Hotels anticipate great growth due to the increase of travelers
Hoteliers in India expect the last few months of the current fiscal to end on a strong footing, with weddings and corporate travel continuing to drive demand.
January has shown “accelerated” demand for both leisure and corporate travel across India, and corporate travel is peaking in the major metros and tier-two and three markets, with strong demand coming in from pharma, automotive, financial services, and IT sectors, said Zubin Saxena, managing director and vice president of operations for South Asia at Radisson Hotel Group.
“Overall, we expect that 2023 would set new performance benchmarks for India’s hospitality ecosystem,” Saxena said, adding that “there is visible enthusiasm for traveling, especially road trips”, and that weddings have emerged as big reunions for family and friends.
Nikhil Sharma, regional director for Eurasia at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts said the pace in the period from January to March 2023 looks positive as compared with the same period in the previous year, with an approximately 200% jump in room nights and similar positive signs in revenue for the chain.
“2022 was a year of resilience and recovery for both Wyndham and the hospitality industry overall. We are expecting further recovery to be highlighted this year as we hope to achieve or surpass 2019 levels,” he said. “Although global economic impacts may have some effect this year, travel is currently relatively unaffected, so we feel hopeful that we will continue to see a further uptick.”
The third Covid wave in January last year had led to a temporary blip in business for the sector. Besides India’s G20 presidency driving demand for hotels, project related work is also boosting travel, said Sudeep Jain, MD, South West Asia at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). “But the demand is still driven by domestic travel and is outstripping supply,” he added.
Properties in markets such as Nainital, Rishikesh, Corbett and Haridwar touched historic highs in occupancy and rates that were never seen before last year, said Vibhas Prasad, director of the Leisure Hotels Group which operates properties in states such as Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
“We expect that to continue even now, and this financial year will be a record year in terms of revenues and occupancies,” he said. “People are still hesitant to travel overseas in large numbers. We don’t expect major inbound numbers this season, but domestic travel has been on a strong footing and will continue to drive growth. We look well covered till June.”
While leisure properties were faster to recover, hotels in Delhi’s Aerocity, close to the Delhi airport, are also seeing an uptick in bookings and sustained growth, signalling an uptick in business sentiment.
“Looking at the first four months of 2023, we have already seen an increase in advance bookings. With one of the biggest venue offerings in Aerocity, Pullman and Novotel New Delhi are primarily focusing on large-format event queries that can easily accommodate a floating gathering of 500-1,000 people, and also enquiries for domestic and international conventions,” said Pavan Kumar, director of sales and marketing for Pullman and Novotel, New Delhi Aerocity.
JW Marriott in New Delhi is expecting the highest average daily rate for the hotel this year, said general manager Vipin Khattar.
“India’s hospitality industry is looking to fly in 2023, cashing in on India’s G20 presidency with different avenues to explore,” he said. “We expect this year to bring us continued growth and we anticipate the highest average daily rate for JW Marriott New Delhi.”