Hotel industry clocks normal growth despite global tremors

Hotel industry clocks normal growth despite global tremors

New Delhi: It is business as usual for the country’s high-end premium hospitality segment though many companies world over have announced cutting down on travel plans.

Major hospitality players, including the Oberoi Group, the Marriott Group and the Phoenix Group, have reported almost normal room occupancy or only a slight decline in this festive time compared to that of previous year.

The Oberoi Group, which owns or manages more than 30 hotels under the Oberoi and the Trident brand in various countries, including a dozen in India, said that business has been almost normal in the country.

“We have seen a very slight drop in the luxury segment while rate of room occupancy in the leisure segment is intact. Even the drop in occupancy in the luxury segment has been only around 2-3%," a Oberoi Group spokesperson said.

The group, however, has no plans for introducing any incentives to tap customers.

“There are still more than five months left in the fiscal and we have no plans for mid-term schemes or course correction," the spokesperson said.

Global hospitality major Marriott Group said that although its operations overseas have been affected by the global slowdown, the group’s business in India is almost running normal.

“The Indian market has been lot more stable and we have not seen a major downturn in occupancy. Our average rate of occupancy during this season is more than 75%," Marriott Group Area Vice President (India) Rajeev Menon said.

The group, which has six premium segment hotels in major Indian cities, has no plans to bring down room rent.

Another premium segment player Phoenix Group has reported a nominal 10% decline in occupancy rate compared to that in the corresponding period last year.

“The slowdown is a temporary phenomenon and the fundamentals of the hospitality sector in India are quite strong," Phoenix Group Director for Communication Priti Chand said.

“While the Group has an average room occupancy rate of around 75% during October last year, this time the rate is hovering around 65%," she said.

However, the Group is going ahead with its plans to open three more hotels in various cities over next year, including a five-star deluxe at Bangalore in December.

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, which runs a chain of hotels and resort in Kerala, Goa, Mumbai and Bangalore, has reported a rise in occupancy rate during the first few weeks of the third quarter vis-a-vis the occupancy rates in the second quarter.

“The trend is now healthy and the third quarter has brought a robust growth in occupancy both among business and leisure travellers," The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts Vice-President (Marketing) Sanjay Pashricha said.

He said that the group caters to the upper and premium end of the market and that might be the reason for almost normal business.

“The occupancy rate in our 1,000 odd room inventory is between 78 to 80% in previous years. This year also we have maintained the business near normal level and the occupancy rate is around 70-72%," he added.