Ho­tels cau­tiously op­ti­mistic in 2015

The two-day event of Ho­tel In­vest­ment Fo­rum In­dia (HIFI) 2015 re­flected the cau­tious mood of the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor and the chal­lenges the ho­tel in­dus­try is fac­ing to­day.

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Amidst volatile mar­ket sit­u­a­tion, high debt costs and soar­ing land prices, HIFI 2015 re­flected the cau­tious mood of the ho­tel in­dus­try. De­spite the rel­a­tively mar­ginal re­vival in oc­cu­pan­cies and RevPARs in ho­tel busi­ness in In­dia in the sec­ond half of the 2014 af­ter the as­sump­tion of the new gov­ern­ment, the in­dus­try is yet to find com­fort as room rates are not pick­ing up in many mi­cro mar­kets. In­dus­try play­ers delved into cru­cial is­sues of fu­ture plan­ning of op­er­a­tions, ex­pec­ta­tions from op­er­a­tors, devel­op­ment out­look, se­lec­tion of op­er­a­tors, etc.

Ac­cord­ing to Vi­jay P Thacker, Direc­tor, Hor­wath HTL In­dia, con­fi­dence of the in­dus­try has im­proved ever since the new gov­ern­ment un­der Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi came to power. Make in In­dia, e- Visa ini­tia­tive, Swachh Bharat mission, etc. have brought a long-term at­ti­tu­di­nal change, he felt. Pre­sent­ing the ‘ Out­look for the In­dian Ho­tel In­dus­try’, Thacker said, “Al­most 10,000 new ho­tel rooms have been added into the or­gan­ised room in­ven­tory last year and around 30,000 more rooms are ex­pected to be added in the next three to four years time. De­mand cre­ation is the only way for­ward.”

Re­gard­ing the chal­lenges the in­dus­try is fac­ing to­day, he lamented, “The struc­ture of fund­ing in our coun­try is in­con- sis­tent. Thus, debt fund­ing con­tin­ues to be a con­cern for the ho­tel in­vestors.” He also warned the in­dus­try stake­hold­ers against heavy dis­count­ing to keep cash flows go­ing.

Talk­ing about the ‘ Eco­nomic Trends Sur­vey’ re­port, James E Burba, Pres­i­dent, BHN opined, “Eco­nomic sen­ti­ments are go­ing to be bet­ter in key mar­kets, in­clud­ing the US and South East Asia in 2015 com- per cent, av­er­age rates de­clined by 2.70 per cent. Ho­tels in In­dia have to ex­plore strate­gies to im­prove rates,” she stated.

High­light­ing the gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives to boost tourism in the coun­try, Dr Lalit Pan­war, Sec­re­tary-MoT, com­mented, “Al­most 40 per cent of the source mar­kets are cov­ered un­der ETA now, and af­ter the pro­posed ex­pan­sion, this would go up to 63 per cent of the mar-

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