SHORTAGE of premium-class hotel accommodation is no longer a problem in the metros. A surge in the number of business travellers and tourist traffic, over the past two years, has left city short of at least 500 rooms!
Every morning, a flood of senior corporate executives and tourists arriving at the Amausi airport end up staying in hotels not of their choice as prior room bookings have become a norm with most top-end hotels in the city. Currently, the city has a little more than 600 rooms which could be considered as premium class accommodation by business travellers and tourists. The rest are plain vanilla “air-conditioned” hotel rooms occupied by guests in properties located in congested lanes and by-lanes of the city only when rooms are not available in top-end hotels.
A corporate executive or a tourist arriving in the city especially in the peak marriage season between April to June and October to January without prior room bookings is most likely to be greeted by a ‘No Room’ sign right at the reception counter of even B-Grade hotels in the city.
A few months back, the Managing Director of a large multinational company sat in the Business Centre of a five-star hotel for nearly three hours in the afternoon before being allotted a Standard Room which was never his choice.
Agitated by the long wait for a presidential suite type accomodation, the Managing Director took the evening flight back to New Delhi the same day after holding a meeting with his colleagues in the city.
Vijay Pandey, General Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Hotels & Restaurant Association (UPHRA) explains : “A sizeable chunk of the business-traveller traffic in Lucknow and Kanpur these days also comprises foreigners invited by local industrialists for seeking foreign investment. The availability of hotel rooms is under pressure especially in Lucknow as there are an equal number of tourists seeking accommodation in star hotels at the same time in any season”.
He said the city was in dire need of 500 new rooms to accommodate the rising number of business travellers and tourists. “These days if you are looking for accommodation in even 70 of the top-grade hotels which are UPHRA members in Lucknow offering premium-class accomodation, prior reservation of rooms is a must,” Pandey said.
The situation isn’t happier in cities such as Agra or Varanasi which have a similar problem of room-shortage for business travellers and tourists, he added.