Mumbai: With India gearing up to host the Commonwealth Games next year, hoteliers in the country are rushing to make the most of the likely spurt in tourist traffic, leading to a boom in development, global consultancy firm Deloitte has said.
“In 2010, India will host the Commonwealth Games for the first time, and hoteliers here will be hoping to emulate the success of Melbourne, which was the host in 2006,” it said in a report, ‘Hospitality Vision-Global Performance Review´.
“International and domestic hotel chains are rushing to maximise India’s potential by providing new rooms, leading to a boom in development. Mumbai and Delhi are expected to see an influx of new rooms in 2009, with 305 added to New Delhi’s inventory, while Mumbai will see 1,158 rooms enter the market,” it added.
The report said the economic slowdown and Mumbai’s terror attacks in November 2008 notwithstanding, India will make a mark as a preferred tourist destination globally.
“There have also been bombings in several Indian cities (tourist hubs such as Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad), including the outrage in Mumbai, where terrorists targetted the tourism icon, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. These events may deter visitors in the short-term, but tourists quickly come back and their presence helps the healing process,” it said.
Although Asia-Pacific will not escape the general slowdown, robust economies in China and India make them better placed than other regions, Deloitte said.
“There are predictions that international visitor arrivals will more than double by the end of 2010. China and India will continue to make their mark, both regionally and globally.”
Citing a survey by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTCC), the report said that between now and 2018, India will be a tourism hotspot followed by China, Libya and Vietnam.
“The world’s fastest growing tourism destinations over the next decade will be India, China, Libya and Vietnam.”
Cautioning that 2009 will be challenging for hoteliers and only the fittest will survive, Deloitte said, “Hotels will need to focus on value for money more than ever before.”
Occupancy in hotels was down by 14% throughout 2008, but average room rates rose 4.5% to $257.
The report said while it may be tempting to slash room rates to bring in business, the move could be damaging as it takes average room rates much longer to recover than occupancy levels.
“Tempting though it is to slash room rates to bring in business, this is not a long-term solution, as it takes average room rates much longer to recover than occupancy levels,” Deloitte said.