industry

Domestic leisure travel has seen a significant revival after lockdown: Oberoi Group CEO


(This story originally appeared in on Oct 23, 2020)

Months of stay-at-home during the national lockdown has led to a “surprising level” of demand for leisure travel, says Oberoi Group CEO Vikram Oberoi. Globe-trotting, well-heeled Indians will now explore their country, feels the veteran of the Indian hospitality industry. India has now restored all existing visas, except tourist, and foreigners can come for business and conferences. Things should look up now…

Hotels have been open for some months now. How is the demand?
Domestic leisure travel has seen a significant revival after the lockdown was lifted and hotels being allowed to reopen is a big positive for the industry. Leisure travel from Indian guests has been strong across all brands and segments. The whole industry was surprised by the level of travel from leisure guests. Any hotel in a leisure location has greatly benefitted from increased demand in this segment of travel. We hope corporate travel will also resume, although some amount of that is taking place.

What emerging travel trends you are seeing?
We are witnessing Indian guests travelling (within the country) and discovering India more than they have done in the past. People were travelling overseas and now they will travel within India. This is a welcome trend for all of us in the industry. People have been confined and restricted (to their homes during the lockdown). The feedback we are getting is that they really want to start travelling again — whether it is corporate or leisure — to meet friends and relatives or discover destinations. I have no doubt the industry will bounce back and be stronger and better than it was earlier.

How will 5-star weddings be like in the pandemic world?
The wedding season will soon begin with strict guidelines for hosting social gathering to maintain enhanced hygiene and sanitation norms. All hotel companies will follow those guidelines. In many places, the size of the gathering is restricted to 50 or 100 guests. Guests experience comfort and safety in branded hotels due to hygiene standards. I am sure all auspicious wedding dates will see all hotels doing wedding business with a focus on the new norms.





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