End of 2021: a mixed bag for the hospitality sector affected by Covid

2021 has been a mixed year for the country’s hospitality industry. It all started on a positive note with a strong recovery in the leisure sector, leading to industry-wide occupancy reaching nearly 50% in the first quarter, the highest since the start of the pandemic.

However, the devastating second wave resulted in moderate demand, but it also allowed hoteliers to think outside the box and proactively focus on alternative customer segments and ancillary revenue sources – think branded meals and laundry services. While the Taj hotel group launched Qmin, a food delivery service in 2020, it significantly expanded it in 2021 to 19 cities. It plans to open 15 new Qmin outlets – gourmet stores in select hotels.

Likewise, ITC Hotels’ food delivery model – Gourmet Couch – which was launched in 2020, was extended to other cities in 2021. In addition, it also launched the Biryani and Pulao collection. “In some ways, Covid-19 has hit the reset button and ushered in new business models that are definitely here to stay and will continue to play a huge role in 2022,” said Anil Chaddha, CEO of ITC Hotels. led and redefined the way we work.

“Workcaytion and Petcaytion packages as well as secure stays at ITC hotels have seen a huge increase as people have chosen to travel drivable distances,” he says.

According to the JLL Hotel Momentum India report, the Indian hotel industry saw a 169.4% growth in RevPAR (revenue per available room) from July to September 2021 (Q3) compared to the same period last year due from a weak base in Q3 2020. In addition, the sector recorded a 122.9% qoq growth in RevPAR in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the second quarter of 2021, due to the strong recovery in leisure demand as travel restrictions were relaxed after the second wave of the pandemic.

The total number of signatures in the third quarter of 2021 stood at 32 hotels with 2,624 keys, a growth of 13.4% compared to the same period last year. Fifteen of the new signings (47% of the total signed properties) are conversions from old hotels. Domestic operators dominated the signatures over international operators with a ratio of 57:43 in terms of stock volume.

The country has seen many new hotels open their doors. Among them, the Raffles Udaipur, the Novotel Chandigarh and the ibis Mumbai Vikhroli of the Accor group and the Six Senses Resort in Sawai Madhopur, the Holiday Inn Zirakhpur Chandigarh and the Holiday Inn Goa Candolim of the IHG group. ITC Hotels has experienced a great expansion in Brand Welcomhotel. After the launch of the Welcomhotel Shimla in December 2020, he quickly opened the Welcomhotel Chail and the Welcomhotel Katra then the Welcomhotel Bhubaneswar. “Leading the asset management strategy across the country, ITC Hotels announced the launch of two new brands in 2021.

Mementos by ITC Hotels is the latest luxury brand that brings together a collection of unique hotels across various destinations. The Storii brand in the high end segment is a collection of handpicked properties steeped in history. Each Stoii is different in character, design or service. Mementos Udaipur and Jaipur have already been announced, ”Chaddha said.

According to the Hotelivate Trends and Opportunities Report 2021, the majority of hotel brands are now entering Tier 2, 3 and 4 markets, “identifying the unmet demand that prevails in these cities. As a result, 40% of actively developing hotels are located in these cities. “By 2025/2026, we plan to add approximately 36,599 branded rooms (under active development), bringing the total supply to 1,80,646 (across the country) and increasing the base of 25% existing supply, ”the report adds. .

After Diwali and the wedding season things were looking up for the hotel industry, but now with the threat of Omicron the hotel industry is hit again. The government has also postponed the resumption of scheduled international flights to January 31 from December 15.

“We don’t expect any activity in the first quarter of 2022. Only if the threat starts to recede by mid-February can we look forward to the summer months,” said Madhav Oza, director of the company. Blue Star Travels trips based in Mumbai.

However, hoteliers remain optimistic. “In 2022, we expect new trends and models to emerge. We have seen the horizons of the hospitality industry broaden, giving us hope for a new year with better prospects. Domestic travel has been a key driver of demand and the main source of business for hotels in all categories from economy to luxury in 2021, and we can expect this trend to continue in 2022, people favoring value-driven travel through trusted partners and branded hotel chains, ”said Puneet Dhawan, Senior VP Operations, Accor, India and South Asia.

Accor will open four new hotels in 2022. “The growth of ARR (average room rent) will be a collective objective for the industry in 2022. We feel a propensity to personalize experiences, stays in untapped leisure destinations, hybrid models for business and corporate meetings. , the inclination for intimate weddings and small-scale and comfortable social events to pursue, ”adds Dhawan.

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