The hospitality sector in Coimbatore district has seen a rebound after COVID-19 lockdowns and is hopeful of another exceptional year.
In the rural areas of the district, home stays and luxury hotels had high bookings during the last two months as people were travelling from different parts of the country for summer vacation.
Pravin Shanmughanandam of By the River Side, a resort in Sethumadai, says the occupancy in summer was 65% to 70% as it was last year and it will be high during long weekends and other holidays during the year. However, during weekdays, the occupancy will depend on travellers from other cities.
During and immediately after the pandemic, several smaller home stays in Pollachi area took a hit with challenges because of worker shortage. But, for the larger players, the last two years have seen good occupancy, especially during summer, he adds.
The general manager at one of the leading brand hotels in Coimbatore city says the larger hotels in the city are running at 90% to 95% occupancy. Earlier, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism was a major sector here.
While Coimbatore is a major MICE destination now too, in the last two years, there are a lot of people from the nearby cities such as Tiruppur, Salem, Erode, Karur, and Palakkad who travel to Coimbatore during weekends, stay in a hotel, and return on Mondays. The tech sector’s growth is also bringing a lot of visitors to the city. Further, there are social events that are bringing business to the hospitality sector, he says.
“People connect and networking is a major development after COVID. They want to go out and stay with their family and friends during weekends,” he says.
During summer, the visitors are mostly from the northern States. In the other months, the visitors are from nearby cities, those who come for social events, and business visitors. While 2022-23 was the best year for the hospitality sector across the country, the current year is also expected to see similar growth, he adds.