Weekend hotel getaways from Delhi cost a bomb

Weekend hotel getaways from Delhi cost a bomb

Tech News

NEW DELHI : Many national capital region (NCR) residents seeking a quick getaway to nearby resorts to take advantage of the long weekend and escape the G20 summit-related curbs were left stranded at home as their preferred properties were either fully booked or offered only a few rooms at exorbitant rates.

Check-ins at Gurugram’s ITC Grand Bharat resort this weekend will cost approximately 40,000, including taxes a night for a room for two, while Heritage Village Resort & Spa in Manesar-Gurugram will charge above 19,000. Neemrana Fort-Palace is sold out, and The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake, owned by Taj Hotels, is selling a room for 17,000 a night, including tax.

Work-from-home mode in NCR due to the G20 Leaders’ Summit, as well as the Krishna Janmashtami holiday on Thursday, prompted many Delhi residents to explore weekend getaways.

The rise in rates reflects a 30-40% jump in demand for both drivable destinations and other locations like Goa, Port Blair, Chandigarh and Kochi as well, said Indiver Rastogi, president and group head of global business travel at travel company Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC Travel.

The country has about 18 long weekends this year, a few of which have been extended weekends where several travellers take off by combining holidays over Friday and Monday to make it a four or five-day weekend. Two such weekends were in March and April, and one in August over the Independence Day weekend. This year’s Independence Day weekend room rates were 10% above last year’s and 35% above the rates in the last pre-covid year of 2019.

According to Thomas Cook data, airfares from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune to India’s Tier 2 and 3 cities are also up 20-50%, as business travellers and migrant workers troop out at a time of limited flight seats. However, airfares for holiday locales have seen merely a marginal 5-10% increase in September.

Courtyard by Marriott Aravali Resort, part of Marriott’s NCR portfolio, expects all rooms to be sold out from Friday to Sunday. General manager Rajneesh Kumar said the resort has already managed to sell about 80% of its inventory, even though resorts further away from the city, within driving distance and with pleasant weather have seen the biggest jump in room rates.

“There is an upward surge starting earlier from Friday itself this week rather than Saturday. Generally, it is a two-day weekend for us, but this time, it will be three nights. We expect a full sell-out at about a 25% premium over regular weekends,” said Kumar.

In addition to the domestic rush, Thomas Cook India has also seen a jump in demand for short-haul outbound destinations, including the Maldives, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia Mauritius, Dubai-Abu Dhabi and Oman.

Noormahal Palace Hotel in Karnal has seen a 15% increase in room rates for the long weekend. Colonel Manbeer Choudhary, chairman of Jewels Classic Hotels Pvt. Ltd, which owns the hotel, said it has experienced high demand during this G20 weekend as Delhi residents tried to make the most of this extended four-day weekend. “The push of the high demand has upscaled tariffs by approximately 15%. Noormahal Palace is upbeat about the expected sold-out weekend,” he said.

IndiGo, the largest airline in India, has introduced a 10% discount sale. According to Bharatt Malik, senior vice president for flights and hotel business at Yatra Online, generally, this is not a high season for the hospitality industry, so any business is welcome. In pockets, there will be an increase for areas like Gurugram and other resorts in locations like Vrindavan due to the religious festival of Janmashtami, Malik said. Normally, 55-60% of travellers on Yatra’s platform book within three days of travel and have picked up a decent amount of inventory around the city, Malik added.

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Updated: 08 Sep 2023, 12:31 AM IST

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