New Delhi: A disappointed tourism and hotel industry on Sunday said the popular IPL cricket tournament going out of India was a “shame” for the country, as the crisis-ridden hospitality sector missed an opportunity of gaining from the cricket carnival.
While luxury hotels in 12 cities hosting 59 matches during the 45-day tournament did not expect many cricket fans from overseas, they would have benefited from bookings of players and officials.
Each time a match takes place, a contingent of about 200 - players, officials, managers, cheer-leaders and the media -- would check in at different hotels, an official said.
“It’s a shame to the country ... As far as the tourism industry is concerned..., yes, it would have been beneficial had it been held in the country, considering that the sector is facing the heat of the downturn,” Assocham Tourism Committee chairman and head of STIC Travel Group Subhash Goel said.
Oberoi Group director (Corporate Communication) Ketaki Narain said, “Definitely we were expecting higher occupancy during the (IPL-II) season.”
However, she did not see much difference to the industry’s fortunes in the long run.
Hit by the global business downturn, the hotel industry has seen a marked decline in the room occupancy rate this summer. For the Oberoi group, the occupancy has come down to 60-65% this year from 85-90% a year ago.
Each of 12 cities on the IPL tentative chart was to host 2-7 matches.
Chief executive of ITC’s Hotels Division Nakul Anand also said that the BCCI’s decision to take the IPL out of the country would have a severe impact on the hotel industry, besides other sectors.
“If last year’s memorable event is any indication, certainly a large number of business associates, including hotels, would face a severe impact if the tournament moves out,” Anand said.