Ibis, which last week opened its 20th property in the country at Vikroli in Mumbai offering 249 keys making it the largest, operates 3,808 rooms across 20 properties in 13 cities — three of them in the megapolis alone — in the country. The JV has invested over Rs 2,700 crore since it began operations in 2008 with the maiden property in Gurugram.
The 15-floor tall Ibis Vikhroli symbolises the Aamchi Mumbai culture and cost the property developer Rs 230 crore. Interglobe Hotels is the hospitality arm of the holding company of country’s largest airline Indigo.
The other Ibis hotels in Mumbai are at the airport (148 keys opened in 2011), and in Navi Mumbai (196 rooms launched in 2016). Of the 20 Ibis hotels, 19 are economy Ibises, and the other is premium Ibis Styles at Calangute in Goa offering 197 keys.
JB Singh, the president & chief executive of Interglobe Hotels, told PTI that they have so far invested over Rs 2,700 crore across the 20 Ibis hotels since 2008, and will be pumping in over Rs 500 crore more by FY24 across the upcoming four properties, which will add 685 rooms more taking the overall inventory close 4,500.
The new hotels will be operational between 2022 and 2023 and will come up at Hebbal in Bengaluru offering 153 rooms by the third quarter of 2022; in Thane near Mumbai offering 184 rooms by May 2022; at Kalina in central Mumbai with 206 keys by the first quarter of 2024 and making it the fourth Ibis in in the megaplois; and the second Ibis Styles at Vagator in Goa offering 142-keys by the end of 2033, Singh said.
Singh said the operational 20 Ibis hotels are across New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Nashik, Bengaluru, and Goa, offering an inventory of 3,808 keys.
According to Puneet Dhawan, senior vice-president operations at Accor India & South Asia, the Vikroli hotel is the largest Ibis in the country till date offering 249 keys and its “opening shows clearly that we are here for the long-term and are committed to this market. We are staying on course with our pre-Covid commitments”.
Dhawan sounded very bullish on the market saying the market has been looking very bright since the past two months and the occupancy has gone up to 60 per cent now.
Of the 55 Accor properties under 10 brands, 21 are mid-scale Novotel hotels and 20 are economy Ibis hotels, Dhawan said.
Dhawan said the Accor Group, which offers over 10,000 keys across 55 properties in 25 cities, employs around 7,000 in the country. The group has 17 properties in the pipeline offering between 1,200 and 1,500 more keys over the next two years.
Dhawan and Singh, who sounded cautiously optimistic about the market which has returned to over 55-60 per cent normalcy, said pricing is yet to recover. But they added that pricing normally lags the volume and pointed out that it took 6 to 7 years for the industry to recover after the global financial crisis that hit the world in 2008.
The rates are better in some ares like Goa where it is better 2019 rates. But metros are lagging, where it is still 25-30 per cent behind the pre-pandemic levels, they said.
Dhawan said the next couple of quarters are key to normalisation which depends on the pace of vaccination and there is no third wave after the festive season and his optimism is based on the very crowded airports which indicates the vibrancy of the market.
Began in 1974, Ibis globally operates over 1,50,000 economy rooms across 1,250 hotels in 65 countries, while Accor runs over 5,000 properties across 110 countries.