Hospitality industry: Wedding bells bring cheer to hotels as states lift curbs
With Covid-19 cases declining and restrictions on social gatherings easing, big wedding bookings are returning to her hotel.
“Operations have normalized because Haryana has abandoned the dire measures since February 16. All restrictions have been removed,” said Choudhary, who is also chairman of the Haryana Hotel and Restaurant Association.
“Previously we were getting wedding bookings for 200-250 guests and now future bookings are coming in in droves…for around 500-600 guests. The fear psychosis in people seems to be gone. We are dealing with around seven to eight booking requests every day,” he added.
Manbeer Choudhary, chairman of Jewels Group of Hotels which runs the five-star Noor Mahal hotel in Haryana, is a relieved man. With the decline in Covid-19 cases and the easing of restrictions on social gatherings, bookings for large and large weddings at Noor Mahal are resuming.
“Operations have normalized because Haryana has abandoned the disastrous measures since February 16. All restrictions have been removed,” said Choudhary, who is also the managing director of Jewel Group and chairman of the Association of Hotels and restaurants in Haryana.
“We used to get wedding bookings for 200 to 250 guests, and now future bookings are coming in in droves…for around 500 to 600 guests,” he said. “The fear psychosis in people seems to be gone. We deal with about seven to eight reservation requests every day.”
After a dismal start to the year due to the highly transmissible variant of Omicron and the resulting brakes, February looks promising for hotel chains thanks to a substantial drop in cases, the return of business travel, to large-scale weddings and the easing of curbs in some states.
Even in states like Delhi, which continued with nighttime curfews and caps on the number of social gatherings, bookings have returned.
Tarun Thakral, chief operating officer of Le Meridien hotel in Delhi, said the hotel was booked.
“After January, which saw lockdown-like measures, many weddings were booked at the hotel,” he said.
A spokesperson for ITC Hotels said February looked “rather optimistic”.
“It is encouraging to see Welcomhotel Amritsar, ITC Grand Bharat, ITC Grand Goa and other ITC leisure destinations in Jaipur and Agra being favorites for weddings. social events at our business hotels like ITC Maurya, Delhi and ITC Grand Chola in Chennai,” the spokesperson added.
Manish Tolani, vice president and chief commercial officer for India at Hilton, said the pace of bookings and occupancy has accelerated across the board as cases dwindle and demand for events and accommodation increased. “Leisure destinations, key metros like Mumbai and Delhi and Tier 2 markets such as Lucknow and Ahmedabad are seeing a greater upturn in social gatherings,” he said.
Tolani said domestic companies might have adopted a hybrid working style in the short term, but they are encouraging business travel again, given the relevance and importance of in-person and business connections. reconnecting with internal and external stakeholders.
Most cities and markets rebounded strongly in February, said Jaideep Dang, managing director, Hotels and Hospitality Group, South Asia at JLL. “As businesses opened their doors in the new calendar year with revised travel budgets, we saw business hotels increase in both occupancy and room rates in February. flights to most commercial locations such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad saw an uptick.. Weddings in February saw better capacity as restrictions eased. wedding dates from January to March encourage hotels in the first quarter of 2022,” he added.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is seeing increased occupancy rates and bookings in markets such as Gurugram, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Chandigarh, Udaipur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jalandhar and Amritsar. “Rajasthan and Punjab are seeing a stronger surge in bookings due to eased restrictions on social gatherings,” said Nikhil Sharma, the channel’s Eurasia regional director.
Zubin Saxena, MD and vice president of operations for South Asia at Radisson Hotel Group, said the chain is seeing sustained demand from leisure and business travelers and that expected occupancy rates will promised promise in its 104 hotels in India. “With the return of weddings and social functions, our hotels in leisure destinations including Goa, Alibaug, Lonavala, Vizag, Agra and Udaipur are ready to welcome guests,” he said and added that markets such as Delhi/NCR, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Goa and Karnataka are doing well.
Destination properties Narendra Bhawan Bikaner and Suryagarh Jaisalmer are transitioning to hosting larger celebrations, said Siddharth Yadav, vice president of MRS Hotel Group.
Pramode Bhandari, Regional General Manager of THE Park Kolkata, said that February showed greater growth due to the easing of some Covid restrictions and the increase in venue capacity to 75%, which has resulted in larger marriages. “It’s certainly had a positive impact on occupancy, revenue per available room, and banquet revenue in the city,” he added.