|By Meena Nichani, The Economic Times, India|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jul. 7, 2005 - MUMBAI, India -- Conventions, conferences, visits by NRIs and extended stay by business travellers have pushed hotel occupancies up in all major cities.
Average room occupancies have been over 80 percent in Bangalore, 77 percent in Hyderabad and New Delhi and over 70 percent in Mumbai and Chennai.
The hotel industry in India is witnessing a new high in occupancy rates. The best period for the hospitality industry in India was between 1994-1996 and the good times are back again, say industry officials.
"Around 25 percent of the hotel occupancy comes from the long or extended stay segment. As a result rooms occupancies on weekends have shot up to 65 percent from below 50 percent two years ago," said Siddharth Thaker, senior associate, HVS international, an hospitality consulting firm.
The hospitality industry is expecting an average occupancy of 90 percent in the October to March season.
"The NRI travel market in India is now growing at a robust pace. They dominate the wedding travel market in India and come in large numbers.
Besides room occupancy , they also boost our banquet and restaurant business," said Tarun Thakral, COO, Le Meridien, New Delhi.
The open sky policy and the growth of aviation sector too has boosted the fortunes of the hospitality industry. "Increase in air seat capacity from existing airlines and new airlines will boost travel and stay in hotels this year.
We have 22 percent growth in occupancies this year," said Hemal Modi, head of sales, Intercontinental The Grand, Mumbai.
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