LONDON — June 10, 2021 — After an improved start to 2021, India’s hotel occupancy has been on a rapid decline amid the second COVID-19 wave in the country, according to data from STR.

India’s monthly occupancy reached a pandemic high in February (53.9%), which looked to be solid progress toward recovery as the monthly level was roughly 73% of the 2019 comparable. By April, however, occupancy in the country fell to 31.0%, and more recently, just 21.5% for the week ending 30 May.

“We saw India’s resilience as an emerging market play out over the early portion of 2021,” said Vidhi Godiawala, STR’s business development manager for South and Central Asia. “Unfortunately, massive lockdowns have restricted movement and business over the last few months, thus causing hotel performance to lose steam. Until March of this year, India and China were trading places for the highest intention to travel. While current travel sentiment remains clouded, recovery from the first wave gives us reason to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel for hotels in the country.”

While the country as a whole has fallen back to late-2020 levels, some markets are experiencing more promising metrics. During the week ending 30 May, Mumbai saw the country’s highest occupancy level (43.2%) among STR-defined markets, which was 60% of the comparable week in 2019. The market, however, is expected to experience flattened demand levels in 2022Chennai (38.3%) and Gujarat (32.2%) also saw higher occupancy levels with better 2019 comparisons.

A video on India’s hotel performance and factors that will help shape the upcycle can be found here.

All of STR’s COVID-19 analysis can be found here.