NEW DELHI: The resumption of travel after the deadly wave of Covid Delta last summer saw a paradigm shift in urban revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the country and branded hotels in Rishikesh got the highest rates last fiscal year (April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022).
Nine of the top 10 cities with the highest RevPAR are leisure destinations, led by the holy city on the banks of the Ganges, according to data collected by the hospitality consultancy Hotelivate. The tenth on the list, Chandigarh, is an edge case as it is a transit point between Delhi-NCR and Himachal, as well as a bustling business district.

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Covid has completely reversed the situation on which Indian cities – for leisure or business – command the highest hotel rates. In the latest pre-Covid budget, 2018-19, four of the top 10 most expensive RevPAR cities were the government and commercial subways of Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugramma and Bengaluru. The highest rates were enjoyed by dreamy Udaipur, now moved to second place by Rishikesh which didn’t even figure in the top 15 for fiscal 2019.
The president of the founder of Hotelivate Manav Tadani he told TOI: “We track the rates of cities that have at least five branded hotels. The latest tax due to work from home, people who work from home traveled to leisure destinations within walkable distances and stayed for longer periods, such as a week. This has resulted in an increase in occupations and room rates.
Rishikesh has several branded properties and is very close to Delhi-NCR and other major cities. “So the emergence of Rishikesh as the city with the highest RevPARs was no surprise,” Thadani said.
“Airfares are very high and driving to close distances will continue, taking higher RevPAR leisure destinations into consideration,” said Thadani.
Indian hospitality leaders admit domestic tourism kept the industry alive during the dark days of Covid. “Leisure destinations still remain the strongest in terms of both occupancy and rates. Business destinations have a lot to catch up with, “a hotel official said.

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