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Impact of Restarting of International Flights on the Hospitality Sector

Komal Hora Ceo & Editor Hospibuz Hospitality Lexis The Hospitality Industry was bleeding from inside due to the losses at the time of pandemic. But now things are coming back on track, by restarting the international

Komal Hora

Ceo & Editor

Hospibuz Hospitality Lexis

The Hospitality Industry was bleeding from inside due to the losses at the time of pandemic. But now things are coming back on track, by restarting the international flights industry will reset to the new normal. It’s a ray of hope for the Hospitality Industry. Interaction with the industry experts from travel aggregators to hoteliers, everyone is thankful to the government.

Rishi Puri

Senior Vice President Operations & Developmen Lords Hotels and Resorts

“It’s a big boon for the country’s bleeding hospitality industry. The favourable decision by the government of India has made this summer season more manageable for the hospitality industry and this move will ensure a steady flow of inbound travellers to explore new destinations in India. We at Lords Hotels and Resorts hope and expect the occupancy levels of hotel rooms to increase by at least 30 per cent. Keeping with the demand of the times, Lords Hotels and Resorts now has new offerings in new destinations; namely Panchgani, Karjat, Bharuch and Zirakpur. Mr. Puri, further emphasised on the precautions to be taken for a safe travel, “But, all said and done, we at Lords believe that we still need to be cautious of our surroundings and it’s our own responsibility to stay safe and maintain the required protocol by keeping our mandatory masking during travel and keeping safe distance from each other; and enjoying the contactless service our hotels are offering”.

Vineet Verma

Director, Brigade Hospitality

“The much awaited and critically needed announcement of the opening up of scheduled international flights from March 27th, has come as a major relief. Especially for the hospitality sector that draws substantial part of its sustenance from international travellers. It is safe to assume that anywhere between 30% to 50% of a business class hotel’s room revenue comes from this source. Post the announcement, we have already started seeing a revival in booking enquiries and are hopeful that we will see a healthy revival though it may still be some time before we reach pre Covid levels. Airfares that are presently at an all time high should see a major correction from April and this should further boost international travel. Unfortunately, on the other hand, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine may have an adverse impact on international travel.”

Neeraj Sharma

Vice Chairman – The Lexicon Group

The hospitality sector especially on the ‘Special Corporate’ segment is hugely reliant on Inbound International Travellers. Whilst the domestic travel can form the base for many hotels it is the international travel that drives the rate upwards and food and beverage revenue in the event spaces and private dining rooms.

This will resurrect inbound travel and tourism ahead of the summer months which will lend support to hotels in times which are normally considered slow. Q2 normally across the sectors sees softer budgets and the re-start of international travel will be like a booster shot across leisure and corporate travel segments having a positive impact on both overall occupancies and the rate.

In the last two years, the hospitality industry experienced its worst fiscal crisis since 2008 due to the pandemic induced restrictions and fear of travel and dine-out. For it to resurrect it constantly needs action incentives like the recent relaxation allowing the resumption of international flights at one hundred per cent capacity. The hospitality industry in the last 24 months has been resilient, innovative, supportive, and patient, waiting for the pandemic to subside and for the sunrise of travel. The phenomenal vaccination drive and curbing of the subsequent pandemic waves by the government has encouraged travellers to come into India on both work and leisure. The resumption of international flights will allow this, ensuring a steady flow of inbound travellers. As per me the occupancy levels should improve by at least 20 per cent across the industry and rate by 5% – 7% over the next 12 month.

India should see a reflection of the boost that was seen in Dubai when a similar relaxation was given. As per recent articles close to sixty airlines from across 40 odd countries have given approval to resume their flights. This will give the hospitality industry the necessary reboot. On a closing note, it is important for travellers, hotels, airlines, and all involved to exercise a note of caution. They need to ensure that travellers and guests follow all protocols and guidelines and not let their guard down. If we make this error and there is an additional wave – similar to what is happening in China and European countries… it will be the death nail to the industry that has stood its ground resiliently. Let us welcome this relaxation and move with a joy and with a smile shout out the words “Bon Voyage’.

Shruti Shibulal 

CEO & Director, Tamara Leisure Experiences Pvt. Ltd

“Restarting international flights is a positive decision taken by the government. This will help stabilize the economic imbalances in the hospitality sector, both domestic and international. While we are all delighted to see everything gradually getting back to normal and are set to host our guests,we are still wary of the situation and following every Covid-19 guideline to ensure their safety and security.”

Neelabh Chugh

General Manager , Renaissance Ahmedabad

This news comes to us at the hospitality industry as a good news after a really long time. With the reduced travel restrictions on international flights, there’s a new hope and opportunity amongst hotel businesses and this would lead to some sort of normalcy.

Given the removal of travel restrictions, we see the business travelers would be the first ones to get on the flights, with the pent up demand for projects. This is well timed for hotels, as the wedding season is wrapping up for a while and the domestic corporate travel is expected to gather pace. The removal of restrictions would catalyze the same. This would translate into a larger number of international visitors, who were hesitant due to the numerous restriction and quarantine rules.

The wave of the international travelers is expected to add to the growth story that India as a country is working tirelessly upon. The hotels would of course tend to gain business out of same.

We are optimistic that this is a great and much needed move by the Indian government and we welcome the abundant international opportunities and business travel that this move should kick off.

Punish B Sharma

VP Operations , The Fern Hotels & ResortsMeluha, The Fern, Mumbai

The decision of the government to restore the 5-year tourist e-visas along with the restarting of international flights is a step in the right direction. It is going to have a positive impact on both the hospitality as well as the travel industries. The decision was long awaited as there has been a continuous improvement in the overall covid scenario in the country.

The hospitality sector has been bleeding badly for the last couple of years. The worst impact has been to the business hotels in metros and tier I cities. This will help the business hotels, especially the higher category ones, in improving the overall occupancies. The five star business hotels have witnessed the ARRs dropping to unimaginably low rates, as a lot of the clientele are international travellers.  This will definitely help in improving the overall room rates as well. Besides bringing business to the country, this will also help in improving the overall image of the country.

Digvijay Singh

Director of Sales & Marketing, Indore Marriott Hotel, Marriott International

Opening of international flight corridors just before the summer break will help drive both inbound and outbound travel and we expect jump in the hotel occupancy by 15-20% depending on the location. While this is a much needed move for the hospitality sector, the airline industry has to move cautiously on maintaining a fine balance between fares and demand so that all sectors related to hospitality can gain from the impetus.

Corporate, leisure, MICE, weddings business is anticipated to grown multiple folds in the coming months which was restricted till now.

Jit Bose

Area Director of Sales & Marketing – South India 

Director of Sales & Marketing – Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park

This is great news and will surely impact the hospitality sector in many ways. 
With the starting of the international flights and India going back to working from offices, this will boost international corporate travel almost instantly. This would bring international corporate Meetings and incentives back on track. 
End of waiting for the city Hotels for international business travel to commence so that they can go back to adjust their rates. Could be a slow start but definitely from this winter India’s Inbound leisure business will be back, maybe a slow start from this summer itself. 
The India inbound business is likely to pick with the summer holiday around the corner. Over a piece of great news for all of us to cheer. 

Rahul Bajaj

Le Sutra Hospitality

Many restaurants that used foreign produce were impacted because the aircrafts and infrastructures were shut down, as well as prices of foreign products increased as there was a shortage in supply from all sources.Now that flights have reopened, tourism will pick up speed, and we’ll be able to buy better, cleaner, and cheaper products, and which also means prices won’t have to rise as much. Overall, it’s a blessing in disguise for the entire restaurant sector.

komal.hospi@gmail.com

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