‘If the Indian government actually delivers on the infrastructure plans, the hospitality sector would double itself by 2025.’
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts that owns the Ramada among other hospitality brands has charted an aggressive growth path for the Indian market.
As part of the expansion plan, the world’s largest hotel franchisor plans to double the number of hotels in India to 100 by the end of 2025, Dimitris Manikis, president, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts for Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa, said on the sidelines of THE Hotel Investment Conference South Asia
“Our plans are in sync with what’s happening in the country,” Manikis told Business Standard, pointing out that he is impressed by the Indian government’s infrastructure push and this would fuel the growth of India’s hospitality sector that is seeing a strong recovery after three successive waves of the pandemic.
“If the Indian government actually delivers on the infrastructure plans, the hospitality sector would double itself by 2025,” Manikis said.
The country presently has close to 150,000 branded rooms. This can get doubled by 2025, he added.
The developments of roads, ports, airports etc — part of the infra push — will improve accessibility to smaller towns and cities and prompt brands like Wyndham to tap into them as part of their growth strategy, he pointed out.
“To me hospitality is not confined to just hotels, it encompasses everything — from airports, roads and taxis to bars and restaurants,” said Manikis.
To be sure, this is the first time since Wyndham entered India in 2000 that it is undertaking such an expansion.
Among other things Manikis attributes this to the concept of a franchisor brand which is quite popular in mature markets like the US and Europe, gaining acceptance here.
Out of the 150,000 branded and operated hotel rooms in India, around 30,000 are owned and operated by the brands such as Taj, ITC Hotels, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts.
Close to 12,000-15,000 rooms are franchised and the remaining 100,000 are management contracts, says Achin Khanna, managing partner-strategic advisory at Hotelivate, a management consulting firm for the hospitality sector.
“I don’t see this mix changing much and management contracts will be the preferred route for operators in India,” said Khanna.
Meanwhile, even as the sector has seen a fast paced recovery since the Omicron wave receded, all India average in terms of RevPar (revenue per available room) for Wyndham still lags the pre-pandemic phase, said Manikis.
While the leisure locations have surpassed the pre-pandemic, recovery at the city hotels has just kicked in and will take at least a couple of months more to reach the pre-pandemic phase, he said. “We are doing extremely well and are close to 2019, but not yet there.”
Inbound tourists (those coming to India from countries where Wyndham has a presence) will play an important role in hastening the pace of the turnaround, he said.
Wyndham has seen a robust weekly RevPar growth in 2022 over 2021 with occupancy being consistently over 60 per cent and average daily rate being over $50 (Rs 3,800 plus) since mid-February 2022.
The leisure portfolio continues to have the best average ReVpar performance, followed by those hotels which attract a business and leisure market.
Business only hotels still need to recover the performance, he added.
Room for more: Upcoming hotels
Ramada by Wyndham Gangtok Deorali Hotel and Casino
Ramada Plaza by Wyndham, Khopoli
Ramada Encore by Wyndham, Katra Station Road
Ramada Plaza by Wyndham, Mumbai Sahar
Ramada Encore by Wyndham, Siliguri Sevoke Road
Ramada Encore by Wyndham, Viramgam
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com
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