IHG Hotels in India continued to progress with its growth plans in 2021 by strengthening their footprint and portfolio in the country.
“We opened Holiday Inn Zirakhpur Chandigarh and Holiday Inn Goa Candolim, signed Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Jalandhar to expand in the Punjab region and debuted Holiday Inn Express in Jaipur. In addition, we announced the debut of our world-renowned extended stay brand, Staybridge Suites in India with signing of Staybridge Suites Bengaluru Thanisandra. We also launched our first Six Senses hotel in India in Rajasthan and have seen a great response for the hotel,” Sudeep Jain, Managing Director, SWA, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said.
In 2022, Jain expects to continue the growth momentum across key markets in India. “While our mainstream portfolio continues to drive growth in line with market demands, we also see huge demand opportunity for our global brands such as Regent, Kimpton, voco and the recently launched Vignette Collection. These will be launched at the right time with the right partners, at the right location,” Jain said adding that with leading brands, a resilient business model, strong cost controls and access to a healthy level of liquidity, our future trajectory looks promising, and we are optimistic of business recovery.
Commenting on the business performance, he said that given the Covid-19 situation in India continued to vary throughout 2021, the business was mixed with lows during the second wave of the pandemic and significant recovery once the situation stabilized. “Effective roll out of the vaccine and easing of travel restrictions have helped in return of consumer confidence and hotels across our portfolio register a noteworthy increase in bookings and occupancies across key destinations. Initiatives such as IHG clean promise and use of advanced technology for minimal contact across our operations added to consumer confidence. In fact, our business performance has been strong in Q4 2021, with occupancies in some cases reaching above 2019 levels. Although the rates are still slightly reduced, we have witnessed a substantial surge in overall GOP and in some cases, we have hit record revenues,” he added.
On domestic demand, Jain said that the Indian market has always been driven by domestic tourism, however, with restrictions on international movement during the pandemic, domestic travel has gained even more traction. Quick weekend getaways, staycations and intercity vacations have emerged as key trends as travellers increasingly look for a break from their routines. “We have been well-poised to capitalize on this market demand. We have run targeted marketing campaigns and promotions across different regions to cater to consumer needs and will continue to do so. In 2022, we are looking at stronger recovery as we expect domestic travel demand to continue to rise and corporate travel demand to return towards the second half of the year,” he said.