Skift Take

Industry experts are very bullish on the revenue growth of premium hotels owing to better operational parameters, largely due to domestic demand and global events like the G20 Summit and the Cricket World Cup 2023.

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Just a day after budget hotel operator Oyo forayed into the premium resorts category with the launch of its new brand Palette, credit ratings agency ICRA estimates premium hotel occupancy in India to reach a decade-high of 70-72% with average room rates expected around $74-$76 in the financial year 2024.

“Gateway cities like Delhi and Mumbai are likely to top the occupancy chart at 75%+ in FY2024. Demand is expected to remain healthy across markets, although Bengaluru and Pune are likely to be laggards compared to other key cities,” said Vinutaa S, vice president and sector head of corporate ratings at ICRA.

Consistent improvement in consumer sentiments despite the inflationary environment, stable corporate performance, and domestic air passenger traffic inching above pre-Covid levels augur well for travel and hotel demand, ICRA said in a statement.

“The incremental premium supply is concentrated in select markets, with Mumbai and Bengaluru accounting for a bulk of the upcoming inventory,” Vinutaa said, adding there were sizeable supply announcements in tier-II and religious destinations as well.

The ratings agency further said the Indian hotel industry is set to report a 13-15% revenue growth in financial year 2024, despite the potential demand impacts from further Covid waves.

India Rises Five Spots in Passport Strength Ranking

Henley Passport Index’s latest ranking puts India’s passport at the 80th spot, moving it up five places from its position in 2022.

Indians can now travel to 57 destinations without a visa. By contrast, citizens of Singapore, which tops the list, have visa-free access to 192 countries, with other Western countries not far behind.

India’s current rank ties it with West African countries like Togo and Senegal.

While Indian passport holders have visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Rwanda, Jamaica and Sri Lanka, they still need a visa to enter 177 destinations across the world. Some of these countries include China, Japan, Russia, U.S., and European Union countries.

Port Blair’s New Terminal Building to Handle 5 Million Passengers Annually

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday virtually inaugurated the new integrated terminal building of the Veer Savarkar International Airport at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

With a total built-up area of 40,800 square meters and an estimated cost of $87 million, the shell-shaped building will have the capacity to handle 1,200 passengers during peak hours and around 5 million passengers annually.

The three-storied building will be equipped with 28 check-in counters, three passenger boarding bridges and four conveyor belts.

“Till now the existing terminal had the capacity to handle 4,000 tourists, and the new terminal has taken this number to 11,000 and 10 planes can be parked at any given time on the airport now,” Modi said. 

Maharashtra Tourism’s Aurangabad Resort to Turn Into All-Women-Managed Property

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation’s (MTDC) Aurangabad resort would soon be converted into an all-women-managed facility as part of the state tourism department’s gender-inclusive policy ‘Aai.’

“Our Aurangabad resort was chosen as it is a world heritage site location and has a sprawling MTDC property. The district attracts a substantial number of both foreign and domestic tourists, making it a well-known destination among travelers,” said Chandrashekhar Jaiswal, general manager of MTDC in Mumbai.

Last month, Marriott’s Westin Hotels & Resorts also launched an all-women managed 168-key The Westin Hyderabad Hitec City. In 2021, even Tata Group-owned Indian Hotels Company opened South Asia’s first all women-managed luxury residences, Taj Wellington Mews in Chennai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Belavia to Launch Direct Flights Between Minsk And Delhi From August 11

Belarusian flag carrier Belavia is set to launch non-stop once-a-week flights connecting Minsk and Delhi from August 11. The flight will depart from Minsk on Fridays at 8.25 p.m. and land in Delhi the next day at 5.35 a.m., with a flying time of 6 hours and 40 minutes, while the return flight is scheduled to depart at 6.55 a.m. on Saturday and land in Minsk after about 7 hours and 15 minutes, at 11.40 a.m (all local times), Belavia said in a statement. 

The cheapest, one-way airfare is priced at $358 and bookings have commenced, the airline said. Belavia will operate the route with a 174-seater, Boeing 737-8 aircraft with economy and business class seats.

Hotels in Kerala Grow Online Bookings by 80% Using STAAH Technology

New Zealand-based global hospitality solutions provider STAAH has enabled hotels in the south Indian state of Kerala to increase their online bookings by up to 80% with advanced distribution technology solutions such as channel manager and booking engine.

For instance, Hotel Span International in Kochi, a four-star business hotel with an inventory of 37 rooms, experienced an 80% surge in direct online bookings. The Fog Munnar Resort, with an inventory of 40 rooms, saw their bookings up by 40-50%. Krishnavalsam Regency in Guruvayur, offering 40 rooms, was able to mark a 40% increase in direct website bookings. 

“STAAH’s success stories in Kerala highlights the potential of robust direct booking system as a potent sales and distribution channel that directly impact the bottom line,” said Shoaib Ali, national sales head of India at STAAH.


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Tags: airports, belarus, Belavia, hotel technology, hotels, india, Indian Hotels Company, occupancy, passports, skift india report, visas, westin

Photo credit: Average room rates are expected around $74-$76 in the financial year 2024. Augustus Binu / Wikimedia

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