Sports events turn out to be a moneyspinner for hotels

Sports events turn out to be a moneyspinner for hotels

Cricket matches and other sporting events are fast becoming significant contributors to India’s hospitality industry, hoteliers said, citing Ahmedabad’s skyrocketing room rates ahead of the India-Pakistan Cricket World Cup match as example.

Nikhil Sharma, managing director for Eurasia at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company, said the chain’s hotels in Ahmedabad, Mohali, Lucknow, Chennai and Jaipur benefitted from IPL 2023.

“Sporting events, alongside weddings, have emerged as significant contributors to the hotel industry. Cricket, kabaddi and football have generated substantial demand across various price segments,” he said. “In particular, the Indian Super League (ISL) has led to a surge in hotel bookings in the north-east region due to the growing popularity of football. Furthermore, the advent of new leagues has increased hotel occupancy rates in multiple cities, further boosting the industry’s growth.”

Santosh Kumar, country manager for India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia at travel site said the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup returns to India after 12 years and company is witnessing a surge in demand around the match dates in October and November.

“This period is expected to have a significant impact on the host city’s occupancy and availability, which has led to a spike in room rates,” he said. “We expect to see accommodations of all types, ranging from the premium and mid-hotels segment to alternative accommodation providers, benefiting from this tournament.”

Puneet Baijal, general manager of Hyatt Regency in Ahmedabad said occupancies have been upwards of 85% and even the rates have surpassed the 2019 benchmark levels.”Sports has been a major contributor. A lot of state associations are becoming active. Besides cricket, there are state-wise tournaments for basketball, volleyball, cycling and kabaddi. A lot of state-wise leagues have started to pop up, which was not the case before,” he said. “Sports is becoming an important segment to promote at the local level. Possibly in a year or two, the clubs that are competing at the state level would start competing at the national level.”For the upcoming India-Pakistan match, Baijal said the city’s hotels are booked to capacity, and there would be NRI Gujarati guests flying down and staying at his hotel for weeks after the match concludes. “We have curated packages for the event, which also include things to do after the match,” he said. Indian hotel chain Oyo claimed that it has emerged as the “preferred” hospitality partner for “numerous” large-scale sporting events, including the National Games, Khelo India, Rural Olympics, Sardar Patel T20 Cricket Tournament, and the ongoing CM Trophy in Tamil Nadu.

“We manage, monitor, and coordinate the accommodation of participants, including players and officials,” an Oyo spokesperson said.

Regenta & Royal Orchid Hotels is expecting ‘big business’ around the World Cup, said Chander K Baljee, the chain’s chairman and managing director. “Whenever there is a cricket match, we see a bump in occupancies in markets such as Bengaluru and Ahmedabad where our hotels are located.”

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