Intelligence Second Covid wave batters India hotels By TTG Asia / Posted on 11 June, 2021 6:07 After an improved start to 2021, India’s hotel occupancy has been on a rapid decline amid the second Covid-19 wave in the country, according to data from STR. India’s monthly occupancy reached a pandemic high in February (53.9 per cent), which looked to be solid progress towards recovery as the monthly level was roughly 73 per cent of the 2019 comparable. By April, however, occupancy in the country fell to 31.0 per cent, and more recently, just 21.5 per cent for the week ending May 30. While hotel occupancy levels in India has tumbled to late-2020 levels, recovery in some markets like Mumbai looks promising, according to STR data; Mumbai skyline pictured “We saw India’s resilience as an emerging market play out over the early portion of 2021,” said Vidhi Godiawala, STR’s business development manager for South and Central Asia. “Unfortunately, massive lockdowns have restricted movement and business over the last few months, thus, causing hotel performance to lose steam. “Until March of this year, India and China were trading places for the highest intention to travel. While current travel sentiment remains clouded, recovery from the first wave gives us reason to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel for hotels in the country.” While the country as a whole has fallen back to late-2020 levels, some markets are experiencing more promising metrics. During the week ending May 30, Mumbai saw the country’s highest occupancy level (43.2 per cent) among STR-defined markets, which was 60 per cent of the comparable week in 2019. The market, however, is expected to experience flattened demand levels in 2022. Chennai (38.3 per cent) and Gujarat (32.2 per cent) also saw higher occupancy levels with better 2019 comparisons.