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Editor's Letter: Winds Of Change

After a horrid two years, the hotel the industry is well on the road to profitability

Photo Credit : Representational image: ITDC

"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." John D. Rockefeller

At long last a consistent uptick in travel, both domestic and international, is enabling the revival of the travel and hospitality sector in India. With more people travelling within the country, affiliated businesses are seeing a big uptick too. This is good news for the tourism and hospitality sector that is among the largest employment generators in India. It is a sector that brings in significant foreign exchange earnings and foreign tourist arrivals are steadily on the rise, with each passing month bringing more overseas travellers into the country. Our cover story package captures the resurgence of the hotel industry that seems to be jogging back towards profitability after the major lows of the pandemic-induced lockdowns and the resultant closures, lay-offs and financial losses.

For the first quarter (April-May-June), all key operating metrics of the hospitality sector, including the Revenue per available room (RevPAR), Average Room Rate (ARR), and Occupancy Room Rate (ORR), were way ahead of the pre-pandemic levels. Metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi and others, saw record occupancy levels. According to HVS ANAROCK, a leading hospitality consulting and transaction advisory joint venture, the ORR and ARR have been able to sustain over the pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of FY 2022-23, indicating a strong recovery.

The pan-India occupancies in June 2022 reached the 65 per cent mark (three per cent up from June 2019) along with higher ARR at Rs 5,850 (10 per cent up from June 2019). The report says that the RevPAR also improved 13 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic levels for the month. The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), the country's largest hospitality player with a presence in more than 100 centres, reported its best first quarter in the company’s history. Other listed hotel companies also posted robust financial performances for the first quarter, riding on the back of a resurgence in the travel segment.

Sensing an on-ground turnaround of the hospitality sector, the Union Cabinet recently approved a proposal to raise the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme limit for the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. In this special feature package we also spotlight the corresponding turnaround in the business of online travel agencies. We take an in-depth look at the remarkable turnaround of MakeMyTrip in the last two years and take stock of the company’s growth plans and new strategies. Read the insightful interview with the Co-promoter of EaseMyTrip that had made a successful IPO last year.

Of course, we also bring to you all our regular columns and features. As India celebrates its 75th anniversary as a free nation, we bring you opinion on where Bharat will be at 100 and where India could be in another quarter of a century. Let us march together towards a better tomorrow! Happy Reading!

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hospitality Magazine 10 Sep 2022