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Domestic leisure travel to drive hotel occupancy in India: JLL

With international travel restrictions driving up the demand for domestic leisure travel in India, Goa has emerged as the fastest growing market in the hospitality sector in Q4 2020.

With COVID recovery indicators on the rise, the hospitality industry saw a revival in room night demand in the last quarter of 2020, as compared to the previous quarters of the year. According to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), occupancy levels have been growing since September 2020 and crossed 35 per cent sector-wide in November, the highest since the beginning of the pan-India lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. The real estate consultancy firm has attributed this upward spike to ‘revenge travel’ for leisure during weekends, the festival season, weddings and food and beverage demand.

Goa fastest recovering market as demand for domestic leisure travel increases

travel trends 2021 india hotel Goa

According to JLL‘s Hotel Momentum India (HMI) Q4 2020 report, domestic leisure travel will continue to drive hotel occupancies across India. International travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have led to an increase in demand for domestic leisure travel and Goa has become the fastest recovering market in absolute terms. Post-lockdown, Goa has emerged leader among leisure markets with a market-wide occupancy level of almost 55 per cent in November 2020. Luxury and upper upscale hotels in the state saw occupancy levels between 60 per cent and 70 per cent in the same month, as compared to occupancy levels in November 2019 that ranged between 65 per cent and 75 per cent, JLL said.

Hilton Goa hotel
Luxury and upper scale hotels in Goa saw occupancy rates of up to 70 per cent in the last quarter of 2020. (Photo: Courtesy Hilton Hotels & Resorts)

After a plummet during the lockdown, Goa began seeing a revival in tourism in August 2020. Speaking to Moneycontrol, Ralph de Souza, Chairman, de Souza Group, observed that the first wave of post-COVID tourists to Goa comprised travellers from metros who began renting out luxury villas and cottages long-term in the state. Amandeep Grover, General Manager, Hilton Goa Resort reported a similar trend saying the luxury resort’s guests have primarily been domestic tourists from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad.

RevPAR in Indian hospitality sector sees 54.9 per cent decline in 2020

JLL‘s Hotel Momentum India (HMI) Q4 2020 report notes that India’s hospitality industry witnessed a decline of 54.9 per cent in Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) from January to December as compared to CY2019. Goa emerged as RevPAR leader in absolute terms, despite a decline of RevPAR by 33.3 per cent in Q4 2020. Bengaluru saw the sharpest decline of 77 per cent in RevPAR in Q4 2020 as compared to the same period in the previous year. However the city witnessed a month on month growth in performance during the last quarter of 2020.

Domestic business travel to pick up from March-April 2021

Jaideep Dang, Managing Director, Hotels and Hospitality Group, South Asia, JLL, has said he expects domestic business travel to pick-up pace from March-April onwards as employees return to workplaces and travel restrictions are relaxed by companies.