The present downturn in the hotel industry is transient, and the industry will see a rebound by the second quarter of the next financial year, said Dipinder Benjamin, founder and CEO of Morpho Hotels and Resorts Pvt Ltd. Based on this prediction, Benjamin’s group announced the launch of seven properties across the country earlier this month.
“As the Covid-19 lockdown comes to an end, leisure locations have started reporting sold out dates. We feel that room occupancy would reach 85 per cent of its pre-Covid days by the end of the first quarter of 2021-22, and that business would return to normal by the next quarter,” he said. While room occupancy is expected to see quicker recovery than the Food and Beverage (FnB) sector, the latter is also expected to improve once the pandemic comes under control.
Technology would play an important role in the hospitality sector, with app-based check-in payments gaining more traction, Benjamin said. “Even room service menus would be put be on apps, which would allow guests to order without lifting the phone receiver. Of course, the human touch in the industry will remain intact.”
Working on the principle of management contract, Morpho aims to run properties with which they can enter into long-term contracts. Goa, Darjeeling, Varanasi, Chhatarpur, Bokaro, Kasauli and Manali have been chosen by the group for its maiden launch. Morpho aims to have 250 keys operational by the end of the financial year, and has reported investment between Rs 20 and 35 million for these properties, along with generating employment for 250 people.
Some properties, Benjamin said, had started operations in 2019, but the pandemic had forced them to shut abruptly. “Flexibility offered by us to property owners has made the situation a win-win for both parties,” he said. Morpho aims to target Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as potential markets.
Along with the Indian market, the group has tied up with Wakira Investments for expansion in GCC, South Africa, and Levant countries including Egypt, Iraw and Turkey. The group has also tied up with Sumoworld in Kathmandu to develop the brand in Nepal, and is in talks for a tie-up in Spain as well.
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