Cricket fans face hotel sky-high prices in Ahmedabad for India-Pakistan World Cup match
Digital travel platform Agoda has reported a 1,702% surge in searches for stays in Ahmedabad.
Digital travel platform Agoda has reported a 1,702% surge in searches for stays in Ahmedabad. Delhi-based Raghu Mann is one of the many cricket enthusiasts who eagerly planned to travel to Ahmedabad for the India-Pakistan match as soon as the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 schedule was released. However, he soon faced a daunting challenge of finding affordable accommodation in the city, where the demand for hotels had skyrocketed due to the anticipation of cricket's biggest rivalry. "I had a few hotels in mind after the schedule announcement. But the rates had gone up from 24,000 per night to 215,000 per night! It was way beyond my budget," he says.
For fans like Mann, going to Ahmedabad, where the India-Pakistan match will take place on October 14 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, has become a matter of paying exorbitant prices due to high demand. Digital travel platform Agoda has reported a staggering 1,702% increase in searches for stays in Ahmedabad. "We've seen a huge surge in travel recently, driven by live events and global sports tournaments. The World Cup has always been a very popular event in India, and it's nice to see a rise in interest from international travellers as well," says Krishna Rathi, Agoda Country Director, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Hotels are also receiving a lot more inquiries than usual. "Ahmedabad is getting the most traction for hotel and homestay bookings, followed by Chennai and Dharamshala for Team India matches," says Rajesh Magow, co-founder and group CEO, MakeMyTrip. Meanwhile, the price of a round-trip flight ticket during the match week has gone up by 200% to 300%, according to Google flight data.
The per-night rate of hotels has increased significantly compared to other sectors, especially in Ahmedabad, where the World Cup matches are being held. A spokesperson from OYO, a global hospitality company, says that the bookings in Ahmedabad have soared by 777% since the World Cup schedule was announced. "We are seeing more demand for mid-premium to premium hotels at the moment. This demand is likely to rise further as the tournament gets closer, as most fans tend to book their accommodation only after getting a confirmed ticket for the event," the spokesperson says.
The reason for this surge in tourism is that visitors have to get printouts of e-tickets from stadium counters a day or two before the historic match. A spokesperson at the Narendra Modi Stadium says that this is to avoid any delays in entry and that the dedicated counters for e-ticket collection have been announced by Jay Shah, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).