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Demand drivers such as the G20 Summit, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, wedding season and international tourist arrivals will continue to boost the demand for rooms.

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We read HVS Anarock’s Hotels & Hospitality Overview report for the second quarter and this is what we found out about the Indian hotel industry.

Despite a drop of 1 to 3 percentage points in occupancy in the second quarter, the average daily rate experienced 16-18% growth and the revenue per available room grew 13-15%, compared to the same period last year. 

Mandeep S. Lamba, president of South Asia at HVS Anarock attributed this robust double-digit growth to two factors:

  • Strong demand in the leisure segment 
  • Recovery in corporate travel and meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions
Source: HVS Anarock Hotels & Hospitality Overview, July 2023

City-wise Performance: Except New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Kochi, all other cities in the country showed a decline in occupancy levels in June. The cities which performed poorly, as per the report, are Chandigarh, Pune and Bengaluru. 

“Demand patterns are now normalizing after the severe fluctuations of the past three years. As a result, few overheated markets are experiencing some course correction and we expect this trend to continue in the near to mid-term although the overall outlook for the sector continues to remain upbeat,” Lamba told Skift.

Oyo to Add 50 Homestays and Hotels in Rameswaram 

Budget hotel operator and aggregator Oyo said it plans to add 50 hotels and homestays by the end of this year in Rameswaram and Ramanathapuram in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Purpose of the Plan: Oyo seeks to project and promote Rameswaram as a major tourist attraction while ensuring the preservation of the town’s cultural heritage.

Other details: Oyo will also train homestay owners on earning opportunities, besides creating awareness on homestays using various marketing tools. Additionally, it plans to initiate and develop tourism activities such as water sports, marine biodiversity exploration, walking trails, and outdoor camping.

“We plan to unveil the hidden gems, showcase the unique experiences, and elevate the tourism potential of this iconic destination through a sustainable tourism development plan,” said Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of Oyo.

New Brand: Just last month, Oyo forayed into the premium resorts and hotels category with the launch of Palette under which it plans to have a total of 50 properties by the second quarter of 2024.

VietJet to Launch Services to Tiruchirappalli from November 2

Vietnamese low-cost carrier is set to start direct flights connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Tiruchirappalli in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu from November 2. 

Frequency: The airline will operate three flights weekly on the route.

Timing: Flights from Tiruchirappalli will depart at 00:30 and land in Ho Chi Minh City at 7:00 (local time) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Return flights will depart from Ho Chi Minh City at 20:00 (local time) and arrive in Tiruchirappalli at 23:30 on every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

The airline is also connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Kochi in Kerala from August 12 with four flights per week on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. 

More Security Personnel and Check-In Counters to Reduce Airport Congestion

The civil aviation ministry said additional manpower, X-ray machines, check-in counters, and self-baggage drop facilities will be deployed at airports to prevent congestion in the upcoming festive season.

Measures Planned: 

  • Additional manpower deployment in two phases by October and by November.
  • Bureau of Immigration staff reinforcement will start by October.
  • Use of social media platforms to provide real-time updates to passengers to make airport transit seamless. 
  • Information regarding enhancement in processing capacity and expansion of security check areas will also be communicated.

Last year when major airports faced significant congestion resulting in long waiting times for passengers, airport operators took several steps which included:

  • Increasing the number of X-ray machines at pre-embarkation security checkpoints. 
  • Setting up of additional entry gates and additional space by restructuring the terminal infrastructure to increase the capacity of the terminal.
  • Installing a 2D barcode scanner at entry gates to facilitate automated entry.

Sterling Holiday Resorts Expands in Kerala With New Property in Vythiri

Hotel Name: Sterling Vythiri Wayanad.

This is Sterling’s second resort in the tourist destination of Wayanad, adding to its existing resort at Sultan Bathery

Number of Rooms: 27 suites and cottages.

Location: The resort is a two-hour drive from Calicut International Airport

Recent Launches: Sterling Panchgani and  Sterling Legacy Shimla.

The company recorded its highest earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $141.7 million for the financial year 2023, a growth of 23% year-on-year over the financial year 2022. 

India Launches Ayush Visa for Foreigners Seeking Traditional Medical Treatment 

To promote India as a destination for traditional medical treatments, the Ministry of Home Affairs has introduced the Ayush visa

Who Can Apply? The visa is aimed at facilitating travel for foreign nationals seeking treatment under Ayush methods, including ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, therapeutic care, and wellness.

Other Developments: 

  • The Ministry of Ayush has been collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism’s India Tourism Development Corporation to further promote Ayush systems of treatment. 
  • The Ministry of Ayush and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare are working together to develop a one-stop ‘Heal in India’ portal to promote India as a medical tourism destination of the world.

The Ayush-based healthcare and wellness sector is expected to reach an estimated value of $70 billion by 2025, according to a Global Wellness Institute report. 

Air India CEO and India Antitrust Chief Meet Over Vistara merger

Tata Group-owned Air India CEO Campbell Wilson met with India’s antitrust chief Ravneet Kaur to discuss the ongoing merger process with sister airline Vistara, weeks after the watchdog raised concerns about market power.

Regulatory Concerns 

  • CCI has raised worries about the combined entity’s market power on many international and domestic routes.
  • The CCI also said its initial review showed the market share of the Tata Group could be more than 50% in at least seven domestic markets, raising competition concerns.
  • The regulator also flagged that on some routes and categories, such as business class travel, the merged entity could have a monopoly. 
  • The CCI’s scrutiny comes amid growing concerns within the industry about a duopoly, with a merged Air India-Vistara and IndiGo controlling more than 75% of the domestic market as smaller rivals such as SpiceJet and Go First struggle.

In another development, the airline has expanded its coverage of lounge access from 16 to 26 airports in the country as part of its five-year transformation strategy, Vihaan.AI. 

Domestic: The airline has partnered with airport lounges in key cities and with food courts at 11 airports where dedicated lounges are not available. 

International: Swissport Lounge at Chicago, SAS Lounge at New York-Newark Liberty, Japan Airlines’ Sakura Lounge at Tokyo Narita, to name a few. 

Guests traveling First or Business Class and eligible members of Air India’s frequent flyer program as well as those from other Star Alliance member airlines can access the lounge services. 

Rajasthan Tourism Launches New Ad Campaign to Boost Tourism

Rajasthan Tourism has launched a new ad campaign ‘Experience the romance of Rajasthan’ to drive tourists to the desert state.

The video showcases the romance of Rajasthan, that is synonymous with sand dunes, rustic villages, ancient palaces, traditional folk music and dance, highlighting the message that the state is the perfect romantic getaway.

Last month, the Rajasthan government said it is working on a system under which tourists will have access to multiple monuments and transport facilities through a single smart card

Lemon Tree Hotels Signs New Property in Haryana

Which Hotel? Lemon Tree Hotel, Hissar. 

When? The hotel is expected to be open by the fourth quarter of 2024. 

Number of Rooms: 50.

“We are pleased to partner with RVS Hotels & Resorts for our latest signing in Hissar. This is an addition to 10 operational hotels and one upcoming property in the state,” said Vikramjit Singh, president of Lemon Tree Hotels.

Last month, the mid-market hotel chain signed a license agreement for a 48-room property in Udaipur in the northern state of Rajasthan, under the company’s brand ‘Keys Select by Lemon Tree Hotels.’ The hotel is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of financial year 2024.


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Tags: air india, average daily rate, hoteloccupancy, india, medical tourism, oyo, rajasthan tourism, revpar, skift india report, vietjet, vistara

Photo credit: Revenue per available room grew 13-15% during the second quarter. Augustus Binu / Wikimedia

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