Boom time for India’s hotel sector

After dusting off its pandemic-induced woes, hotel chains have stepped up their expansion plans in India with 93 hotels opened as well as 157 signings, according to a HVS Anarock Hotels & Hospitality Overview for January to July 2023.

International hotel chains are leading the charge – Radisson Hotel Group (RHG) signed 11 new hotels in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ujjain, Raipur, Sonamarg, Manali, Kerala, and Visakhapatnam between January and April 2023, all scheduled to open between 2023 to 2026.

Radisson Hotel Group has signed 11 new hotels in India; Radisson Hotel Jaipur City Center, pictured

Ramzy Fenianos, chief development officer Asia-Pacific, RHG said: “India is an important market and solidifying our footprint here is our long-term goal. Strong wins in 2022 established a robust path for growth this year. We are focused on doubling our footprint by 2025 and remain invested in identifying the right partners for signing and opening brand-defining hotels.”

Similarly, for Marriott International, a total of 10 properties were launched in India between January and August 2023, such as the Coorg Marriott Resort & Spa, Fairfield by Marriott Jaipur, and Westin Hyderabad Hitec City. Another two hotels, The Artiste Kochi – A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, and Courtyard by Marriott Gorakhpur, are also on track to open by end 2023.

In 1Q2024, there are plans to introduce the Moxy brand to gateway cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru, shared Ranju Alex, area vice president South Asia, Marriott International.

She told TTG Asia: “Marriott currently operates 145 hotels in over 40 cities in India. We plan to expand to at least 10 new cities with over 100 properties in the country by 2025. This is also part of our target to have 250 hotels in India by 2025, including those already open and in the pipeline.”

Domestic hotel companies like Cygnett Hotels & Resorts have also opened new properties in Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Odisha.

“We hope to add about 15 hotels to our portfolio by the end of the current financial year. Our expansion plans are focused on serving markets where there is a lack of branded hotels in the mid-segment hospitality space,” said Sarbendra Sarkar, managing director of Cygnett Hotels and Resorts.

Other local hospitality chains like ITC Hotels, and Renest Hotels & Resorts, have also strengthened their presence in the mid-segment space in 2023 with openings in non-metro cities like Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Goa.

Alex: we plan to expand to at least 10 new cities with over 100 properties in the country by 2025

These expansions seem to be fuelled by exceptionally strong demand from the domestic market.

Alex said: “Our guest profile exhibits a composition of 70 per cent domestic patrons. The domestic segment has transcended the benchmarks set before the pandemic, and the forthcoming years are projected to witness a two-fold surge in international travel.”

Jyotsna Suri, chairperson and managing director, Lalit Suri Hospitality, agreed: “Domestic tourism has helped hotels to bounce back after the slowdown caused by the pandemic. G20 has also been a huge boost for the hospitality industry because we had an influx of visitors from all over the world. The high growth in the hospitality sector has created a demand for new properties to be opened across the segments.”

“We have also witnessed an increase in both average occupancies and average room rate in 2023. The future looks promising for the Indian hospitality industry,” added Sarkar. – Additional reporting by Rachel AJ Lee

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