Home / News / India /  Consumer sentiment likely to take a hit post UK travel ban

Travel firms said that the temporary flight ban from UK to India is expected to hurt consumer sentiment ahead of the holiday season. The ban, announced on Monday, comes after the emergence of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus in Britain.

Online travel platform MakeMyTrip said that although there is no immediate impact on bookings from India to UK, the company expects more inbound queries from customers who were planning to return home in the coming days.

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"The sudden turn of developments in the UK have created an understandable sense of confusion and anxiety among travellers who were planning to visit family and friends during this winter holiday season. We are closely monitoring the situation and together with our partners we will work towards addressing travel concerns of home bound travellers as the situation evolves," said a MakeMyTrip spokesperson.

The suspension of flights from UK will come into effect from tomorrow, 22 December midnight and will continue till 31 December.

“We understand the concern and support all measures but are worried about the impact on an already fragile travel industry," said Rakshit Desai, managing director - India, Flight Centre Travel Group, a travel agency.

With second Coronavirus wave in Europe and now a new strain in UK, it is increasingly becoming difficult to plan anything, said Mahendra Vakharia, managing director, Pathfinders Holidays Pvt. Ltd.

"The only silver lining being the travel ban is for 10 days. Moreover, it is not the peak season for the Europe or UK market in particular. Therefore, there is no major impact on business but sentiment will get hurt with travel plans being put on hold," he added.

Dipak Deva, managing director at destination management firm Travel Corporation India (TCI), said that the development will hurt consumer sentiment as UK continues to be a huge source market for India.

"... although India is not issuing visas to the UK but what this ban will do is to create a negative impact on the overall travel sentiment. UK is the top source market for India when it comes to leisure travellers. I believe by and large, the sentiment of the international travel has been damaged. Demand for UK, which was earlier emerging as a safe destination owing to the vaccine arrival, will be impacted for few months as consumers will postpone bookings," he said.

Travel Corporation India (TCI) claims UK contributes 20% of its overall business which will be impacted.

As per tourism ministry estimates, out of the total 3.28 lakh foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in March, UK was the second biggest market contributing 10.63% to the overall FTAs.

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