G20 Summit: Delhi’s gateway to tourism

Within the G20, India’s economic diplomacy has cultivated priceless alliances and collaborations, furthermore, has boosted tourism, drawn investments, and sparked cooperative business projects in the travel industry. The outcome is a revitalised Indian travel industry that appeals to both domestic and foreign tourists.

India Business and Trade spoke with industry leaders in the tourism sector who say that the appeal of India’s tourism industry in 2023 is a reflection of its resilience and the progressive policies that characterise the nation’s progress towards becoming a top vacation destination on the planet.

Bharat Mandapam

Image Source: PIB

India is in the last leg of the G20 meeting, as the biggest meeting of the summit is scheduled to take place from September 9 to 10, 2023, here in New Delhi. The national capital is beautifully decorated to receive guests and the major venue for this grand celebration, the Bharat Mandapam at Pragati Maidan, has been lit and festooned with plants, flowers, and other holiday decorations.

And amid all the hustle and bustle and stringent security checkpoints, the national capital is also witnessing a sharp surge in travel and tourism. Ever since the beginning of the G20 Summits in India, the country’s tourism sector has been scaling new heights.

The G20 summits are the key international venue for cooperation on the most crucial issues on the global economic and financial agenda. The world’s most advanced and emerging economies are gathered together. The inaugural meeting of the Group of Twenty, or G20, took place in Washington, D.C., USA, on November 14 and 15, 2008. The meeting, themed “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy,” took place in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. The G20 Summit is now in its eighteenth iteration, with India holding the presidency for the first time.

Delhi becomes show stopper of the G20 Summit

No stone has been left unturned to beautify the national capital for this week’s G20 meeting. Every road in Delhi has been lit with fountains, sculptures and logos of the summit. With this extravagant beautification of the national capital, tourism and hotel industry leaders have also observed a surge in tourist inflow and hotel business operations.

Tarun Tahiliani, India Country Manager at KAYAK, said, “During the G20 summit in New Delhi, we’re seeing a 51% year-on-year increase in average hotel prices with the average price Rs. 11,252 and hotel searches increasing by around 20% compared to last year.”

Hosting G20 has indeed come as a golden opportunity for India and its tourism sector. There has been a grand showcase of India’s cultural diversity, handicraft and artisanal items, food and ancient relics to visit. It has been estimated that India’s tourism sector may bounce back to pre-Covid levels in 2023. The demand for hotels has picked up pace significantly. Major travel companies in India have said that hotel rooms in Delhi are available at “super-surged prices”. For instance, the available rooms in Le Meridien are priced at Rs. 60,000/night for single occupancy. Whereas, the rate for the same room in August end was less than Rs. 15,000. In the first week of September, the starting prices of rooms at Taj Palace were Rs. 25,000 (excluding taxes). However, after September 13, the same room is available for Rs. 15,000.

CEO and Co-founder of EaseMyTrip, Mr. Nishant Pitti says that there has been a 3-4x increase (almost 400%) in room prices, and this is the same for almost all 5-star properties in the Delhi-NCR region. Ahead of the upcoming G20 Summit, Pitti says that Delhi’s hotel occupancy is expected to spike and be at a decadal high of 70-72%.

“Delhi tops the occupancy chart this year with 75% higher demand this fiscal and the G20 meetings will be pivotal in this increase in demand. At the same time, we also expect an improved ARR that will further drive healthy occupancy. The G20 meetings will certainly boost the hotel room demand in the city, as thousands of delegates, officials, diplomats, media personnel, and other visitors will flock to the capital for the summit. The demand for hotel rooms is expected to grow by double digits during this time period,” Pitti told IBT.

The tourism industry entrepreneurs are expecting the occupancy rate to increase by 15%-20% during the summit period. The average daily rate will increase by 10%-15% as hotels are charging premium rates for rooms, which could lead to a promising opportunity for the travel and hospitality industries to generate more business and revenue. Renowned hotels for their luxury, hospitality, and stringent security features have become sought-after choices during the G20 meetings.

“Several hotels in Delhi have experienced increased demand and elevated room rates due to the G20 meetings. Establishments like The Lalit New Delhi, The Leela Palace New Delhi, The Oberoi New Delhi, The Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi, and The ITC Maurya New Delhi, all situated in prominent areas such as Connaught Place, Chanakyapuri, and Diplomatic Enclave, have observed this surge… We can foresee the occupancy rate to be around 66-70%. It is a substantial increase from 34% occupancy last year,” the CEO has added.

Economic boost to India’s tourism

The G20 has become a key factor in boosting India’s thriving tourism industry to new heights. The G20 framework’s thorough discussions and collaborative spirit have produced policy suggestions that have an indirect impact on the trajectory of growth for our country’s tourist sector. These conversations cover important topics including sustainability, infrastructural improvement, and economic stability, all of which have a noticeable impact on the thriving tourism industry.

Speaking to IBT, Chirag Gupta, Founder, Deyor, said, “India’s tourism and travel sector in 2023 stands as a testament to resilience and adaptability in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our recovery hinges on three key pillars: robust domestic tourism engagement, a digital transformation revolutionizing travel services, and an unwavering commitment to sustainability. The G20’s sway on these sectors emanates from its overarching influence on the global economic milieu, effectively shaping international travel dynamics and the policies that underpin our tourism practices.”

Chirag says that India’s presidency within the G20 provides a unique opportunity for fruitful collaborations and partnerships that may lead the country’s tourism and travel sectors to even greater heights.

“Substantial investments in vital travel infrastructure—comprising airports, railways, and road networks—have ushered in an era of unparalleled travel convenience, rendering the exploration of India’s diverse landscapes more accessible than ever before.”

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