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After months of lack of business due to strict covid-related restrictions, hotels in Mumbai are finally showing early signs of revival. Mumbai witnessed the highest occupancy (51-53%) on a month-on-month basis in June, followed by New Delhi (39-41%), said a report from real estate services firm HVS Anarock.

The revival is happening primarily on the back of staycations and weekend business with the corporate travel yet to pick up. This could also be attributed to domestic air traffic which increased by over 47% in June over May as travel restrictions started easing across states in India because of the declining covid cases in the country.

“In June 2021, hotel occupancy in all major cities witnessed a month-on-month increase with the revival in leisure travel as restrictions started easing across states in India," Mandeep S. Lamba, president (South Asia), HVS Anarock.

Occupancy demand in cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Kolkata, and Bengaluru went up significantly on a year-on-year basis in June. However, more leisure-focused destinations, such as Goa received a subdued demand due to the ongoing covid-19 related curfew in the state. Similarly, Kochi, spread over a series of islands and criss-crossed by the sea and backwaters, also witnessed slump in demand.

After the massive setback brought by the devastating second wave of covid-19 pandemic, the health of hospitality sector is improving. The overall occupancy of hotels, for instance, has increased by 12-14 percentage points, average daily rate (ADR) went up by 14-16% and RevPAR (revenue per available room) by 95% on a month-on-month basis in June.

The report also stated that hotel stocks are witnessing an upward trend due to the increasing positivity towards the sector as of 20 July, with Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) that runs Taj Group of Hotels outperforming the market in recent months.

New openings and signings by properties have increased marginally in the first half of the year (H1 2021) compared with last year. A total of 19 hotel brands opened in the first half of 2021 compared with 14 last year. Meanwhile, 49 new properties were signed in 2021 compared with 47 last year.

“Unlike the previous lockdown, hoteliers did not adopt a wait-and-watch policy but continued with their expansion plans, signing smaller properties with increased focus on tier-III and -IV cities and towns," said Lamba.

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