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Several factors are driving the demand for hospitality industry in India, especially domestic tourism. ICRA expects this robust demand to lead to strong growth in FY2025.

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The pan-India premium hotel occupancy is estimated to reach decade highs of 70-72% in the coming fiscal year (2025), according to credit rating agency ICRA. The agency has also estimated that the Indian hotel industry will report revenue growth of 7-9% in 2024-2025. For the financial year ending on March 31, 2024, ICRA is expecting the industry revenue to grow 14-16%. 

Factors driving demand: ICRA said that sustained domestic leisure travel, meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE), weddings and business travel are the factors that would drive demand in the next financial year. Spiritual tourism and tier 2 cities will also contribute to the industry. The primary driver is expected to be domestic tourism, as seen in fiscal 2024.

Demand outlook: In the medium term, ICRA has maintained that the demand outlook remains healthy. This is supported by improved infrastructure and air connectivity as well as favorable demographics. 

Kazakh Tourism Opens First International Office in India

Kazakh Tourism National Company has opened its first international office in India and has appointed a representative for the organization in the India market. The move aims to increase the country’s international promotion efforts. 

Kairat Sadvakassov, chairman of Kazakh Tourism, called India one of the most promising outbound tourism markets in the world. The company is planning to target more markets in India. Kazakhstan offers visa-free travel to Indian passport holders. 

Sikkim Gets its First Railway Station

The Northeast state of Sikkim is getting its first railway station in Rangpo. Sikkim was the only state in India without railway access. The project is set to be implemented in three phases, the first of which will connect West Bengal’s Sevoke to Rangpo with a 45 km railway line. 

The railway line will then extend from Rangpo to Sikkim’s capital city of Gangtok in the second phase. In the third phase, the line would extend from Gangtok to Nathula on the Indo-China border. 

Tourism is the main industry for the state and it is witnessing a steady increase in the number of visitors. Between January and June last year, the state recorded a footfall of more than 858,000 tourists, up more than 22,000 compared to the same period in 2022. Consequently, the hospitality industry is ramping up its operations in the state, with brands such as IHCL and Wyndham establishing their presence.

Qatar Airways to Move Operations to New North Goa Airport

Qatar Airways has announced it will be moving operations to the new Manohar International Airport (GOX) in North Goa. The change will take place from June 20. With this, the airline’s operations at the Dabolim Airport in South Goa will cease. The schedule of direct daily flights between Goa and Doha, will remain the same, the airline said. 

Several airlines, including Indigo and Oman Air, are choosing to move their operations to the new airport. This they have said is due to the enhanced infrastructure, proximity to hotels, and better public transport connectivity offered by Manohar International Airport.

Goa, Dubai Top Choices Travel During Holi-Good Friday Week in March

Indians are set to get a shortened work week in the last week of March due to the festival of Holi falling on Monday, March 25, and Good Friday on March 29. Accordingly, travelers have started making travel plans for this break. 

Online travel platform Agoda has found that travelers looking to travel internationally are favoring Dubai. Bangkok and Phuket were also among the most searched outbound destinations, which Agoda believes is likely due to Thailand’s visa waiver policy. Meanwhile, domestic travelers seem to prefer Goa for their trip. This is followed by Mumbai and Udaipur. 

Ascott Launches Citadines Arpora Nagoa Goa

CapitaLand Investment’s The Ascott Limited has launched Citadines Arpora Nagoa Goa. The property is an apartment hotel, and is in line with the company’s strategy to expand in the region. Ascott aims to capitalize on the growing demand for experiential tourism in Goa. 

At the launch, Hoshang Garivala, country general manager, The Ascott India, said that the company is looking to play a more significant role in the hospitality market in the country. He added that more property launches by Ascott are scheduled in 2024. 

GRT Hotels Opens Second Property in Andhra Pradesh

GRT Hotels and Resorts has announced the opening of its second property in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Grand Vijayawada by GRT Hotels features 104 keys. Vijayawada is the third location where ‘Grand by GRT Hotels’ has been opened, after Chennai and Kakinada. 

The company, which marked it 25 years of existence last year, now has 20 operational hotels, all located in South India. 

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Tags: ascott, business travel, domestic leisure travel, dubai, goa tourism, hospitality, hoteloccupancy, hotels, indian railways, indian weddings, kazakhstan, mice, occupancy, qatar airways, tourism

Photo credit: ICRA has maintained that the hospitality demand outlook in India remains healthy. Pixabay from Pexels

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