Hotel bookings recovery: India ranks third last among top 16 tourism markets

Among the top 16 tourism markets in the world, India is at the third last place in hotel bookings recovery for the week ended August 9, 2020, compared to the same week last year. However, in terms of weekly average recovery rate between week 22 and week 32 of 2020, India is at the absolute bottom.

This challenging trend is expected to continue as the traveller sentiment remains weak, with Covid-19 spreading in tourist centres such as Goa, Rajasthan, the North-East and Karnataka.

Globally, the US (67 per cent), China (66 per cent), Germany (41 per cent) and Canada (41 per cent) have witnessed strong recovery in the same period as restrictions ease in these countries and they move towards normalcy. India registered a 3 per cent recovery in week 22 of 2020 (May 25-31), slowly rising to 12 per cent in week 27 (June 29-July 5) and 20 per cent in week 32 (August 3-9).

These are some of the key trends observed by RateGain, a travel and hospitality technology provider that offers a suite of SaaS based products to hotels, online travel agencies, airlines and car rental firms, among others.

In India, while the week ended August 9 saw an increase in hotel reservations, the top 10 markets — Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune — saw a dip. Delhi received the most bookings in that period, followed by Bengaluru and Hyderabad, as per RateGain data.

Smaller cities gain

“The share of tier 2 and 3 towns (in hotel bookings) is increasing. Where earlier the top 10 markets were getting 90 per cent and above, the ratio last week has come down to 78 per cent, with 22 per cent bookings going to smaller destinations including Amritsar, Jammu, Coimbatore, Mysuru, Jodhpur and Rajkot. Delhi-NCR continues to see recovery on two trends — Aerocity hotels continue to receive bookings due to the Vande Bharat Mission, while recovery in hotels in Gurugram, Faridabad and Noida are due to increase in staycations and small wedding ceremonies,” said Apurva Chamaria, Chief Revenue Officer, RateGain.

RateGain works with 2.5 lakh hotels globally, with customers in 110 countries including Marriott, Wyndham, Hyatt, Lemon Tree, Royal Orchid and OYO.

Asked why the country’s booking recovery rate is among the lowest in the world, Chamaria said: “India enforced one of the strictest lockdown restrictions in the world; plus Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, which contribute to 37 per cent of hotel rooms in the country, had the most number of Covid-19 cases. Therefore, neither business travel, group bookings nor MICE is happening.”

“Hotels that are able to get the Vande Bharat Mission business are able to do 38-40 per cent occupancy but rates have taken a big beating and are down 40-50 per cent. We are trying to prepare for the next two years for the market to return to what it was, by adopting cost saving measures,” said Nirupa Shankar, Executive Director, Brigade Enterprises, who oversees the company’s hotel portfolio.

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