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Santa brings goodies for hotels and airlines

The hospitality industry is rolling out the red carpet to travellers this festive season, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

business Updated: Dec 24, 2007 22:29 IST
Gaurav Choudhury

India is surely tuning in to the melodious carols and Yuletide food and drinks this festive season. The flights and airports are choc-a-bloc full and the hotels are'nt complaining. Perhaps it helps that the economy is in a high-growth mode.

While Goa and Kerala remain the hottest destinations, north-based travellers are also thronging to places as diverse as Naldhera near Shimla, Corbett National Park, Nainital and even Hyderabad and Bangalore.

"We are totally sold out for both our resorts in Nainital and Corbett for which we have had bookings one month in advance. Even for smaller destinations like Unchagaon has seen increased booking because of its proximity to Delhi", said Vibhas Prasad, Director (Business Development), Leisure Hotels.

The hospitality industry is rolling out the red carpet to the traveller seeking to make the best of the world's largest festival leading up to the New Year.

"Since the holiday for Id on Friday got combined with a long weekend culminating into Christmas Day, there has been mainly family groups coming in. While we do accept corporate bookings too, but we prefer to restrict bookings to groups not larger than 10 to 12 people.

“This helps us to maximize personalised attention to families and maintain the ambience of the resort. Corbett mainly attracts a sophisticated customer who seeks high standards of hospitality and comfort", said Prasad.

The upmarket Metropolitan Hotel, in New Delhi has unveiled special winter packages to its guests. Aubrey Mullerworth, General Manager, of the hotel said that there is always a buzz around the Christmas season in the industry. "A trend, however, is emerging where Indians are preferring to go overseas locales during the season", he said.

A top executive of a leading hospitality chain, who did not wish to be identified, said that hotels have hiked tariffs by 100 per cent as compared to the regular tariff, although the celebration package offered by most hotels includes freebies like complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, meals and spa treatments, besides other things.

Jaideep Anand, General Manager, Ista Hyderabad said his hotel is offering special innovative packages including late check-out time at 4 p.m. as guests would party well into the morning on Christmas eve.

Goa, with its magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendours of its temples, churches and old houses, however, remains a firm favourite with travelers around the world.

"The allure of Goa is that it remains quite distinct from the rest of India and is small enough to be grasped and explored in a way that other Indian states are not and almost all hotels are booked to capacity during this time of the year,” said Pradeep Kalra, Vice President Sales & Marketing Sarovar Hotels and Resorts.

Among the hill stations, Mussorie is among the favourite destinations.

"Mussoorie's advantage is its proximity to Delhi by all modes of transport. Besides, the hospitality industry is well entrenched offering high standards of service," a spokesman of Jaypee Residency Manor said.