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OUTLOOK for 2022 : M.P.Bezbaruah,Secretary General, Hotel Association of India

Thursday, December 30, 2021, 16:35 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

By M.P.Bezbaruah,Secretary General, Hotel Association of India

2022 has been a year of hope, survival, and subtle recovery for the hotel industry in India. Easing up of local restrictions while ensuring an aggressive vaccination drive, coupled with the implementation of strict protocols to ensure safety and hygiene by hotels provided a major relief and boost to confidence amongst the travelling community. Visitors are more cautious than before and proactively follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. Although restrictions on international travel continue to take a toll on business, recovery was led by domestic travel which helped many hotels to stay afloat. Categories like leisure and staycations saw a major uptick in demand as travellers were more comfortable visiting locations at a motorable distance to avoid crowding and immerse into experiential stays. This trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future as well
The rate per room has also largely returned to pre-covid levels as far as leisure locations are concerned. Hotels across categories in metros continue to maintain average rates and are more likely to return to usual prices by the end of this fiscal. The sentiment among business travellers is currently low owing to the Omicron scare and that is expected to take a toll on bookings during the Jan-March 2022 quarter. The impact on hotels will largely depend on how the situation with the new variant evolves. Although, many states have already put the night curfew as to contain the virus spread. The general expectation is that the real impact the new variant will hit during February and improve post-April. 
  At the same time, the recent restrictions imposed by some state governments to allow only fully vaccinated guests to visit hotels is likely to accelerate the vaccination programme further and help in building confidence necessary for growth in demand. Talking about the industry, it has been fully supportive of all national efforts to fight the pandemic and we look forward to responsive and supportive government policy to enable the industry to revive and make its full contribution to the national economy and employment creation. Our member hotels continue to follow all the necessary protocols to provide a safe and hygienic environment for travellers and hotel associate alike. Hotels encourage and remind guests to  follow  Covid-appropriate behaviour to enjoy their travel safely and to the fullest. Our industry is alive to the new trends that will shape the future—like use of technology, digitalisation, sustainable practices and increasing productivity in business"

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