Early in 2022, India's hotel performance recovered, but April appeared to be the turning point, with the country outperforming pre-pandemic levels in occupancy and average daily rate for three weeks in a row.
Leisure markets have continued to lead the recovery, but post-Omicron corporate travel is also returning. For the rest of May, forward bookings continue to be healthy, with most pickup remaining short-term.
Throughout 2022, considerable occupancy levels have been seen in India's most popular leisure markets, including Himachal Pradesh, Goa, and Uttarakhand, with most times exceeding pre-pandemic levels. The months after the Omicron peak, on the other hand, saw strong demand as traveler confidence increased and interstate travel restrictions were eased.
Business demand, which had been constrained following the Delta wave, has improved significantly since Omicron, with momentum picking up in late April and early May. Not only have businesses resumed travel, but so has MICE demand.
Bengaluru and Pune, which have historically relied on this category, were among the hardest hit by the pandemic's lack of business demand, but are currently among the markets with the strongest demand growth. In April 2022, Mumbai experienced above 80% occupancy practically every day.
India's hotel bookings are at record highs, according to Forward STAR. The difference in bookings from one weekly reporting period to the next, called Pickup, reveals a trend toward shorter booking periods. As a result of the pandemic, several worldwide tourism markets have followed this tendency.