At least, seven international hotel chains are set to launch new brands in India this year, anticipating increased foreign tourism and higher spending by Indian travellers on vacations, weddings, and corporate events.
Homegrown players, such as IHCL, also have plans to expand their portfolio with new hotel brands. Puneet Chhatwal, MD & CEO of IHCL, mentioned in a post-result conference call, that the Tata group’s hospitality arm is gearing up to introduce an upscale hotel brand to strengthen its presence in the country. The new brand will focus on providing F&B and banqueting facilities, enabling IHCL to tap into growth in new markets and expand its presence in existing locations. Additionally, the former CEO of Lemon Tree has recently ventured into his own business with Alivaa Hotels and Resorts.
“As the Indian hospitality market experiences resurgence and growth, several hotel companies are introducing new brands to cater to the diverse demographics of the nation. Lifestyle brands such as Storii & Memento by ITC, Tribute & Moxy by Marriott, Curio & Tapestry by Hilton, and Atmosphere hotels are examples of recent entrants offering a promising future to the hospitality industry in India,” said Achin Khanna, Managing Partner at Hotelivate.
Marriott International has launched its first Moxy and Tribute hotels in India, while Indian Hotels plans to introduce two new brands catering to Tier 2 cities. Maldivian hospitality firm Atmosphere Core has ambitious plans to expand into India, aiming to launch 25 hotels and resorts in the country by 2025, with the announcement of eight properties under two brands as the starting point.
Moreover, international brands such as Hilton, Hyatt, and IHG, which historically had limited presence in the country, are becoming more aggressive in adding new brands and hotels. Hilton plans to add Curio and Tapestry to its portfolio in India, and Ronil Goa by Hyatt was introduced earlier this month, while Voco by IHG was introduced in Corbett last month.
Industry expert Karan Khanna, CFA - Director - Ambit Private Limited, explained the uptick, stating, “The rising aspirations of the burgeoning middle class and their increased propensity to spend on experiences, especially from Tier 2/3 cities and beyond, has opened up opportunities for the entire travel ecosystem. Hence, domestic and international brands are aggressively capitalizing on this trend.”
Wyndham’s top management expressed its plans to penetrate the Indian market, through multiple brands due to the tremendous “potential in India.” Dimitris Manikis, President - EMEA, Wyndham, highlighted their strategy, saying, “We target inbound tourism, leveraging the Wyndham Rewards program to showcase India’s beauty. Actively engaging the Indian diaspora in the U.S, we seek support for India’s growth and encourage hospitality investments. This multifaceted approach aims for sustainable growth, emphasizing regional expansion, cultural tourism, global outreach, and diaspora connections over the next five years.”
According to data from the Bureau of Immigration, foreign tourist arrivals are expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2024. Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, shared data on Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in the last three years, with 1.52 million in 2021 and 6.43 million in 2022. The provisional figures for FTAs in 2023 stood at 6.43 million from January till September.
One in four foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) belonged to the Indian diaspora, while around half visited India for leisure, recreation, and holidaying. Bangladesh secured the top spot among the source countries for FTAs, followed by the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada, according to data from travel consultancy firm Videc. Besides this, Videc believes that with the uptick in convention centres in India, as well as palace to hotel conversions, India is at the cusp of a boom in the travel, aviation and hospitality industry.