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Business News/ Politics / News/  G20 sets cash registers ringing at hotels, travel companies
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New Delhi: Top hotel and travel companies are licking their lips as a flurry of G20 summits coming up this year promises to attract swarms of visitors, fuelling business across their properties.

While the government directly contracts some hotels and companies for G20-related events, others benefit from spillover business when meetings are held in their cities. A number of impromptu meetings spring up, too, lifting their business further.

Delegates from 29 nations are expected to attend G20 summits across 200 venues in 56 cities this year. The government expects 150,000 international delegates for the summit officially, but the number could be higher since many invitees may bring their families along. Several top leaders may also go on private trips as well, expanding business activity.

Arun Kumar, Marriott International’s market vice-president for North India, Nepal and Bhutan, expects full occupancy at the company’s Delhi hotels in September and October since a number of security crew and media personnel arrive, too, besides top political leaders. Marriott has already had discussions with many delegations, and Kumar said the heads of state would likely decide in June where they will stay for the Delhi meetings.

“We expect some ancillary business to come in before and after the main event, which could result in a spillover of up to two weeks. We are already receiving queries for our hotels in Gurugram, too, and we expect our bigger hotels, such as the one in Aerocity, to be sold out," Kumar said.

Room rates at Marriott’s Delhi hotels are expected to rise to 40,000-50,000 a night for official delegations at that time and could be sold out, Kumar said. “The main event is happening in Pragati Maidan, but these delegations will take over restaurants. There will be side meetings etc., so we expect banqueting and restaurants also to be filled out. Each embassy involved will book it closer to the date. They will need meeting rooms, social spaces and restaurants," he added.

The government has contracted Thomas Cook Ltd to manage about a third of G20’s official business in India, including airport assistance, en route branding and hotel assistance such as setting up help desks. Meera Charnalia, the company’s executive vice-president and head of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE), said the company has completed 35% of its contracted business over the last four months, including managing engagements in metros and smaller cities.

RateGain, a company which processes travel and hotel bookings, said that between January and April, it noted spikes in bookings at the G20 meeting locations when compared to the previous day or week. For example, in Bengaluru, it has seen check-ins in February rise by almost 50% compared with the day or week before G20 events. Similarly, in January, it saw check-ins double during the G20 events in Delhi and Mumbai.

Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd has received “numerous" queries for Delhi, including from international delegations, president Vikramjit Singh said, adding these are under discussion. “We expect the city to do higher occupancy of about 95% or more for branded hotels between midscale to upscale segments during the summit, as 15,000-20,000 delegations are expected from across the globe. We expect a 12-15% increase in the city’s occupancy with a 10-15% average daily rate increase for the period,“ Singh said.

Events are another revenue-spinner. Lemon Tree recently hosted one G20 event at its five-star hotel at Aurika in Udaipur and also has received queries for events at Patna and Rishikesh.

“Overall, India is getting much more visibility. We recently had a golf tournament as part of the G20-related activities where a group of delegates stayed at the Royal Orchid Bangalore. Later, the group will head to Hampi, where we also have a hotel," said Chander Baljee, chairman and managing director of Royal Orchid Hotels Ltd said.

M.P. Bezbaruah, secretary general of the Hotel Association of India, said: “G20 presidency has come at an opportune time for Indian tourism and hospitality. It will augment hotel revenues and receipts, and its cascading effect will see India emerge as a preferred leisure and MICE destination."

However, Bezbaruah added that the government needs to do more to address significant barriers to investment in the hospitality sector.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Varuni Khosla
Varuni Khosla is a journalist with close to 14 years of experience in writing business news stories for mainstream newspaper companies like Mint and The Economic Times. She reports and writes on luxury and lifestyle brands, hospitality and tourism news, the business of sports, the business of advertising and marketing and alcohol brands.
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Updated: 05 May 2023, 12:29 AM IST
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