As the curtain falls on 2023, hospitality industry leaders reflect on a year marked by resilience and transformation. Against the backdrop of India‘s continued economic ascent and global prominence, hoteliers and related stakeholders revisit the highs and lows of a year that saw the nation surpass milestones, such as becoming the world’s most populous country and hosting over 200 meetings during its G20 presidency.
Despite the gradual tapering of “revenge travel,” the hospitality sector in India maintained its vigor, with robust demand in the leisure segment and promising signs of recovery in inbound tourism. Notably, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) and corporate travel segments displayed resilience, defying challenges posed by the hybrid work culture, the surge in online meetings, and higher airfares.
Based on insights from a study by HVS Anarock, the Indian hotel industry is poised to conclude the year with an impressive occupancy rate of 63–65 per cent, showcasing a five-percentage-point increase from 2022. Average rates are expected to range between INR 7,200 and INR 7,400, indicating a substantial year-over-year increase of 20 per cent.
Looking forward to 2024, industry leaders express optimism, anticipating sustained accelerated growth in the Indian hotel industry. Despite global headwinds and the impending general elections, the sector envisions continued expansion, fueled by growth in niche tourism segments such as religious and spiritual tourism, cruise tourism, and medical tourism. The government’s renewed commitment to the industry, coupled with a sustained focus on infrastructure development, sets the stage for enduring growth in the coming year.
KB. Kachru, Chairman Emeritus & Principal Advisor, Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia said, “In 2023, the travel and hospitality industry went through a transformative shift, witnessing a surge in demand for midscale, upscale, and luxury accommodations. Domestic tourism took center stage, fueled by heightened interest in exploring one’s own country, supported by government initiatives and events like the G20 presidency and the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023. Radisson Hotel Group continues to expand its presence in tier 2 and 3 markets across India, recognizing the growing interest in domestic tourism. In 2024, the emphasis is expected to shift towards technology-driven conveniences, sustainability, and experiential travel.”Kush Kapoor, CEO, Roseate Hotels & Resorts, opined, “The year 2023 has been the best year for Roseate Hotels & Resorts. We focused on sustainability, wellness, and enhancing guest experience through innovative products. Expecting 2024 to be even better, we aim to elevate the guest journey with delightful experiences, greater engagement, and strengthening emotional connections. We plan to launch more products under the Roseate Brand.”
Kavinder Singh, MD & CEO, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, mentioned, “The commencement of 2023 brought a positive shift for the tourism and hospitality sector. Despite challenges like heavy rainfall and landslides, Mahindra Holidays sustained impressive performance. Going forward, we aim to double the room count and have significant capex underway for new projects. The current travel landscape highlights a growing preference for staycations, leisure travel, and drivable destinations.”
Vikas Sharma, CEO, Encalm Hospitality stated, “As we reflect on 2023, it has been a transformative year for Encalm Hospitality. We moved from strength to strength with resilience, witnessed the growth of innovative offerings, and expanded our services. Looking ahead to 2024, our outlook is optimistic. We plan to continue redefining the air travel experience by introducing cutting-edge technologies, enhancing sustainability practices, and curating unique services. We are entering into the hotel sector with Transit by Encalm.”
Harish Khatri, MD & Founder, India Assist said, ” This year has seen India Assist solidify its position as a leader in the travel assistance industry. Looking ahead to 2024, our vision is resolute – to enhance and extend our services, reaching new horizons both domestically and internationally. We aim to pioneer advancements in technology and continue being the steadfast support that travelers rely on.”
The consensus among industry leaders is an optimistic outlook for 2024, emphasising sustainability, innovation, and a commitment to providing exceptional experiences that align with evolving consumer needs. The Indian hospitality sector is poised for growth and adaptation, anticipating shifts towards technology-driven conveniences and a renewed focus on well-being.