“Business is looking up. As we speak, March, April and May 2022 are ahead of same months of pre-pandemic 2019 in terms of occupancy. Tariffs also are higher except in certain business destinations like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Mumbai is now showing very strong demand recovery. In leisure destinations, tariffs till May are higher by 30% over same time of pre-pandemic 2019,” Taj parent Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) MD & CEO Puneet Chhatwal told TOI.
Previous black swan events like 9/11 and the 2008 economic crisis saw tariff recovery take a long time. However, now the industry expects a swifter return due to supply constraints as priority will be given to projects already in the works and new launches will be staggered. The opening of regular international flights from March-end could provide a breather later in the year.
“April to September period has historically seen demand mainly from domestic travellers due to climate challenges (extreme heat and rains). International visitors mostly come from October to March due to which H2 sees higher revenues. A certain amount of foreign inbound happens throughout the year due to the Indian diaspora that comes visiting friends and relatives,” Chhatwal said.