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Extended weekend brings cheer for hoteliers

Swaraj Baggonkar & Sapna Agarwal  |  Mumbai 

Hoteliers are celebrating bunching of holidays and scheduled events along with the weekend, as these have helped them beat the slowdown.

Voting for the general election in the western region on April 30 (Thursday), coupled with Maharashtra Day on May 1 (Friday), is helping hotels sell almost their entire inventory. Maharashtra government offices, banks and stock exchanges are shut on May 1. Mumbai is considered the country’s commercial capital.

“Bookings for our properties in Goa and Mysore took place a month ago. The inflow from Mumbai is the largest and the demand has been encouraging,’’ said Keshav Baljee, co-promoter, Royal Orchid Hotels.

Already, top leisure properties like Leela Kempenski, Goa; Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa; Radisson Resort & Spa, Alibaug; Royal Orchid, Goa and Mysore; and Club Mahindra Varca Beach Resort, Goa, are enjoying a near sell-out.

Most hoteliers are maintaining their room rates, while some are throwing in joint packages involving discount coupons. Some have reduced room rates by 15-20 per cent.

Sahil Resorts and Spa, which owns the Radisson Resort & Spa in Alibaug, has already sold its inventory of 88 operational rooms for the long weekend, though there has been no change in room rates.

“We had a complete sell-out of the Alibaug property a few weeks back,’’ said Ajit Dharmadhikari, executive director, Sahil Resorts and Spa.

Some hotels are enticing customers by way of value-added offers both in terms of room rates and promotional schemes at the food and beverage department.

“We are targeting the domestic traveller at this time of the year with the recession-proof holiday scheme. The scheme has worked well as we are completely sold out for (April) 30, (May) 1st and 2nd,” said Sanjay Pasricha, vice-president (marketing and sales), Hotel Leelaventure.

However, city-based luxury hotels, which generally are patronised by business travellers, continue to grapple with high vacancy levels.

First Published: Thu, April 30 2009. 00:20 IST