Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005
Industry & Economy
Mumbai hotels seeing high occupancy rates
Tunia Cherian George
Mumbai , Jan. 4
WITH the conference and meetings season in full swing, hotels across the city are reporting occupancy numbers in the range of 80 to 90 per cent. And, despite the tsunami, hotels emphasise that it is business more than as usual. They are optimistic about business prospects right through to April.
One of the major events that will boost occupancy figures for hotels in the city is the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, which will be held between January 7 and 9. The annual event is expected to attract around 2,000 delegates from India and abroad.
The Oberoi Hotel, The Hilton Towers, The Intercontinental, Hotel Marine Plaza, and the Ambassador, are among the hotels that will be putting up guests for the event.
According to a spokesperson with FICCI, which is a co-host of the conference, reservations for the event were made well in advance and the organisation was not faced with any accommodation problems at the moment.
According to Mr Ajoy K. Misra, Senior Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Indian Hotels Co Ltd, occupancies at all three Taj Hotels in Mumbai were in the high nineties. There have been no cancellations of any significance at the Taj Hotels.
Allaying fears of the impact of the tsunami, Mr Misra said foreigners were not cancelling visits to India, as the situation was completely normal in most of the country. Even in the affected regions on the coast of South-East India, things were fast returning to normal.
"While we sympathise with the victims of the tsunami crisis and are doing our bit about that, India will be well served if we do not create panic about the whole of the country," Mr Misra said.
According to an official with the Grand Hyatt, which has an inventory of 547 rooms, average occupancy in December stood at 84 per cent. It expects occupancy to rise to the high nineties and even be sold out in the coming days. The strong trend is seen continuing through to April.
According to the spokeswoman, business was in keeping with expectations for the high-volume period of the year. Room tariffs at the Grand Hyatt have kept pace with the high occupancy numbers. The average room rate (ARR) stands at Rs 5,400-5,500 per night. This compares with an inaugural offer of $120 per night, when it threw open its doors last March.
According to a spokesperson with the Hotel Marine Plaza, which is one of the hotels designated for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, all its 68 rooms have been sold out since the second half of December.
The Secretary-General of the Hotel and Restaurant Association (Western India), Mr Shreepad M. Korde, said the average occupancy at hotels in the city was currently between 80 and 90 per cent. The sector has not experienced any problems and ARRs have maintained a rising trend.
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