‘Hotel boom in southern states’

September 20th, 2008 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 20 (IANS) A total of 9,369 new hotel rooms will come into the market by the end of 2011 in the four southern states, a senior official said. “Between April 2007 and September 2008 the Department of Tourism, Government of India has approved 177 hotel projects under different star categories,” M.P. Purushothaman, president of The South India Hotels and Restaurants Association (SIHRA), told reporters here Saturday.

While Kerala leads the industry in the three star segment with 80 hotels, Tamil Nadu with six five star hotel projects leads in the top-end category.

The state and category wise new project break up are: Tamil Nadu (five star 6, four star 1, three star 22, two star 3), Karnataka (five star 2, four star 1, three star 40, two star 2, one star 1), Kerala (five star 1, three star 80) and Andhra Pradesh (five star 3, four star 2, three star 20, two star 1, one star 1).

The new rooms will take the total number of hotel rooms available in the southern region to 42,369 and the total number of approved hotels to 841 by 2011, said R. Rangachari, advisor of the association.

In the case of a five star hotel the average investment per room will be around Rs.10 million.

According to G. Venkataraman, secretary general, the industry logs an average growth of over 20 percent and there is a shortage of rooms 25 to 30 percent.

However since the beginning of this fiscal there has been a drop in demand to the extent of 8 to 10 percent owing to rising air fares and other costs.

“Though people still travel they are opting for lower category of accommodation. Corporate travellers now prefer to stay in budget hotels,” said Purushothaman.

The hotel industry may have to bear the fall out of the financial collapse of finance companies like Lehman Brothers, American International Group Inc and others, added T. Natarajan, honorary secretary.

Queried as to the proposal of setting up of hotel management institute in Tamil Nadu Purushothaman said the state government has identified four locations and the parent body The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has to select the location.

Meanwhile the hotel industry is likely to fire its first salvo against the central government’s anti-smoking rule that would come into effect from Oct 2 onwards.

“The FHRAI will file a case against the government’s anti-smoking rule in two or three days time. The body has got the legal opinions from leading lawyers,” said Natarajan.

While welcoming the government’s move, he said the time given to the hoteliers is too short to construct a smoking room with prescribed ventilation facilities. Under the new rule hotels, restaurants, discos, pubs, discos and bars are classified as public places and smoking is not allowed.

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