Hospitality industry expects 10% increase in bookings as international flights restart; even more after the summers

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The hospitality industry across India is expecting an increase of around 8-10% in bookings and revenue generation with the reopening of international travel. The Indian government had decided last month to resume regular international commercial passenger services to and from India from March 27, two years after the country imposed a total ban on them to curb the spread of cases. of Covid-19. “Although it is too early to give a number, we will see the impact by the first quarter in which we expect an 8-10% increase in bookings,” said Mehul Sharma, Founder and CEO of Signum. Hotels & Resorts, at FinancialExpress.com. “Currently, we are looking at a 5-7% increase, as most of our business is domestically focused; although we see this increasing.

Summer growth in domestic and international visitors

The travel and hospitality industry is on an upward trend with increased business for both inbound and outbound travel as vacationers depart during the peak summer months. Now that international flights have restarted, the industry expects growth driven by international tourists. “With the resumption of international flights, our hotel at Aerocity – Roseate House New Delhi is seeing transit travelers and business travelers pushing ARR and hotel occupancy. The RevPAR we are seeing is even higher than before the pandemic,” said Kush Kapoor, CEO of Roseate Hotels and Resorts.

“We normally have 60% foreigners and 40% Indians on average. Since the reopening, we are now seeing 15% international customers and still have 15% queries. But it’s not really the season for visitors We expect bookings to increase due to monsoons and international bookings will increase by around 30% from July 2022,” said Abhilash K Ramesh, Executive Director, Kairali Ayurvedic Group.

Apart from business, hotels are also seeing a recovery in leisure travel. “Until now, travel has been mostly limited to domestic flights, but with the reopening of international skies, we have certainly seen an influx of travel plans for leisure and business purposes. We are seeing growth at the increase in bookings and revenue generation with a 21-23% increase in total bookings,” said Vishal Lonkar, Managing Director – Brand Development, Renest Hotels & Resorts. in Bengaluru are recently experiencing an increase in demand.

Abhilash K Ramesh of Kairali Ayurvedic Group said their international bookings come from the UK, Canada, Austria and Germany.

Post-summer surge more likely

Although there is already an increase in bookings from international travelers, industry players have said that more growth is expected after the summer months. “This start has been very positive for the entire industry, it will act as a catalyst to prepare for the upcoming season from October 2022,” said Manish Goyal, Founder of Stotrak Hospitality. “We expect growth of around 5-6% for the year, which will also follow after October 2022,” he added.

For Claridges Hotel, in terms of the type of bookings, guests book for individual stays, tour groups and even international corporate events from October to March. “We have started to receive a lot of interest from destination management companies and tour operators, particularly for the winter months. International corporate bookings are expected to start operating in April and leisure travel from late September/early October,” said Himanshu Kumar, Hotel Manager of The Claridges Hotel New Delhi. In terms of cities, mountainous regions including Ladakh, Kullu Manali, parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will see growth in international guests over the next 8 weeks, he said. added. For Stotrak, Rajasthan will be a hit once international leisure travel starts in full swing, followed by Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Read more: Hospitality industry almost fully recovers from Covid; bookings up for leisure, MICE events

A neutral impact?

In terms of booking, while some were of the view that the reopening of international travel will have a neutral impact on the industry as it will also lead to holiday departures resulting in lower domestic demand, others thought it would certainly increase. income. . “Obviously there will be a number of guests coming out of India; but many will still opt for a short vacation and may not find it conducive to travel outside India with the reopening of offices and colleges. Also, inbound international business travel will begin very soon. India is a preferred destination of many global companies and with the signing of various trade pacts over the past 2 years, it is expected that the benefits of the trade pacts will now flow to foreign companies. I don’t think restarting international flights will have a neutral effect,” Himanshu Kumar said.

Meanwhile, Vibhas Prasad, Director, Leisure Hotels Group, added: “For us in leisure destinations like Nainital, Corbett, Dharamshala and Rishikesh, domestic tourism has recorded substantial booking trends in 2021 by first semester. However, the second half should return to normal business trends from the pre-covid period and could be neutral from October.

Talk about places

And finally, what do flight reservations look like? Where are the Indians going? A Go First airline spokesperson said: ‘We previously operated international flights under air bubble arrangements, and now the same are operated on the international schedule. We are delighted to serve the markets of Male, Phuket and Bangkok. We have also increased flights between popular destinations, particularly the Gulf region. »

“International travel is gaining momentum, with searches increasing on the platform week over week. Among destinations, the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives have already seen nearly 80% recovery this month compared to pre-Covid days. On similar routes, flight bookings to the US, UK, Canada and Australia have already reached a 60% recovery from January 2020. Flight bookings to short-haul destinations , including Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, are seeing weekly growth,” said Vipul Prakash, Chief Operating Officer, MakeMyTrip.

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