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The Unstoppable Rise of Indian Tourism and Hospitality

By Ajay K. Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts

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Ajay K. Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts

The Indian tourism and hospitality industry has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India. Tourism in India has significant potential considering its diverse portfolio Leisure, adventure, MICE, Ecotourism, religious tourism, wellness and more. India’s rising middle class and increasing disposable incomes has continued to support the growth of domestic and outbound tourism. This sector is also a potential employment generator and a significant source for generating foreign exchange for the country.

"While hotels are determined to give their guests personalized and customized service, it is essential to do so in the manner that minimizes its impact on the environment"

In recent years we have seen many consolidations among hotel companies and online travel agents. Going forward, we’ll see the full impact of these changes. We have been a part of similar progress and expect bigger and positive impact from this. To stay competitive in today’s mega brand and OTA-driven world, it is really a matter of personalized services vs. one-size-fits-all.

Another disruptive force that’s going to bring in major impact is the rise of innovative technology and digital customer service. Increasingly travelers are turning to digital platforms for planning, booking and experiencing a journey. An increasing number of tasks in the hospitality business are taking place digitally.

An environment friendly initiative that hotels have started encapsulating in their system is a well appreciated approach. While hotels are determined to give their guests personalized and customized service, it is essential to do so in the manner that minimizes its impact on the environment. Usage of resources wisely, reduction in the consumption of water and energy minimum waste and recycling the wastage, plastic free approach are the trend which can be observed in coming years. And that’s an important step in the right direction.

The recent amendment in GST rates on hotel tariff comes as a big relief to the hospitality industry. The revised rates bring respite to the mid-market and budget hotels which are largely dependent on domestic travellers.

Hotels are vital part of tourism and employment generation, an appropriate tax regime will supplement all round efforts in promoting tourism in the country, benefitting both suppliers as well as consumers.

Investing in technology and offering effective cutting edge tools bring major business to hotels. Management and marketing teams add strength that makes it a formidable force. Also, merging with other hotel groups is one of the best vehicles for growth and finest way to compete in an increasingly globalized hospitality sector. With bigger scale, you get better brand recognition, expanded loyalty programs and bigger marketing budgets as well. An acquisition can be the fastest way for a hotel company to fill a gap in the type of hotels it offers and it is definitely going to lead the way.

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