With the economy on the path to recovery, it’s business as usual for the leading star hotels in the state.
The onset of the peak tourism season this year has boded well for these star hotels which had to pass through a rather lacklustre phase in the same period last year. The economic downturn which began in the second half of 2008-09 coupled with the communal riots in the state's Kandhamal district had hit the revenues as well as the occupancy levels of the star hotels.
However, the luxury hotels have bounced back this year, recording occupancy levels of more than 80 per cent. The positive trend which has started from December last year is set to continue up to March 2010.
“Star hotels in the city are witnessing occupancy levels of over 80 per cent, riding on the back of a growth in leisure as well as corporate travel segments. While the city has seen the resurgence in corporate travel, the surge in leisure tourism segment has been noticed especially in Puri where the star hotels are recording almost 100 per cent occupancy these days”, said a senior official of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa (HRAO). It may be noted that the occupancy levels as well as revenues of the leading hotels in the city had shrunk by 15-20 per cent during the peak tourism season of 2008-09.
This time, the star hotels in the state have been able to maintain high occupancy levels despite 15-20 per cent in average room rent, the official added. Sandeep Sharma, general manager, Hotel Hindhusthan International-Bhubaneswar said, “The first quarter of this fiscal was rather a difficult phase for us but business has picked up after July 2009. In the beginning of the peak tourism season, we are witnessing an occupancy level of 90 per cent.”
Majority of our revenue comes from the corporate travel segment but this time, the growth has also been noticeable in case of leisure travellers, he added. “The beginning of the peak tourism season has meant brisk business for our hotel. We are now recording an occupancy rate of 85 per cent and this mainly driven by the corporate travel segment”, said Sailendra Pattnaik, vice president, Presidency Exotic Travels.
The different category star hotels in the state maintain an average occupancy level of 60-65 per cent throughout the year and the occupancy levels rise to around 80-85 per cent during the peak tourism season. According to industry estimates, the star hotels in the state clock an average revenue of about Rs 3.5 crore per month out of which Rs 2 crore comes from the corporate clients and the leisure travelers’ account for the remaining revenues.