EIH Ltd that runs the Oberoi and Trident chains of hotels is apprehensive that from September onwards, international tourist inflow would be severely affected, owing to the Swine flu pandemic. This may be a telling blow for the country’s hospitality industry in the coming months.
Speaking to reporters after the company’s fifty-ninth annual general meeting, EIH Ltd Chairman PRS Oberoi said that early signs of recovery in the hospitality sector following the economic slowdown might only happen after October 2010.
"Occupancies and average room rates continue to fall resulting in lower profitability," Oberoi said. EIH's average room rates have fallen 30 per cent. "We have seen how the hotel industry was affected during the 1991 slowdown, during 9/11 and also during the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, but this slowdown is the worst in my memory.”
Oberoi also said that EIH would spend Rs 250 crore till 2011 in new hotel properties and renovating existing ones. It has recently decided to run a 100-room Trident brand hotel under management contract at Dehradun. Constructions of a 299-room Oberoi hotel and a 326-room Trident hotel are underway at Hyderabad.
The company is also constructing hotels in Mumbai and Gurgaon. It is also planning hotels in Abu Dhabi, Oman and Morocco.