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Slowdown hits five-star hotels

If you took a frugal vacation last summer, it is time to make up for it, at no extra cost.

india Updated: May 15, 2009 23:57 IST
Soubhik Mitra

If you took a frugal vacation last summer, it is time to make up for it, at no extra cost.

The economic slowdown, absence of tourists and dropping business have forced five-star hotels to cut rates to almost half of last year.

“While hotels offer 15 to 20 per cent discounts in off seasons, discounts are between 20 and 40 per cent in the peak season this year,” said Ajay Prakash, general secretary, Travel Agent Federation of India.

Agents are cashing in on the offers and making deals with holidayers who would never have chosen a five-star property.

“It is a great opportunity for budget travellers. They often go to Goa but how often can they afford to stay in the Leela?” said Himanshu Singh, managing director with travel portal Travelocity. Newer properties like Taj Hotels, Ranthambore, are offering discounts, he added.

“Traditionally, 70 per cent of Indian vacationers are budget travellers. This segment has switched to the luxury segment with the price slash,” said Ashish Kishore, head of hotel and retail business with travel portal Yatra.com. “With Bangkok cheaper than Manali the traditional luxury traveller is now going abroad.”

Three days and two nights at the Leela Kempenski, Kovallam, will now cost for Rs 10,650. The package, including two-way airport transfer from Thiruvananthapuram, daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, cost about Rs 13,500 last year.

Three days and two nights at the Ananda Rishikesh Luxury boutique hotel in Uttaranchal is coming for Rs 13,628 — inclusive of daily breakfast and dinner and daily sessions of yoga, meditation, pranayama and Vedanta classes. The deal is about Rs 3,000 cheaper than last year.