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The Ultimate Indian Travel & Hospitality Report 2019
T he Indian hospitality industry is at an important juncture. The industry upcycle, increased inbound and domestic travel, introduction and use of new technology, favourable government initiatives, more evolved owners, a larger number of domestic and international operators, new-age hotel chains, and overall, a more forward-looking approach of various industry stakeholders together make the present times very exciting.
Amidst all this, there have been massive debates about the overall size of the Indian hospitality industry. While there are numerous estimations being made, most fail to leverage a sound methodology. So, the Hotelivate team decided to conduct a comprehensive market sizing exercise, consulting key industry stakeholders and using its experience in tracking hotel markets across the country for over two decades. We have been at the forefront of hospitality research in India for long. My team had demonstrated this back in 1995/96, when we first quantified the number of branded rooms operating in the country at around 18,000; every year since then, the industry uses our research as a credible benchmark for this metric.
Hotelivate is proud to bring to you THE ULTIMATE INDIAN TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY REPORT, which presents the results of our market sizing exercise along with the methodology used to arrive at the figures. We have also taken it a couple of steps forward by establishing the number of people directly employed by the Indian hospitality industry and the tax revenue generated by it. You may have noticed that we are specifically using the term “hospitality industry” and not “hotel industry”. We believe it’s high time that the organised sector of branded hotels in India recognises the informal or unbranded sector, represented by independent/unbranded hotels and alternate accommodation such as guesthouses and homestays, as a key industry player. To put things in perspective, the informal economy (across industries) in the country contributes as much as 40% to the nation’s GDP. In terms of employment, its dominance is way higher than the formal sector, accounting for more than 80% of the country’s workforce, per International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s estimates. Hence, overlooking the informal/unbranded segment when attempting to determine the size of the Indian hospitality industry will not only be imprudent, but also fail to provide a complete picture of how many lodging/accommodation rooms are actually out there.
As of December 2018, we peg the number of lodging/accommodation rooms in the country at 2.72 million(ME = ±7%) that operate across branded/traditional hotel chains (predominantly organic branded), new-age hotel chains (mostly conversion-branded), independent or unbranded hotels and alternate accommodation.
In addition to the industry size, The Ultimate Indian Travel & Hospitality Report presents many interesting trends and data points relating to tourism (inbound, domestic and outbound) and transportation (air, rail and coach/bus), which although available in public domain, are rarely referred to or used by the hospitality industry in an insightful manner. Part of it could be due to the lack of such information being available through a single source; Hotelivate has tried to address this issue by collating all relevant trends and statistics in this report, serving as an all-inclusive reference. Moreover, through different sub-articles, we have offered our insights on diverse industry topics, such as inbound leisure tourism to the country, hotel management contract trends, the scalable model of OYO, and hotels and online travel agencies (OTAs) trying to find their balance. Also, the performance of the branded/traditional hotel chains has been analysed and presented in detail by city, positioning and origin (domestic and international), along with pertinent trends relating to OTAs operating in India.
We would like to sincerely thank all industry stakeholders whose contributions, guidance and support made this massive research report possible. Particularly, Hotelivate collaborated with The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), Ministry of Railways (Indian Railway), several branded hotel chains and select online travel agencies in the country.
We hope you enjoy reading the report as much as we enjoyed creating it. We welcome any feedback to improve future editions and are happy to answer any questions you may have.