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The hotel industry is flourishing and its demand has now outpaced supply. Despite skyrocketing prices, travelers are willing to pay a premium for both air travel as well as accommodation.

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Hotel occupancy and room rates have bounced back to pre-pandemic numbers, primarily due to the soaring demand for the G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi on September 9 to 10. 

FCM Consulting’s latest Global Trends Report revealed that India had the highest occupancy in Asia in the first half of 2023 — with Mumbai reaching 101% and New Delhi at 97%. Hotel room rates also saw a steep increase as Bangalore remained the most expensive averaging at $146, Delhi at $120, and Chennai at $101 per night. 

Even credit ratings agency ICRA estimates premium hotels to set decade-high occupancy rates of 70-72% with average room rates expected around $74-$76 this year.

  • “The government’s official holiday announcement over the G20 meet days have triggered an increase in searches for cities within drivable distance from Delhi. We have observed an increase in searches for accommodation bookings in destinations such as Sawai Madhopur, Manesar, Amritsar, Vrindavan, Agra, Udaipur, and Jaipur — with the plains dominating the search for bookings over hills,” said Rajesh Magow, co-founder and group CEO of MakeMyTrip.
  • “Both occupancy levels and average daily rates are higher than 2019 levels. One of the leading factors fueling this growth is domestic tourism where people have warmed up to the idea of traveling within India whenever possible,” K.B. Kachru, chairman emeritus of South Asia at Radisson Hotel Group told Skift. “People are now willing to use the money they would normally reserve for their international vacations on better facilities domestically,” he added.
  • “The 200-odd G20 meetings that have been held in diverse towns and cities in the run up to the summit have helped place some of the country’s lesser-known destinations such as Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Indore, Siliguri, Hampi, Khajuraho and Mahabalipuram on the global tourism map,” said Mandeep S. Lamba, president of South Asia at HVS Anarock.
  • “Companies are traveling to build new or re-establish existing business connections. Also, the pandemic has made companies realize the importance of internal business travels to retain the cohesiveness and culture of their teams, said Gaurav Luthra, managing director of FCM India.

Regulator Identifies Deficiencies in Air India’s Internal Safety Audits

A two-member inspection team of aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation has found lapses in internal safety audits of Tata Group-owned Air India and the regulator is probing the matter.

Air India was obligated to conduct routine safety spot checks across different operational areas including cabin surveillance, cargo handling, ramp operations, and load management. 

Inspection Findings: 

  1. During an unannounced examination of 13 safety checkpoints, the inspection team discovered that the airline had fabricated reports for all 13 instances.
  2. These falsified spot check reports lacked the signature of the chief of flight safety, the authorized personnel for such endorsements.
  3. The checklists were physically signed by an auditor from the Quality Management System department which does not fall under the approval and inspection scope of the regulator and has different eligibility criteria/qualification industry standards.
  4. Regarding the pre-flight medical examination (alcohol consumption test of pilots), Air India claimed that it carried out the spot check but the team found that the airline’s internal auditor “had not physically visited the facility which is mandatory to satisfy many items of the checklist.”
  5. With respect to ramp services, the inspection group observed that the airline’s spot check list indicated a specific individual as the responsible duty officer. However, during the designated shift, there was no personnel by that name present.

Accor Signs Mercure Lucknow, to Open Doors in April 2024

Hotel operator Accor has signed a Mercure Lucknow in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Opening: Mercure Lucknow Ekana Sportz City is scheduled to welcome guests from April 2024. 

Number of Rooms: The property will feature 110 rooms.

Recent Signings: In July, the company signed a 98-room Mercure Bhubaneswar in the eastern state of Odisha, scheduled to open in 2025. It also opened a 93-room Novotel Jodhpur ITI Circle in the north Indian state of Rajasthan early in May.

Current Operations: Accor operates 58 properties in India, under the Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure and ibis brands. 

IndiGo to Start Goa-Abu Dhabi Flights from Mopa Airport from September 2

IndiGo has announced the launch of direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Goa from Manohar International Airport, Mopa with the first flight slated for take off on Saturday.

Frequency: The flights will operate thrice a week, on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Timing: The inaugural Indigo flight to Abu Dhabi from Mopa is scheduled for Saturday at midnight and arrives at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 2:15 a.m. The return IndiGo flight will take off at 3:15 a.m. and land at Mopa at 8:10 a.m.

International Destinations: The first international destination to connect with Mopa is London Gatwick, operated by Tata Group-owned Air India.

Commencing operations on January 5, Manohar International Airport has launched international flights just within seven months. 

jüSTa Hotels & Resorts to Debut in Maharashtra With Resort in Kolad 

Homegrown luxury hospitality brand jüSTa Hotels & Resorts, which currently operates 20 hotels across India, is set to debut in the western state of Maharashtra with a property in Kolad

When? The hotel will open doors this September. 

Number of Rooms: jüSTa Rudra Resort & Spa offers 60 rooms in five categories.  

Location: The resort is located at a three hours’ driving distance from both Mumbai and Pune.

Other Highlights: Besides Maharashtra, jüSTa Hotels & Resorts currently has a presence in eight states — Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

“Maharashtra is an extremely important State for any brand when you look at the sheer economic size and purchasing power of the market. We are already at an advanced stage of discussion for opening another resort in the state,” said Ashish Vohra, founder and CEO of jüSTa Hotels & Resorts.

Uber Drivers Earned Over $6 Billion in Last 10 Years

Completing 10 years of operations in India, Uber said it has helped 3 million drivers in the country earn over $6.04 billion through its platform since 2013. 

The company has also released a short digital film to celebrate the milestone.

Current Operations: Starting its journey from just a few cities in 2013, Uber now operates in over 125 cities across India.

India-First Innovations: Uber introduced cash payments, regional language support and implemented several safety features. 

“Uber has become a part of India’s social fabric and we are proud and privileged to have been able to make a difference by enabling access and movement to riders while enabling livelihood to millions of drivers over the last decade,” said Uber India and South Asia President Prabhjeet Singh.

Renest Calangute Goa to Open in October

Boutique hotel chain Renest Hotels & Resorts has launched Renest Calangute Goa, welcoming guests from October. 

Number of Rooms: Renest Calangute Goa features 30 rooms.

Location: The property is located approximately 23.6 miles away from the Dabolim airport and 18 miles away from the recently opened Manohar International Airport at Mopa in North Goa. 

Recent Deals: Earlier in May, Renest acquired the historic Dunsvirk Court, located in the hill station of Mussoorie in Uttarakhand. In April, the company also launched its second property in the north Indian state of Rajasthan Renest Kumbhalgarh


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Tags: accor, air india, dgca, india, indigo, makemytrip, occupancy, radisson hotel group, skift india report, uber

Photo credit: ICRA estimates premium hotels to set decade-high occupancy rates of 70-72%. Aloft Hotels and Resorts / Flickr

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