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India’s booming aviation market coupled with sustained economic growth have made global hospitality titans check into the country with a robust pipeline of hotels over the next five years.

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Investments in India’s hospitality industry are likely to surpass $2.3 billion over the next two to five years, with the addition of approximately 12,000 hotel rooms in 2023 alone. Real estate consulting firm CBRE South Asia’s report, Indian Hospitality Sector: On a Comeback Trail, predicts that the hotel room numbers are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 3.3 percent by 2025. Last month, three international hotel chains announced the debut of their luxury brands in the country. Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria and Minor Hotels’ Anantara brand are set to make their India debut in Jaipur, while Radisson has picked Hyderabad for the launch of its Radisson Collection brand. The study further suggests that demand recovery is likely to outpace supply, benefiting key performance metrics of the hotel sector — such as occupancy rates, average daily rates, and revenue per available room — that are expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels in the coming year. For instance, occupancy in Indian hotels is expected to improve to 66 percent this year, according to hospitality research firm HVS Anarock’s latest report. India’s hospitality sector ended 2022 with occupancy in the 59-61 percent range — up 15-17 percentage points from the previous year, and a 94 percent growth in revenue per available room in 2022 compared with 2021. Some 166 new hotels with 14,885 rooms were signed in 2022, which is a 33 percent increase in brand signings by keys over the previous year. The government’s continued focus on reforms is also expected to further enhance the sector’s growth, with projections indicating that India’s tourism and hospitality sector may earn $50.9 billion in visitor exports by 2028, the CBRE report stated. 

Sanjiv Kapoor, the former CEO-designate of cash-strapped airline Jet Airways, has joined Saudi Arabia’s national airline Saudia Group. He also announced that he has become as an advisor to the group’s Director General Ibrahim Al-Omar. “I am thrilled to share that I have joined the Saudia Group as Advisor to His Excellency Ibrahim Al-Omar, director general of the Group,” Kapoor wrote on professional networking platform LinkedIn. His resignation from Jet Airways came amid unresolved issues between lenders and the Jalan-Kalrock consortium, the new promoter of Jet, as the airline struggles to restart operations. “One of the three pillars of Saudia Arabia’s Vision 2030 is the transformation of its advantaged strategic location into a global hub connecting three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa, while simultaneously attracting 100 million annual visitors to the Kingdom,” Kapoor wrote.

Hyatt announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into franchise agreements with 3B Group of Companies for two new hotels in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. They will be a 125-room Hyatt Centric Rajpur Road Dehradun set to open by mid-2023 and a 110-key Hyatt Place Haridwar. “India continues to play pivotal role in Hyatt’s growth strategy, and we look forward to our first collaboration with 3B Group of Companies to bring our globally acclaimed brands, Hyatt Centric and Hyatt Place, to the northern state of Uttarakhand,” said Dhruva Rathore, vice president of development of India and Southwest Asia at Hyatt. Hyatt’s current portfolio in India consists of 41 properties across eight brands — Andaz, Alila, Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Place, Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt.

Low-cost airline IndiGo is set to run a direct flight from India’s coastal state Goa to Dehradun in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand from May 23. “The launch of this new direct flight will enhance connectivity between the two states, allowing tourists to explore the diverse cultural heritage, natural beauty and adventure tourism opportunities that both Goa and Uttarakhand have to offer,” said Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte. According to the India Tourism Statistics 2022, Goa witnessed 3.3 million domestic visitors, while 19 million domestic tourists visited Uttarakhand in 2021.

Travel company STIC Travel Group and corporate event firm Take-A-Break Consulting have announced a joint venture to launch StepUP Xperiences, a platform for international meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions requirements. The new company plans to offer a range of services from travel logistics and accommodations to event planning and execution. “As the demand for outbound MICE from India continues to soar, we recognized the need for a specialized brand that can cater to the unique requirements of Indian corporate clients,” said Subhash Goyal, chairman of STIC Travel Group. 

From ensuring that 120 smart city projects are completed on time to beefing up security, the administration in north Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is working to make the third G20 tourism working group meeting — to be held in capital city Srinagar between May 22 and 24 — a success. The first tourism working group meeting was held in February at Rann of Kutch in the western state of Gujarat and the second meeting took place In April in Siliguri in the eastern state of West Bengal. Tourism players in Kashmir believe that the G20 Summit can attract investors from across the globe and promote the valley as a global tourism destination. Jammu and Kashmir expects to host a record 20 million tourists this year.

The Australian government is set to scrap the Subclass 408 or Covid work visa in a move that could see a sizable number of Indian students and temporary workers scrambling for other options to remain in the country. Also known as the temporary activity visa, Subclass 408 allows applicants to work in Australia if they are employed or have an offer of employment in a key sector. “The government is currently considering its ongoing suitability. This includes consideration of an end date for closing eligibility of the visa (Subclass 408) and proposed approach to returning to normal operations,” Department of Home Affairs told an Australian broadcaster. The development coincides with the Australian government’s move to impose a new working hour limit of 48 hours per fortnight for foreign students, beginning July 1

India’s newest airline, Akasa Air, has commenced operations from the eastern city of Kolkata with daily non-stop flights to Bengaluru and Guwahati. These new routes will also offer Akasa Air customers the option to trave from Bengaluru to Guwahati via Kolkata with no change of aircraft. “The launch of flights from the city to Bengaluru and Guwahati will further ease travel to the eastern belt of the country, strengthening the nation’s overall air connectivity,” said Praveen Iyer, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Akasa Air. The airline recently launched the second phase of its training and development center, Akasa Air Learning Academy, to provide experiential training to its pilots, cabin crew, engineers and airport services, and security personnel. 


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Tags: akasa air, anantara, g20, hilton, hospitality, hyatt, india, indigo, investments, jet airways, minor hotels, occupancy, radisson collection, revpar, skift india report, visa, waldorf astoria

Photo credit: India is set to add approximately 12,000 hotel rooms in 2023 alone. Source: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts/Skift Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

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