This is the best time to book your holiday. Intense competition and the economic slowdown have combined with normal discounts to throw up great deals for tourists.
“The slowdown has impacted the hospitality industry just as it has other industries,” Jyotsna Suri, chairperson of The Lalit group of hotels, told HT. “While occupancies haven't been very badly hit, room rates have dropped.”
Average room tariffs at star-rated hotels are under pressure in the leisure hotel segment and are estimated to have dropped by 10% to 15% this year compared to 2011-12.
However, the budget segment is still doing well. “There is no pressure on tariffs in this segment; even occupancy levels are up,” said Sabina Chopra, co-founder of travel portal yatra.com.
Most large hotel chains, including The Oberoi, Taj Group of Hotels, ITC Hotels, Hilton Group, The Lalit and Lemon Tree Hotels, among others, are making an all out effort to woo customers.
So, this summer, you could be thrown additional benefits like free meals, spa or a free room for your children or even a complimentary room for yourself if you happen to spend a few days at a stretch. These will be in addition to a discount.
Sample this: Hilton has decided to do away with the so-called “blackout dates” such as the peak period between December 25 and January 31 when hotels, typically do not offer any discounted rates. So, discounts will be on offer through the year.
“Our effort always is to offer a very compelling proposition through special promotions,” said Hilton Worldwide’s India spokesperson
The Taj Group of Hotels, Oberoi Hotels, the Lalit Group and most other large chains have introduced packages providing extended stays, room upgrades and more.
“Travelers are still keen on holidays but since costs have risen they want more value and are willing to compromise on ‘star’ categorization,” said Raghuvinder Pal Singh, director, D. Paul Travels and Tour, a leading travel agency.
A recent report on the India hotel industry by rating agency ICRA mentioned a significant addition of hotel rooms. “Supply addition in 2013-14 is expected to be robust, which, coupled with muted demand, is expected to lead to continued pricing pressure,” the report said.