Category Archives: Hotels

Sense of ‘near normalcy’ to return in Q4 2020: Leela COO

Anuraag Bhatnagar, COO, Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, believes in the resilience of the hospitality industry. He says, “We are very lucky to be working in a country like India where we have extremely robust domestic economy. People in India fundamentally like to travel, experience new destinations and go to new resorts. They probably would want to ‘unlock’ themselves after this lockdown. We will see some business coming in July and August, we see a sense of ‘near normalcy’ coming in in Q4 (OCT-DEC).

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Domestic travel, key growth driver for our business in India: Pascal Gauvin, IHG

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a management agreement to bring the Crowne Plaza brand to the historic city of Lucknow, in northern India. Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG, explains, “The signing underscores confidence in the industry despite challenging times. In India, the sector is primarily driven by the domestic travel, which is expected to recover first once the crisis is behind us and it is safe to travel again. Domestic travel has remained a key growth driver for our business in India and we will continue to expand our presence meaningfully to cater to the needs of our guests in the country.”

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Over 60% hotels are preparing to reopen post lockdown: HVS ANAROCK GMs Survey

In its latest General Manager’s Sentiment Survey, HVS ANAROCK has reported that over 60 per cent of the General Managers (GMs) are preparing to open their hotels as soon as the lockdown is lifted this month. The survey suggested that upscale business properties are expected to open sooner than others. The anonymous online survey captured responses of 160 GMs across branded hotels PAN India. 74 per cent of the responding GMs were from the business hotels while rest 26 per cent represent leisure hotels.

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States & hotels should do joint promotions with agents to boost domestic tourism: PP Khanna

PP Khanna, President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) during the 2nd TravTalk Digital Tourism Conclave said that it is important for states, hotels and travel agents to come together and do joint promotions for domestic tourism and boost it further. “Both states and hotels should look towards doing joint promotions with the travel agents to boost domestic tourism in India. M!CE is a big segment and according to 2018-19 data, this segment earned a revenue of Rs25,000 crore. With new ventures like banquet halls, trade fairs and facilities in cities like Delhi coming up, it is expected that by 2022, this revenue could double to the tune of Rs40,000-50,000 crore. All the states should consider opening new M!CE facilities.”

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Hotel occupancy decline lowest in India among 5 key Asian countries: HVS

The recently-released HVS ANAROCK monthly newsletter titled ‘Hotels & Hospitality Overview’ reveals that among five key Asian markets – India, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore – India had the lowest y-o-y decline in hotel occupancy for March at 52.9 per cent, while China witnessed the highest at 65.4 per cent. Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore witnessed occupancy declines of 64.7 per cent, 62.6 per cent and 53.6 per cent, respectively, for the said period. The report suggests that occupancies across hotels in key Indian cities witnessed a sharp decline, as travel restrictions intensified and India went into lockdown towards the end of March 2020.

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Hotels, travel agents can offer value proposition & unique experiences: Kerrie Hannaford

Kerrie Hannaford, Vice President Commercial, Accor (India & South Asia), says that hotels should work along with travel agents as they are experts in packaging the right products, and together they shall strive towards offering a value proposition and unique experiences to customers. Speaking at the 2nd TravTalk Digital Conclave, she said, “What we need to do collectively, with our consultants, is to become absolute experts in offering something unique and bespoke. There must be those ‘surprise & delight’ moments for our customers. The perception of value for money is going to be crucial. It is also important to know what unique experiences we can give to consumers, whether they are from the same city or have travelled from another end of the country. How the travel agent community helps us to establish that uniqueness is important, so that we can sell something to a consumer. As we step towards that level of recovery, that’s what people are going to want. They want to be able to ‘feel’ the value and it doesn’t matter whether it is a $50 hotel or a $100 hotel. They only want to ensure if they are getting that connectedness, that personalisation and as an industry, we need to come together and build that confidence for consumers.”

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Revenue Per Available Room expected to decline by 58% in 2020: Mandeep Lamba

As per HVS revised estimates, RevPARs in the organised hotels segment are expected to decline by 58% in 2020 due to COVID-19 shock. Mandeep Lamba, President- South Asia, HVS ANAROCK, says, “The industry has not witnessed such an unprecedented decline in RevPARs in the last two decades, since HVS has been recording this data. We should now use the learning from this disruption and plan for the new realities beyond COVID-19, keeping in mind that we need to better prepare ourselves for future events of a similar or even more vicious impact.”

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Analytics firm VIDEC launches global travel staffing barometer

Boutique advisory and analytics firm VIDEC has launched a Global Travel Staffing Barometer, an online resource to monitor the impact of COVID-19 coronavirus on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. The free-to-use tracker offers industry insights on the state of terminations, furloughs and pay-cuts, across industry categories and countries, collated from various sources and updated on daily basis. Virendra Jain, Cofounder and CEO, VIDEC, says, “The travel industry is crumbling before our eyes with more than half a million lay-offs in less than a month. Amid the global spread of the pandemic, companies of all shapes and sizes – from the billion-dollar valued to start-ups – are trimming costs, disbanding, and letting go off their most precious asset, the workforce. The Global Travel Staffing Barometer quantifies the discharged staff and aims to become the central hub for tracking the loss of human resources, and in time offer the first glimpses for the road to recovery for the travel industry.” According to this tracker, more than 500,000 workers in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries have been furloughed in the last three weeks.

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Rajasthan to reimburse SGST due and deposited by tour operators and hotels

Taking measures to mitigate COVID-19 impacts on the industry, the Rajasthan Government has extended a helping hand to hotels and tour operators registered in the State. According to an order by the state government, it has been decided to reimburse State Tax due and deposited by hotels and tour operators registered under Rajasthan Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. The order for a reimbursement of State Tax due and deposited to hotels and tour operators will come into effect from April 1 and will remain in force till June 30. ‘State Tax due and deposited’ means the amount of State Tax (SGST) paid through debit in the electronic cash ledger account maintained by the enterprise after complete utilisation of the available amount of input tax credit of the SGST and Integrated Goods & Services Tax (IGST). This order will be applicable for taxable persons registered under the category of hotels, heritage hotels, resorts and tour operators. However, it will not cover stand-alone restaurants and clubs. Beneficiaries will be entitled for reimbursement of State Tax due and deposited in the operative period in the manner as may be prescribed, provided no reimbursement under this order is available for SGST to be leviable and paid on rental or leasing services, including own or leased non-residential property.

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Hotel sector to see a decline in revenue by INR 90,000 cr in 2020: HVS ANAROCK

The Indian hotels sector has come to a standstill in the last one month, with most of the hotels partially or completely shut. HVS has revised previous estimates of the overall revenue loss that the industry will face in 2020. The overall revenue of the Indian hotels sector is expected to decline by approximately INR 90,000 cr in 2020, reflecting an erosion of 57% compared to last year. RevPARs in the organized segment are expected to decline by approximately 58%. Occupancy is expected to decline by 31.6 per cent. In the organised sector the loss is expected to be INR 40,309 cr; in the semi organised sector the loss is expected to be INR 8,379 cr and in the unorganised sector it is expected to be INR 41,126 cr. The source for the above data is HVS Research as on 17 April 2020. The industry has not witnessed such an unprecedented decline in RevPARs in the last 2 decades, since HVS has been recording this data. The unorganised segment, which is 10 times the size of the organized segment, is also anticipated to witness a similar quantum of decline. COVID-19 is a disruption that nobody anticipated, but it is now time to use the learnings from this disruption and plan for the new realities beyond COVD-19

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