Average occupancy at hotels may rise to 65% since Covid onset

For the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last year that ravaged the hospitality sector, average occupancies for the Indian hospitality sector could reach the 60-65% mark this month.

Occupancies for top chains are likely to be well above this mark. Hotel chains said they are hoping for a “phenomenal” performance, backed by a declining number of Covid cases and fewer restrictions across states.

“While the ongoing holiday season is driving leisure travel to both popular and offbeat destinations around the country, corporate demand is steadily improving as most industries shift to a full or hybrid work-from-office model and resume their business travel plans. We expect nationwide occupancy of 60-65% in November and December 2021,” said Mandeep S Lamba, president (South Asia) at HVS Anarock.

Industry tracker STR said more than 35% of hotels in India reported an occupancy of above 75% for the November 6 Diwali weekend.

Nipun K Vig, VP, operations at Sarovar Hotels, said the revenue growth is up 47% in the current quarter over the July-September quarter for the chain. The chain saw 30% revenue growth in the July to September quarter following the April-June quarter and the devastating second wave of the pandemic. He said it expects to close the quarter at occupancy rates of around 64%, the highest since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our leisure hotels are doing well and weddings will also drive a lot of business. The average room rates have also gone up by 13% over the last quarter. Business travel is also coming back,” he said.

Zubin Saxena, managing director, South Asia, at Radisson Hotel Group, said with strong demand from business and leisure travellers, the chain’s projected occupancy rates for November and December are looking strong across hotels. “We closed October on a high given festive-season bookings and rising confidence in travel with the increase in vaccination rates. We recorded upwards of 60% occupancies across our 100+ hotels in India. We also anticipate that the wedding season and year-end festivities will provide an added boost during November and December,” he added.

Nikhil Sharma, regional director – Eurasia at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said occupancies are being recorded at twice the 2020 levels for October and November.


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