Indian hoteliers plan domestic revival as government eases lockdown

Hoteliers in India are looking to the local travel market for a business revival as the government lifts restrictions on hotel operations in safe zones from this week.

While some Indian states like Delhi have decided that hotels will remain shut, those that are moving ahead with business resumption are confident that local demand will ensure good occupancy rates.

As India lifts lockdown restrictions, hotels like Cygnett Hotels & Resorts are looking to tap the domestic market in their initial recovery phase; Cygnett Resort Mountain Breeze Nainital pictured

Gaurav Taneja, corporate general manager, Amatra Hotels & Resorts, opined that local tourists who have not been able to travel overseas will turn to holidaying at home.

Sarbendra Sarkar, founder and managing director of Cygnett Hotels & Resorts, said: “To begin with, we will be targeting our existing guest database through e-marketing efforts. Our sales force will reestablish connections with domestic travel agents, and we are actively updating our travel agent network on the safety protocol put in place (at our hotels).”

Health and safety measures at hotels are of global concern now, as travellers return to activity in a world without a Covid-19 vaccine.

“The world around us has changed fundamentally and it has become imperative that we take even more stringent measures to ensure our guests and associates feel safe as we prepare to welcome them back again” remarked Anuraag Bhatnagar, chief operating officer of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts.

According to Indian credit rating agency, ICRA, hotels in the country have been operating at 10 to 15% per cent occupany and losses are mounting. It has predicted that the hotel industry recovery may only begin after three to four quarters and contingent on a vaccine, while the normal state of business may only be seen in two to three years’ time.

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