India-based online travel agent (OTA) Cleartrip has said that it is still seeing bookings being made through its website despite the current situation. Speaking to sister publication Arabian Business, heads at the company said once travel bans are lifted, Eid 2020 could be one of the largest travel seasons in history.
Cleartrip marketing director Matthew Sliedrecht said though its flight bookings were down 60% year on year, the company was confident that once flight bans are removed, bookings will pick up. He added that bookings in May were still strong, implying optimism by consumers that flights will commence by Eid 2020.
The director explained: “When we look at like prices, there are when you look prices from the 22nd of May they have not come down. That marks the Eid holiday… From a forecast perspective, we may see this Eid as one of the largest travel seasons we've seen in history.”
“Obviously, we can't predict the future, but it will be the first time people have been able to leave the country. Come end of April, if the restrictions and measures are down by almost every country… people will want to be seeing their families again,” he added.
With fears around the spread of coronavirus forcing organisers to suspend all events for this half of the year, Sliedrecht said the second half of the year will benefit as events are moved later into 2020.
“September is normally a lower booking month than other months. So, it really depends, if we start seeing business travel increase significantly, we will see an increase in prices,” he said.UAE authorities opted to suspend all passenger and transit flights in the UAE from today. The operational freeze will last for a period of two weeks and has been enforced to help stem the spread of COVID-19.