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Hoteliers see silver lining

Hotel industry plans to hire and increase staff.

Written by Vishakha Talreja Guha | New Delhi | August 4, 2012 1:52:09 am

The domestic hotel industry expects its business to improve in the next six months and,therefore,plans to hire and increase staff,according to a survey conducted by global travel site TripAdvisor covering more than 1,500 hotels in India and 25,000 hotels in 22 countries.

The report says hoteliers in Asia Pacific,North America and Latin America are twice as likely to report being profitable in the last six months than in Europe,Middle East and Africa who are least optimistic about the future. About 66% of the surveyed hotels in India say that the economy will improve in next six months.

“It’s surprising that hotels in India are so optimistic and believe that the economy will see a turnaround in next six months,impacting their business. Also,there are investments coming in the sector,which is a healthy sign,”says Nikhil Ganju,country manager,TripAdvisor India.

It’s no surprise that the Greece hotel sector has the most negative outlook for the rest of the year. While Indonesia,Brazil,Russia,US and India are the most optimistic,New Zealand,France,Spain,Italy and Greece have the most negative business outlook for the hospitality sector. The hotels surveyed also include speciality lodging,such as houseboats and homestays,besides star category hotels.

In fact,Indian hotels are looking at actually hiring. While most respondents in APAC reported that there would be no change in their staffing levels in the next six months,respondents in India were most likely to increase their staff this year with 39% respondents saying they will increase staff this year,followed by Thailand (31%) and Indonesia (30%).

“Hotels are still expanding and also ancillary activities,such as banqueting,MICE travel and food and beverage segments,are doing well,which requires additional manpower,” says Rohit Gupta,member,Hotels and Restaurants Association of Northern India.

While hotels have witnessed strong occupancies during the summer holiday months,around 70% hotels said they had to offer lower or same rates to attract customers. This might not spell good news for hotels,but at least travellers can expect lower room rates as 62% of the surveyed hotels in India are not looking at revising room tariffs in the fall and winter season. “The strategy of keeping room rates low to drive volumes has worked for hotels in India and they want to continue with the trend,” says Ganju.

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