Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty to add 3 more properties in Kerala

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on May 05, 2019

Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty (GHB), which has completed one year of operations, is adding three more properties in the hospitality sector in Kerala at an investment of around Rs 1,000 crore.

The new properties under the brand Hyatt Regency, would come up in suburban Malayattur on the banks of the River Periyar, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram within one year.

“Of late, tourist arrivals to Kerala, especially from West Asia, Europe, the UK and US have started picking up. We are looking at a 7-8 per cent growth this year, with improved air connectivity and a better business environment”, said Shrikant Wakharkar, General Manager, GHB.

Key segments such as MICE, leisure and corporate travel to Kochi are on the rise, thanks to the proactive steps taken by Kerala Tourism in promoting the state. Despite adverse conditions such as the floods and Nipah Virus issues last year, GHB managed to record 40 per cent room occupancy, which is a healthy sign as per international standards.

“We expect more dynamic changes in the hospitality industry in Kerala, especially with seamless air connectivity offered by four airports. The commencement of direct flights from Tel Aviv to Kochi by Arkia is expected to increase tourist arrivals”, he told BusinessLine.

On the beefing up of security in the aftermath of terrorist strikes in Sri Lankan hotels, he said: “We don't have to wait for Sri Lanka to happen, to tighten our security. Security is our priority and our staff, who have worked in other Hyatt properties, have the exposure to handle any emergency situation.”

Asked whether Kerala as a tourist destination could cash in on the business opportunity in the wake of terror-related issues in the island nation, Wakharkar said: “We may be one of the destinations. But it would be spread across other tourist destinations such as Goa, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and even Bangkok”.

He suggested a uniform tax structure, as the current GST rates are on the higher side. Besides, room rates, especially in the major metros vis-a-vis Asian countries, are on the lower side. A hike in room rates would improve the profitability of the hospitality sector, he added.

Published on May 05, 2019

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