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Hotel tariff takes a tumble

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By GARIMA SINGH NEOGY in Delhi
  • Published 2.05.09
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New Delhi, May 2: Major hotel chains have slashed room charges by up to 30 per cent because of falling occupancy rates on account of the recession.

Jyotsna Suri, chairman and managing director of The Lalit Hotels, told The Telegraph, “The January-March quarter has been disastrous compared with the corresponding period last year. The drop has been substantial and hotels across the country are seeing great volatility in pricing”.

Though hotels are not coming up with the exact rates, travel agents say a five-star room in Delhi is now available for Rs 6,000-9,000.

Even attractive packages offered to woo tourists failed to boost occupancy.

“In our estimate, it’s an average drop of 40 per cent in the metros. Tourists are being offered lucrative rates after a good bargain. These range anywhere between Rs 6,000 and Rs 9,000,” said Subhash Goyal, chairman of Stic Travels.

The hotel industry has been witnessing a slowdown since November last year, with leisure and corporate travel taking a backseat after the Mumbai terror attack.

According to Sanjay Pasricha, vice-president (marketing and sales) of the Leela, the global slowdown and the shift to new cites like Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore have been the two major hurdles. India Inc’s cost-cutting measures have also contributed to the decline in room rates.

However, hotels like the Leela and the Imperial say bookings have started pouring in for the winter season. Hotels saw a lot of cancellations for bookings made till April this year.

Silver lining

At a time when the tourism industry is feeling the heat of the global economic slowdown, it’s business as usual for travel agents making bookings for tour to religious destinations.

“We are continuing to receive bookings for religious destinations. Business is normal and largely insulated from other kinds of tourism,” said Goyal.