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Manesar – Mixing Business with Leisure
F rom a small town in Haryana to an up and coming industrial hub, Manesar has grown multifold in the last two decades. Located 32 km southwest of New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and serviced by National Highway 48 (NH 48), Manesar falls in the Gurugram district of Haryana and is also a part of Delhi-NCR. Due to its proximity to the growing city of Gurugram and the airport, as well as improved access from New Delhi via the impending Dwarka Expressway, Manesar has become the HSIIDC’s (Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation) preferred development opportunity.
Beginning with the allocation of large expanses of land to the likes of Maruti Udyog and Honda Motorcycles in the late 1990s, the Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar has evolved over time and is now home to numerous multinational companies, such as Jaguar, Toshiba, HCL, Mitsubishi, Nestle and Hector Beverages, among others. Moreover, the UIDAI Data Centre and the Japanese-developed Manesar Eco City have added value to the industrial township in recent years. Strategically positioned on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, in addition to being located within the influence zone of the Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial Corridor, the city of Manesar becomes a likely choice of location for industries looking to move out from the teeming cities of Delhi and Gurugram whilst remaining accessible.
For hotels and resorts in the area, the corporate FIT segment is yet to see traction, currently forming less than 5% of the total demand, probably owing to the industrial and manufacturing nature of setups that form a majority of the current occupants of IMT Manesar. However, the leisure traveller is increasingly exploring Manesar and its vicinity as a possible getaway location over weekends, festivals and school vacations. Comprising of couples and families, this segment now forms close to 40% of the demand at hotels and resorts located on the outskirts of Gurugram. Other than being easily accessible from Delhi-NCR, the increasing pollution, overcrowding and hectic lifestyles in the cities are driving factors for this segment to look for a more peaceful and cleaner alternative.
The greatest demand for such resorts, however, is generated by the MICE segment which may be further split into corporate MICE and social events. For many organisations within Delhi-NCR, a two-day offsite conference in or around Manesar proves far more economical than a traditional resort location, such as Jim Corbett National Park, whilst serving the same purpose. The availability of indoor and outdoor space for team-building exercises in addition to a plethora of in-house activities offered at the resorts makes them an ideal choice for firms looking to organise their meetings and enhance team bonding at the same time. Corporate MICE today easily contributes about 50% of the room nights, primarily during the weekdays. Weddings, heavily reliant on the declared auspicious dates for the year, contribute close to 10% of the room nights in the area, as the trend of destination weddings rises. Some existing hotels and resorts are already in the process of expanding their indoor banquet facilities in order to maximise on the wedding business. Overall, the MICE segment is a prominent contributor to the food and beverage revenues of these resorts.
Apart from the traditional spa services and rejuvenation packages offered, resorts in the area are further offering innovative facilities and services to guests ranging from adventure sports, such as ATVs, zorbing, wall climbing and zip lines to more relaxed activities, such as pottery and puppet shows. Most resorts also have elaborate setups for outdoor and indoor sports activities, such as lawn tennis, badminton, cricket, basketball, carrom, billiards, squash, and table tennis. Golf courses are a much-liked feature at these resorts and three of the nine golf courses that the “heart of India’s Golfing Country” (read Gurugram) boasts of are part of resort complexes in the region. Some resorts have gone a step further to incorporate a petting zoo and camel rides for their younger guests as well as tree trails that are bar coded for the tech-savvy nature lover’s delight. Furthermore, as resorts realise the value of pets in today’s urban households, some have turned pet-friendly, extending a range of services such as grooming, play areas and pet-sitting to guests traveling with pets.
As a result of improved infrastructure in the Industrial Model Township, more multinational firms (especially in the IT industry) are beginning to set up in Manesar. Additionally, with the upcoming Dwarka Convention Centre and the associated hospitality belt, the corporate FIT and extended stay segments may see a small increase in demand in the years to come, especially for hotels situated along NH 48 and closer to the township. The major contributors to this market, however, will continue to be MICE and individual leisure. In light of the above observations, Hotelivate believes that upcoming hotels in this market can tap these demand segments by incorporating an inventory of 150 or more rooms, ample indoor and outdoor banquet spaces to accommodate up to 500 guests, and myriad recreational options.
Key Market Observations
- Average length of stay for individual leisure travellers in Manesar is 1.5 nights and ~ 2 nights for the MICE segment.
- Hotels in the market, on an average, cater to ~ 25+ weddings and 100 corporate MICE events per year.
- Average size of in-house events is 250-300 guests, whereas the average size of non-residential events is 450-500 guests.
- Annual marketwide occupancy ranges between late 40s and early 50s.
Things to do in Manesar
- Flyboy Air Safari – aerial views of Gurugram and Manesar can be enjoyed in this thrilling paramotoring experience.
- Manesar Golf Club – with a spectacular view of the Aravallis, this nine greens, 18-hole golf course spread over 45 acres challenges novice and seasoned golfers whilst perfectly blending with its serene natural surroundings.
- Classic Golf and Country Club – this 27-hole signature golf course has been designed by the renowned Jack Nicklaus and spreads over 1.2 sq. km, is also one of Asia’s largest.
- Sultanpur National Park – located on the central Asian flyway route for migratory birds, this bird sanctuary is the winter home for birds traveling from distant countries in Europe as well as from Siberia and parts of Afghanistan.
- Mata Sheetla Devi Temple – the wife of Guru Dronacharya, Sheetla Devi was a revered citizen of her village who devoted her life to caring for children suffering from smallpox. This shrine is a popular destination for pilgrims during the navratras.
- Heritage Transport Museum – set up with help from the Ministry of Culture, this museum houses a collection of rare and vintage automobiles and showcases the evolution of transportation in India.