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A hotel is only as good as its frontline staff. Oyo’s accelerator program is helping small hoteliers achieve long-term profitability and increase earnings by offering mentorship and financial assistance.

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Starting next week, this newsletter will be renamed the Skift India Report and you’ll receive it every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. At the same time – every day – we’ll be doing even more reporting from India to bring you the most important developments and analysis from one of the world’s most exciting markets for travel and tourism. Thank you for your continued support.

India-based budget hotel operator and aggregator Oyo said it will add over 1,000 hotels to support over 100 first-generation hoteliers’ growth by December this year as part of its accelerator program. The company launched the program in March with a target of supporting 50 first-generation hoteliers. Hotel owners with more than five running hotels are eligible to be a part of the program. 

With the Indian hospitality sector showing signs of promising growth in the next few years, Oyo said to cater to the growing demand, it is now focusing on hoteliers planning to expand their business in top leisure travel destinations such as Shimla, Amritsar, Udaipur, Goa, Mysore, among others. The plan is aligned with Oyo’s focus on increasing its premium hotel footprint under brands such as Townhouse Oak, OYO Townhouse, Collection O and Capital O in 2023, the company said. 

Oyo has already added more than 300 hotels operated by 30 hoteliers since the announcement of the plan which is higher than the initial target of adding 200 properties in the first phase of the program, the company said in a statement. It is also offering financial assistance to facilitate expansion in new markets, and has already extended support worth $1.22 million, Oyo added. 

Fairfield by Marriott Debuts in Jaipur

Marriott International’s Fairfield by Marriott has announced the opening of a 76-room Fairfield by Marriott Jaipur in the north Indian state of Rajasthan. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from the Jaipur airport. “We are confident with our entry into this market, Fairfield by Marriott fills a much-needed gap in the moderate tier segment,” said Rishabh Jain, hotel manager at Fairfield by Marriott Jaipur.

Last month, the company opened a 98-room Fairfield by Marriott Agra in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The hospitality major is planning to launch its select hotel brand Moxy in the country by 2024. Marriott expects to open Moxy Bangalore Airport Prestige Tech Cloud and Moxy Mumbai Andheri West in 2024.

U.S. to Issue One Million Tourist Visas in India This Year

The wait time for first-time tourist visa interviews in the U.S. has been reduced by over 50%, U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said. He further emphasized that the goal for 2023 is to process at least one million visas and highlighted the improved speed of visa processing in India with the U.S. Consulate’s all-hands-on-deck approach.

Addressing the audience at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Garcetti said, “We’ll find innovative solutions to streamline the visa process, such as reducing the need for in-person interviews, which allows consular teams around the world to assist in processing visas for the growing number of Indian travelers.”

The U.S. will open new consulates in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad to help expedite the Indian visa application process, which the U.S. State Department now considers a “top priority.” 

Hotel Room Prices in Ahmedabad Surge Up to $1,220 For World Cup

Hotel room rates in Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat have skyrocketed – nearly 10-fold in some cases – for October 15 after the International Cricket Council announced the fixtures for the India-Pakistan One Day International World Cup match. Room rentals have been charging close to $1,220, while many are already sold out for that day such as ITC Narmada, Courtyard by Marriott, Hyatt and Taj Skyline Ahmedabad.

On normal days, room rent in the city’s luxury hotels hovers between $61 and $97, and has now jumped to $488 and $1,220 in some places for that time. “The demand is mainly from non-resident Indians as well as the upper middle class or rich class living in other cities or states,” said Hotels and Restaurants Association – Gujarat spokesperson Abhijeet Deshmukh.

Delhi Airport to Start Operations on Long-Due Fourth Runway From July 13

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is set to commence operations on its fourth runway, starting July 13. Initially, the new runway will be used exclusively for departures and will not be available for landing. Indian airports operator, Airports Authority of India has prepared trained air traffic controllers to manage operations on the new runway. 

According to data from the Delhi air traffic controller, the introduction of the fourth runway will lead to an increase in flight movements, exceeding 100 flights per hour from the current 86 flights per hour. Delhi airport will become the only airport in India to have four operational runways, similar to international airports. The new runway is part of the Delhi airport’s Phase III-A expansion plan, the original deadline of which was set for the middle to end of 2022.

Wyndham Signs a Ramada Hotel in Goa

Hotel franchising company Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has announced the signing of Ramada by Wyndham hotel in Goa under a franchise agreement with Delhi-based RKM Enterprises. The 65-room Ramada by Wyndham Goa Arpora is expected to open in 2024. RKM Enterprises currently owns the Ramada by Wyndham Mussoorie Mall Road in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand

Over the last three months, the company opened two new hotels in India — a 70-room Ramada by Wyndham Goa Vagator and a 100-room Ramada Encore by Wyndham Indore, Nipania, and signed a 138-room Wyndham Garden Agra Tajganj, scheduled to open in 2025. 

Kamat Hotels India Expands Portfolio With Ira by Orchid Hotels

India-based hospitality company Kamat Hotels India has announced a new venture, Ira by Orchid Hotels, intended to be a chain of mid-market hotels in the country which will compete with brands like Indian Hotels Company-owned Ginger and Lemon Tree Hotels’ Red Fox. The venture will focus on tier 2 and 3 markets other than Mumbai and Bhubaneswar. 

Kamat Hotels expects to open eight to 10 new properties across the country in locations like Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad), Nashik, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Dehradun to begin with. The properties will be on lease and on a revenue share model, much like how mall owners manage with shops. 

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Tags: delhi airport, hotel rates, india, Marriott International, oyo, skift india report, u.s. visa, wyndham

Photo credit: Oyo aims to increase its premium hotel footprint under Townhouse Oak and OYO Townhouse. joegoauk42 / Flickr

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