Hotels and restaurants set for bookings bonanza in October on back of pent up demand – The Economic Times

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ITC Hotels chief executive Anil Chadha said going by the current trend and surge in domestic traffic, bookings are expected to continue into the New Year. “We are seeing huge traction at leisure destinations pan India, with some destinations doing exceedingly well,” Chadha said.

October sales and bookings at hotels, restaurant and bars are set to outpace pre-pandemic levels with surge in pent-up demand, revenge travel and revenge eating setting in, which is expected to continue through the new year, executives said.

“In our estimation, this season should see better numbers than 2019-20, with all DLF malls showing good recovery in August and September,” DLF Retail Malls executive director Pushpa Bector said. DLF Retail operates premium malls under the DLF Shopping Malls franchise and retail destination Cyber Hub.

ITC Hotels chief executive Anil Chadha said going by the current trend and surge in domestic traffic, bookings are expected to continue into the New Year. “We are seeing huge traction at leisure destinations pan India, with some destinations doing exceedingly well,” Chadha said.

The hospitality sector was among the worst hit last year, with mass closures, large scale job losses and two waves of the pandemic. But with easing of restrictions, increased vaccination and lower Covid-19 cases, occupancies and dine-ins have been improving steadily post August.

“We are hopeful that November and December will be the best in a decade provided there is no rise in cases and no third wave,” Massive Restaurants MD Zorawar Kalra said, adding that some of his restaurants have seen a return to demand crossing 90% of pre-pandemic numbers. The company’s brands include Masala Library, Farzi Cafe and Made in Punjab. Rajiv Kapoor, general manager at Fairmont Jaipur, said the hotel is already seeing a 15-20% uptick in bookings compared to last month. “The shraddh duration will get over in a few days and we have been getting a lot of travellers in groups.”


The festive quarter is the single largest period of consumption in the country, with back-to-back festivals, followed by New Year celebrations. Kylin India managing director Saurabh Khanijo said October is looking set to cross regular pre-pandemic sales.

“The festive sentiment has kicked in in full swing, and compared to last October, people feel secure with the vaccination rate reaching 90%.”

The September 2021 edition of HVS Anarock’s monthly publication Hotels & Hospitality Overview stated that India’s hotel sector continued to improve in August, reporting the highest nationwide occupancy rate since the onset of the second wave.

“The onset of festive season should erase the memories of what we had seen earlier. Majority of the population has been vaccinated and we’re witnessing revenge eating which should sustain,” said Anjan Chatterjee, chairman of Speciality Restaurants which operates Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta and Sigree said.

In an interview to ET this month, Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) managing director Puneet Chhatwal had said most of the leisure destinations are outperforming themselves compared to pre-Covid levels. “Our hotels in Theog, Rishikesh, Goa and Rajasthan have done well. Corbett, a small and offbeat destination, is doing double the pre-Covid numbers,” he had said.

The hospitality industry had a hard time recuperating from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Months of lockdown restrictions last year had led to large scale closures of hotels, restaurants and bars and job losses. In June this year, data shared exclusively with ET by industry tracker STR showed about 270 branded hotels totalling around 20,000 rooms had temporarily closed in India due to the second wave.

According to the HVS Anarock report released this month , Chandigarh, Mumbai and Delhi were the market leaders with occupancy rates of over 60% for August, surpassing industry expectations. Average daily rates are also improving across markets according to the publication, with Goa and Chennai leading the way.

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