A series of big-ticket international events is breathing new life into the sagging business of hospitality industry in the Millennium City.
Recently, the city hosted 18-nation Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation. Next in the line-up is the World Economic Forum meet starting Wednesday.
The factors such as proximity to Delhi and airport and excellent connectivity to other cities and space make Gurgaon the sought-after destination in the NCR. And it’s not just the MICE business (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) that’s keeping the hotels busy but a host of national and international musical and cultural events are pushing their business a few notches up.
“Majority of the delegates, including 18 foreign ministers, their entourage, stayed with us during the Indian Ocean Rim-Association event for which we booked about 80 rooms apart from hosting the event itself,” said Kapil Chopra, executive vice-president of the Oberoi Group of Hotels.
However, even as hotels are benefitting from the events, the clients, too, get a good deal. “We have created a hotel that compels organisers of signature events to come to us,” said Kapil Chopra, adding Oberoi’s Gurgaon property scores over its older counterpart in Delhi for being more contemporary in design and more sprawled due to the availability of large land parcel.
The primary demand for hotel accommodation in Gurgaon comes from the business segment, given the fact that the city houses more than 250 Fortune, 500-listed companies.
The story so far
From nearly 250 upscale branded hotel rooms with just one five-star hotel by the name of The Bristol, till 2004, Gurgaon has grown to about 2,500 four- and five-star rooms presently and as many odd rooms in the three-star category. Of the 27 CLUs (change of land use) permissions granted for upscale five -star hotels in Haryana in 2007, 24 CLUs were given in Gurgaon alone. Ten of them have already been thrown open for public.
Not all of them, though, get to do brisk business as the rise in number of hotels has led to tough competition affecting substantially lower occupancies —60% in 2008 to about 40% presently — and huge average tariff correction (Rs. 10,000-Rs. 12,000 in 2008 to Rs. 5,000-Rs. 6,000 at present).
“There has been correction in pricing, as a result of new hotels opening and softer macro-economic conditions globally during this year. But in the long run, the hotel business will reap good results,” said Vinay Gupta of Hilton’s DoubleTree.