Foreign trips nixed, hotels in India see ‘best ever’ season | India News

NEW DELHI: Struggling to survive since last March, hotels across sectors at leisure destinations are seeing their “best ever” vacations this winter and are selling out into the first week of January. Major Indian hospitality companies say Omicron’s concerns have led many wealthy Indians to cancel their plans to usher in the new year in foreign places. They are now looking for any good property available at any given price in destinations like Goa, Rajasthan and Hill Resorts.
Tariffs are back to pre-Covid levels at entertainment venues, if not higher. Even city hotels are seeing a healthy occupancy due to weddings and the new trend of staying or checking in locals for a few days, hoteliers say.
MakeMyTrip (MMT) says its latest booking data shows “close to 35% growth in the luxury and luxury hotel segment” compared to pre-pandemic levels.
A prominent hotelier in Udaipur said the current average five-star tariff is around 19-21,000 rupees, up from 11-12,000 rupees before the peak season started. “In pre-Covid times, peak season rates would go up to Rs.15.16,000 per day in Five Stars but now it’s Rs.21k.”
Such is the demand for leisure destinations, says Anil Kalsi, joint secretary of the Association of Indian Travel Agents, that the brave may find it cheaper to go to Sri Lanka than by air even after taking into account the Covid test fees.
For someone planning a trip, say on December 29, for four nights/five days, Kalsi said, “A return ticket between Delhi and Goa will be 25,000 rupees, and a return ticket in Colombo is 48,000 rupees. However, you can stay for four nights in five days A star hotel in Goa costs 2 lakh rupees, while Colombo hotel costs only 80-90,000 rupees.”
Due to Omicron’s concerns, the preference is to drive to nearby destinations. “The preference for drivable destinations has increased. We have seen a 30%-40% increase in bookings as of 2019,” a MMT spokesperson said.

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