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hospitality | IST

Indian Hotels sees uptick in leisure travel; surge in advance bookings for Diwali, Christmas

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Puneet Chhatwal, MD & CEO of Indian Hotels Company, on Monday, said that most leisure destinations are seeing revenue above the pre-COVID levels. He further said that the company is seeing a surge in advance bookings for Diwali and Christmas. Chhatwal believes Indian Hotels will go back to pre-COVID levels by Q4.

Puneet Chhatwal, MD & CEO of Indian Hotels Company, on Monday, said that most leisure destinations are seeing revenue above pre-COVID levels.
The just ended 3-day long weekend of October 15-17, gave anecdotal evidence of a huge spike in holidaying. Unnamed sources said airline bookings went up 60 percent this weekend as airlines were allowed to book full capacity. Media reports also claim that hotel chains like Oberoi, ITC, Taj and Lemon Tree Hotels were fully booked out in certain locations. The traffic on expressways for people going out of Mumbai on Friday was also a testimony to revenge holidaying. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Chhatwal spoke at length about whether normalcy is returning and about the remainder of Q3 and Q4 looks like for the hotel industry.
“Leisure travel has been leading the charge and it is expected to lead the charge with most of the properties. I would say majority of the properties are above the pre-COVID level in terms of revenue. However, the industry is waiting for corporate and business travel to come back, which we are expecting post-Diwali,” Chhatwal said.
On Diwali and Christmas bookings, he said, “As the pricing power increases, as the number of opportunities available decreases in leisure destinations, the booking window has started increasing. However, retail rates are still at the highest level and that’s because international travel is shut and even that configuration will slowly start changing post-November 15 when we open up and if international travel starts coming back in the last quarter of this year.”
Chhatwal said Indian Hotels will see Q4 (FY22) going back to pre-COVID levels. He further said that the bounce-back has been a lot stronger than anticipated.
For the entire interview, watch the video