LONDON — April 16, 2021 — Mumbai’s rapid hotel performance recovery is projected to return to more moderate levels, according to a recent market forecast from STR and Tourism Economics.

Driven by domestic business travel and quarantine guests, Mumbai recaptured 65% of demand in February 2021 when compared with pre-pandemic levels. More importantly, group demand, which continues to lag in most markets worldwide, surpassed 70% of pre-pandemic levels during the month. Preliminary data for March showed a slowing in Mumbai’s demand amid rising COVID-19 case counts and subsequent tightened restrictions.

“Although Mumbai has not escaped the impact of the pandemic, the market performed exceedingly well for a major metropolitan area in a world that has preferred rural, nature-based destinations,” said Vidhi Godiawala, STR’s business development manager for South and Central Asia. “Further bucking global trends, business and even group demand returned early to India’s financial capital, lending hope for a second swift recovery for hoteliers as the market contends with a second wave of COVID cases.”


Mumbai Demand Chart

Data from Tourism Economics showed that international arrivals contributed to only 23% of nights spent in Mumbai, even before the pandemic. The market’s strong reliance on domestic guests helped drive demand more than halfway to its pre-pandemic highs prior to the new surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Domestic demand will drive recovery post-lockdown as international travel remains uncertain,” Godiawala said. “While 2021 may be shaping into a feast-or-famine year with the newest wave of cases representing a significant headwind to recovery, hoteliers can anticipate a more sedate 2022 as travel normalizes and seasonal travel patterns return. The flatter trend heralds the end of the initial recovery boom, with demand growth expected to continue at a more moderate pace in the medium to long term.”