The city saw one of best figures in room occupancy in a decade in the five-star and five-star deluxe categories over the last three months. Thanks to conferences, weddings and an effect of Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, the average room tariff also went up significantly during these months.
The average room rent (ARR) in Kolkata went up from Rs 5,100 in 2018 to Rs 5,200 in 2019 despite the addition of nearly 509 rooms in the super deluxe category with the opening of ITC Royal Bengal.
Over 500 rooms were also added in the business class category in the vicinity of the airport, including New Town. There were at least 20 days in November, December and January when the rooms at star properties were sold out. Sudesh Poddar, secretary of Hotel & Restaurant Association of Eastern India, told TOI that the winter quarter — September to December, extending up to January — was great for Kolkata hoteliers. “The occupancy during this time was as high as 85%-88% compared to the annual average of 65% in the city. The average room rent went up to Rs 8,500- Rs 9,000. The annual average is Rs 6,500. Some days even saw 100% occupancy,” he said.
Westin general manager Subhas Sinha pointed out that the average room tariff during the period rose by around Rs 1,000. “The idea of Biswa Bangla Convention Centre has worked. It is now attracting lot of conferences. The average attendance in such conferences is over 2,000. So star category hotels are getting good businesses,” he added. According to him, Kolkata has also developed as a wedding destination over the last few years because it’s cheaper and offers good infrastructure and facilities.
A top executive of another star hotel in the city said most of the big industrial families hail from Kolkata. In the last couple of decades, their major events, including weddings, have been held at hotels. “Weddings are a big business in Kolkata and sustains the hospitality industry. ,” he added.
Atul Bhalla, regional head of ITC hotels, felt that Kolkata experienced buoyancy throughout December. “ITC Royal Bengal and ITC Sonar registered a growth of at least 77% in occupancy and average room tariff of over Rs 10,000. In January, we had conferences and exhibitions when we had an inventory of 600 rooms and 1 lakhsqft of banquet space was fully blocked,” Bhalla explained.
An Oberoi Grand spokesperson pointed out that in the last two months the city experienced multiple events that pushed the hospitality sector growth. “This led to an increase in our average occupancy of 85%. We also saw multiple 100% occupancy dates,” he said.
Source: Times of India