Many of the Capital’s 102 registered hotels plan to hike room tariffs from October.
The hospitality industry had been reeling under the economic slump for about a year. But hoteliers now say that the fall in occupancy rates and the decline in room tariffs have been arrested after July.
While demand has not shot up dramatically, hoteliers are confident of the market picking up. Many hotels — both in star and budget categories — have already increased their published tariffs by as much as Rs 3,000.
ITDC’s Hotel Ashoka has increased its tariff by Rs 2,000. The renovated 90-room Radisson Marina, a four-star hotel in Connaught Place, has also increased its published tariff by Rs 3,000.
“This indicates that hoteliers are confident of the demand picking up in the coming season. In Delhi, the occupancy rate in hotels — in both star and budget categories – had dipped by 35-40 per cent since last October. In the last two months, hoteliers who had cut their actual room rates by up to 35 per cent have seen stabilisation,” said Deepak Sharma, secretary general, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India, an organisation representing all registered hotels in the country.
Rajendra Kumar, director, Ambassador Hotel said, “Because of the slowdown, occupancy rates in big inventory hotels (five stars with more than 100 rooms) had come down to about 40 per cent last year. But the industry is showing signs of improvement, and we are hopeful that by October it would look up.”
Sharma pointed out that
40-45 per cent hoteliers, who had earlier decided to lower their published tariffs, have now decided to leave them unchanged. These include hotels like Intercontinental Eros, The Claridges, Ramada Plaza and Jaypee Vasant Continental.
However, hospitality sector experts are advising caution and say that it is too early to predict a recovery in demand.
Manav Thadani , managing director, HVS International said, “The road to recovery is long. The slump in Delhi’s hospitality industry will be felt for at least 3-4 years.”
“We are seeing some early signs of the slump getting arrested. As of now, we do not know if it is sustainable. But we will have to wait and watch before we can actually say that the hotel industry is coming out of the slump,” said Sudeep Jain, executive vice-president, Jones LangLasalle Hotels, a leading hotel advisory group.
“The Commonwealth Games would have an impact on the hospitality industry, but it would be temporary. We are not seeing the market coming back to the 2007 level anytime soon,” said Jain.