The Indian hospitality industry – And how the hotel industry is playing a key role in India’s development.

The Indian hospitality industry has emerged as one of the key industries driving the growth of the services sector and, thereby, the Indian economy Hospitality is the act of kindness in welcoming and looking after the basic needs of guests or strangers, mainly in relation to food, drink and accommodation. When we talk about the “Hospitality Industry”, we are referring to the companies or organizations which provide food and/or drink and/or accommodation to people who are away from home. Hotels originally served as the storage arm of transportation. They were located along the travelers’ route, waiting there for potential guests to tire and seek shelter. Today’s guests use a wide range of transport to find an array of routes, a variety of destinations, and a host of reasons to travel. Only by recreating itself over and over again has the lodging industry been able to meet these changing challenges. New patterns have resulted and this chapter examines four of them: product, market, ownership, and management. However, this definition of the “Hospitality Industry” only satisfies most situations.

Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and its role in accelerating the economic development of a country is widely recognized. Over the past two decades tourism has emerged as one of the world ‘ s largest industries. Never before in the history of man-kind, have so many people traveled at home and abroad . All modern countries are progressing quite rapidly towards life styles which favor the growth and development of tourism. In ancient times the main motivations were trade, pilgrimage and conquest . Invention of the wheel and money resulted in the increased flow of trade and commerce which marks the modern era of travel. The earliest evidences show that pleasure tourism originated in the Roman Empire . Medicinal baths and seaside resorts which were later renamed as “Spas ” were very popular with the Romans. The Industrial Revolution brought about the development of industrialized societies. This also brought in an increase of material wealth and certain improvements in transport – and communication during the second half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. All these led to the development of pleasure traffic on a big scale. Introduction of Railways in the 19th century was a land mark in the history of travel.

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Thomas Cook can rightly be recognized as the first travel agent whose pioneering efforts were eventually to be copied widely in all parts of the world. He was the first professional travel agent in the world who hired a special train to carry 570 passengers on a trip from Leicester to London and back. in India Since the mid 1990’s international tourism has become the top item of the international trade and has reached major proportions in the world’s economy. Tourism is looked upon by many countries as a highly desirable and feasible method of economic development because the resources which attract and support tourism are usually abundant in underdeveloped areas. now It is a highly labor intensive industry . The word hospitality is derived from the Latin word hospes, meaning “guest, visitor, or one who provides lodging for a guest or visitor.” In India, hospitality is based on the principle Atithi Devo Bhava, meaning “the guest is God.”  India is a land of endless images, people and faces, religion and culture, adventure and memories. India has a lot to offer from the Beautiful Himalayas in the North to the sun kissed beaches in the South; from the exquisite temples of the East to the breath-taking beauty of the West; festivals and exotic food. India is a land of striking contrasts – bullock carts and jet planes, stark deserts and lush forests, soaring sky scrapers and tiny thatched cottages; blue jeans and silk sarees.

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The hotels industry is developing on the lines of that innovation is key to survival. With growing demands of customers and to offer novel experience to the guests the hotels are offering unique accommodations. Home-stays, heritage hotels, boutique hotels, houseboats, tree-houses, luxury trains are some of the good examples of unique products of hospitality. Home-stays give the tourist an opportunity to stay with the host family and learn about the place, culture, traditions and family. Growth opportunities in travel & tourism cannot be realized without the development of the hospitality sector. India presently has an estimated 112,000 hotel rooms spread across various hotel categories. While the opportunities are immense, there are also challenges associated with it. The Hotel industry universally is sensitive to economic cycles and does face its troughs as well as highs based on the supply and demand of rooms at any point. Specific India issues like poor infrastructure, high cost of land procurement and multiple licenses as well as levies accentuates the challenge of development.

The Indian hospitality sector is expected to witness high growth over the long term. The next one or two years may be a phase of building before the high growth trajectory emerges. Hospitality operators who understand the drives and needs of these growing demographics will reap the rewards and become the future leaders in the industry. The consumers will define the future technologies they require. Major players are diversifying into the mid-market segment to develop budget hotels to cater to the changing needs of Indian market.The industry needs robust strategic plans to retain their critical employees and manage turnover. Economic uncertainty, volatile oil prices, variable demand conditions and fluctuating exchange rates present ongoing challenges to hotel owners, operators and investors alike. Hospitality industry can maximize its performance in India through more informed formulation, planning & effective implementation of a combination of corporate, functional & business strategies congruent to worldwide challenges. In this article, has a two-fold purpose: to identify the present status of hospitality market in India and to explore the challenges facing hospitality sector in the country so as to build the path ahead.

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