Hyatt Hotels Sets Sights on India’s Thriving Domestic Leisure Travel Market

Hyatt Regency Dehradun facade

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Hyatt currently has 50 hotels in 17 markets in India. Its next 50 will be in more diversified markets of India.

Hyatt Hotels definitely has its eyes on India and the focus specifically is on domestic Indian leisure travelers. “The leisure travel market is primarily driven by Indians traveling within India and discovering the country,” said CEO Mark Hoplamazian during his recent visit to the country. 

Hyatt currently has 50 hotels in 17 markets in India. The next 50, Hoplamazian said, would be spread over 28 markets. “People are seeking out different destinations in India, and we are trying to be in many more markets around the country,” he said. 

Positive Time for Hospitality in India

The Hyatt chief also asserted this is a positive time for India as there is an increased interest in investments in the hospitality industry. The company has a long-standing partnership with the Saraf Group and jointly operates the Juniper Hotels brand.

Through the partnership, Hyatt has not only gained a better understanding of the market but has also received a significant return on investment, according to Hoplamazian. 

The hospitality sector in the East, including in India, has a high barrier to entry. “If you’re willing to put up with that barrier to entry, your returns can be very high. That is coming true, because India is ascending in terms of its demographic profile, economy, and spending power of Indians,” he asserted. 

Hoplamazian admitted that despite being a strong proponent of India over the past 15 years, he was wrong most of the time due to the difficulty. “But now, with operating performance improving so dramatically, the math works for projects,” he shared. 

He also said that the supply growth has remained low as compared to demand everywhere in the world, be it China, the U.S., or India. “This is a positive attribute,” he said. 

The Hyatt chief is, however, concerned about capital formation due to high interest rates. “New starts and new construction has declined in the U.S. In India, the same has been true. But operating performance in India is continuing to improve, so hotel owners understand that with sustained limited supply growth and the growth in demand, the longer they take to construct a hotel, the longer it will take them to reach the economies which would allow them to sustain higher interest rates,” he explained.

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