Industry insiders, however, maintain that the situation is better compared to 2020 and that hotels are slowly seeing a recovery in business, hosting small-scale exhibitions, conferences, and even weddings, in addition to a few travelers. ‘business. Even hotels with restaurants that have good alcohol sales can survive now despite low room occupancy rates.
“Business is slowly picking up in hotels in the city. But demand is not in line with supply, and as a result, many hotels in the city and the outskirts remain closed. In open hotels, the occupancy rate is mostly between 30 and 50% with a slight increase in a few days. Most five star hotels are open, but 40-50% of four and three star hotels remain closed, ”said Riaz Ahmed, president of the Association of Licensed and Classified Hotels of Kerala (AACHK). Of the five hotels owned by Ahmed, only three are currently open.
One concern now is that tourism activity is extremely unpredictable and that nothing can be planned in advance, industry sources have said. In the past, customers often booked in advance, but most reservations are now made a day or two before travel.
Ahmed said it was not profitable to run his business without adequate tourists — due to the high cost of labor, electricity and maintenance. “These closed hotels will operate as soon as people start to enter,” he said.
Many hotels welcome foreign tourists who come on vacation or for medical tourism, in addition to domestic tourists. With the arrival of international travel expected by Christmas, hoteliers and tour operators hope that tourism will rebound.
“On weekends, the occupancy rate is now almost 95% to 100% and during the week, it exceeds 50%. Most hotels have stopped offering discounts as this is no longer economically feasible with increasing costs. In addition, the Malayalis, who currently make up the bulk of guests, are ready to vacation in a resort or hotel, ”said Suresh Kumar, general manager of Ramada Resort.
But many admit that things will remain uncertain until the state continues to report high numbers of Covid. The hospitality industry suffered a major setback after the 2018 floods in Kerala, when the number of tourists — domestic and international — arriving in the state declined. In 2019, businesses started to recover, and then the Covid brought the travel and tourism industry to a complete halt for more than a year and a half. Now, even as things improved after Diwali, bad weather conditions played a spoiling role.