Local businessmen prefer service apartments to accommodate guests

Several new hotels have come into Coimbatore in the last one year and more are on the anvil. Each new facility has a host of special services and offers a different experience to its guests. Yet, the rapid increase in availability of rooms in a short period even as other businesses in the region face a slowdown seems to be affecting the hospitality sector.

Nearly 500 rooms were added in Coimbatore in the higher segment during the last one year. At least three more hotels have plans for Coimbatore in this segment. While some hotels continue to see more than 60 per cent occupancy, some are offering competitive prices and others are facing a sharp dip in occupancy levels, especially during the last seven months.

The budget and the mid-segment hotels located in the city continue to see the same levels of business. The main impact is on the higher segment, says an industry expert.

General Manager of a leading hotel here explains that the visitors to Coimbatore are both, those coming from other countries and different parts of India. Most of them stay for just a day or two as they come for business purposes or to visit the nearby places. They are not tourists who come here on a vacation. The city needs to be more engaging for the guests to stay here for a longer period.

The main businesses here continue to be the traditional industries, including textiles and engineering. Some new sectors such as education and healthcare have developed. The city has the potential for more sectors to develop rapidly and more number of international flights. The hospitality sector has, however, grown with an increase in availability of rooms in the last two years. And, most of these are in the high-end category. This has had an impact on occupancies in some of the hotels. With the economic slowdown, many of the local businesses are looking at alternative facilities such as apartments that offer all services for their guests. Many of them take apartments, guest houses, etc for accommodating their guests.

The growth of the hospitality sector depends on several factors in the city. With development of other businesses in the region, the sector will also see faster growth.

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