‘Lok Sabha elections fuel hospitality sector growth’

New Delhi, April 10: The ongoing Lok Sabha elections have given a boost to the hospitality sector as foreign as well as domestic travels have gone up substantially, a study by industry body Assocham showed.

Tourists arrivals from the countries like US, Britain, France, Singapore and UAE have gone up by 10-15 percent, while movement of domestic tourists jumped by 62 percent.

The election has given tremendous boost especially to budget hotels, dhabhas, guest-houses and the transport sector such as hiring of taxis, buses, three-wheelers and rail, Assocham said.

Assocham surveyed nearly 500 tour operators from different cities that reveals that there is an increase in tourism business to the extent of 20 percent.

A majority of the operators surveyed attributed the surge in hospital business to the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

The six-week election exercise started April 7 and will end with the counting of votes on May 16.

Many tour operators are offering “election tourism package” which includes visit to public rallies, poll campaigns, meeting party leaders and Election Commission officers.

Flight bookings in the Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Gujarat etc in the past two weeks are up 15 percent, Assochan quoted online tour operators as saying. A large number of coaches, cars, and taxies are being booked for travel to Varanasi from Delhi as well as towns around.

The high-profile contests in Uttar Pradesh, especially in Varanasi and Lucknow, have come as a boon to travel agents in the states like Uttar Pradesh.

The online travel portals have noticed an increase in bookings to destinations which are political hubs and places where major rallies have been scheduled.

There is an increase of over 15-20 percent in rail bookings in the Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi and about 10 percent rise in Lucknow-Ayodhya route, the report said.

IANS