1 October 2016 | News

Popular trends in the hospitality sector

Trends in the hospitality sector are changing rapidly in an attempt to enhance the experience of the guests. Budget hotels, increased digitalisation and boutique hotels are some of the trends creating a breakthrough in the Indian hospitality sector.
The evolution of Indian economy and greater disposable incomes have led to Indians embracing travelling for both business and pleasure with open arms. This, in turn, has helped the hospitality industry to witness growth in demand as well as investments. The industry is evolving at a rapid speed to address the changing needs of today’s consumers.

Here are some significant trends being witnessed in the hotel and hospitality industry:

Fractional ownership
A fairly new concept in India, fractional ownership is becoming increasingly popular with busy professionals looking to maximize their vacation time. Jai Sreedhar, Vice President – Business Development & Sales, Aiana Hotels & Resorts LLC explains, “This model allows investors to own a part of the title of the hotel or resort asset. The model gives the developer of the hotel genuine access to funds at a competitive rate while the owners get an opportunity to use their fraction as a holiday home or earn revenue out of their share of ownership.”

Boutique and budget hotels
The country has been witnessing mushrooming of boutique and budget hotels which offer personalised services and intimate designs at affordable prices. Quirky and thoughtful décor is an important characteristic of boutique hotels which lends them a personal touch, distinct from major hotel chains. Budget hotels such as OYO rooms have found favour not just with the salaried individuals but even with the upper middle-class since these segments are upgrading themselves to compete with the comforts provided by branded hotel chains at much affordable rates.

Rising FDI
Another prominent trend in the hospitality industry is the growing interest of foreign investors. Experts share that the hospitality and tourism sector is among the top 10 sectors in the country that has reported the highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the sector attracted close to $9.23 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between April 2000 and March 2016. This trend can be attributed to the rising number of global tourists and the recognition of the industry’s potential.

Greater digitalisation
Perhaps the most significant development in the industry is the growing use of technology and internet, including social media, by consumers as well as hospitality brands. With the increasing penetration of smartphones and internet, walk-ins at hotels have reduced since a major chunk of people tend to search and book hotels right from their digital devices. Maintaining an active online presence has become indispensable for hotels to survive in today’s competitive scenario. Online check-ins have also become common to avoid the hassle of queues upon arrival.

“With the evolving trends and competition prevailing in the market, hospitality industry is moving very much in tandem with the real estate sector,” shares Dhiraj Jain, Director, Mahagun Group. Industry experts are confident that the sector has immense growth potential in India and is expected to benefit from the e-visa scheme which is likely to double the influx of tourists in India. Reports expect that India will become the fastest growing country in the wellness tourism sector over the next five years with over 20 per cent growth annually by 2017. Hence, the evolution of the industry is likely to gather further impetus in the coming years.