With the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc in the hospitality industry, the sector is likely to witness several mergers and acquisitions (M&A) soon.
Vikram Oberoi, Managing Director & CEO of Oberoi Group, informed Times of India that he has been approached by several hotel owners wanting to sell their properties. On being questioned if the veteran hospitality group is considering these offers, he said, "Some owners have approached us. What we are hoping is that people would come to us to manage their hotels. Our focus continues to be on management contracts as an area of growth."
An Rs.50,000 crore of combined debt score is estimated of existing and upcoming organized sector hotels in the country. According to Mandeep S Lamba, President of HVS Anarock (South Asia), a real estate services company, several investors and asset owners, currently under financial stress, will look to reduce their debt, thereby accelerating M&As.
Just when the sector was hoping for a revival, the tumultuous second wave hit the travel and hospitality industry. “There was virtually no business during the second wave. Travel had come to a standstill. City hotels had some long-stay guests, and some elderly people checked in due to the outbreak of Covid at their homes," he said.
When the deadly second wave subsided, travel resumed quickly, and everyone is crossing their fingers that there will be no third wave. "Leisure destinations such as Shimla and Udaipur are witnessing a revival in business. While city hotels aren’t doing well, they are faring better than last year (immediately post lockdown),” he said.
The Oberoi Group company believes that the travel industry's revival hinges on everyone getting Covid vaccines. The company has vaccinated all of its eligible employees, including those on payroll and those hired on a contractual basis.
"A good start for domestic travel can be the fully vaccinated getting exempt from RT-PCR testing requirements. If this goes well, the same should be applied to international travel,” Oberoi said.
Source: Times of India