.
The Durga Puja-Navratri season also falls between October 14 and 24 and this has added to the higher occupancy rates in hotels thanks to domestic travel. Airbnb data, for instance, shows that search for accommodation in Ahmedabad has gone up by an astounding 4000%, because of the India-Pakistan match.
According to FCM India, compared to the same period in 2022, the average number of domestic air tickets booked has increased by 38 per cent in 2023. Amongst the metros, it is Kolkata which saw the highest uptick with 104 per cent, Lucknow 97 per cent, Delhi 49 per cent and Bangalore 46 per cent. While the travel and hospitality industries will be the main beneficiaries of the ICC World Cup, restaurants and food and beverage services are also likely to gain thanks to visiting tourists and those ordering home delivery while they catch the matches from the confines of their home.
Thanks to the IPL, and now the ICC World Cup, sports tourism is seeing rapid growth in the country. The BQ Prime report states that direct and indirect spending during the 2023 ICC World Cup is likely to hit Rs 13,500 crore and provide a massive boost to the economy.