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New Years’ Eve brings much-needed cheer to Covid-hit hospitality sector

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For the hospitality sector, the weekend that ushered in the year 2022, brough a bountiful windfall, as many hotels, resorts and more recorded 100 percent occupancy -- the first time since 2019. Thanks to high occupancy levels, tariffs also rose to pre-pandemic levels, industry reports suggest. People now prefer to make last minute travel bookings instead of planning in advance in order to better adapt to the constantly changing situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, say industry leaders.

New Years’ Eve brings much-needed cheer to Covid-hit hospitality sector
The weekend that ushered in the year 2022 also led to a bountiful windfall for the hospitality industry, as many hotels, resorts and more recorded 100 percent occupancy for the first time since 2019. Thanks to high occupancy rates, tariffs also rose to levels seen before the pandemic, industry reports suggest.
“Most of our resorts did well. We were worried about Rishikesh and Goa since pick-up stalled the week before New Year, after the Omicron variant started to spread. However, a lot of the traffic came at the last minute. We were full in all our hotels in Goa and Tarudhan Valley in Manesar, Haryana, and we did almost 75-80 percent occupancy in Rishikesh as well," Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, told the Mint.
Domestic tourism in India had been on the rise in the second half of 2021, as travel restrictions were lifted while international restrictions continued to make foreign trips harder. The emergence of the Omicron variant in late November once again made international travel harder, which meant that those who wished to travel at the end of the year had to look at domestic options once more. The week starting from Christmas to New Year’s Day provided an opportunity for many to book their travel weekends as well.
“Bookings during Christmas and New Year’s eve weekend managed to surpass numbers recorded in the same period in 2020. When compared with pre-pandemic levels, we noticed that bookings at some of the popular tourist destinations, including Agra, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Shillong, and Mcleodganj saw full recovery. Bookings to Kashmir also grew manifold when compared with the same period in 2019,” said Abhishek Logani, Chief Business Officer for hotels business at MakeMyTrip, said to Mint.
Popular destinations included Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh, thanks to the early snow season, while tourist destinations like Goa, Rajasthan, the Northeast and the Andamans were also seeing significant traffic and demand.
But the rise of staycations and villa bookings in Tier I and metro cities has also become an emerging trend due to the fact that most of the popular tourist destinations were fully booked, and airfares were ruling at their premium levels.
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