‘Long-delayed National Tourism Policy will help MoT promote India in international markets’

Sarbendra Sarkar, Founder & MD, Cygnett Hotels & Resorts says the Government should consider bringing Aviation Turbine Fuel under the GST regime to help aviation business

With a portfolio of 20 operational properties, Cygnett Hotels & Resorts added two properties last year, one in Jaipur and the other in Dehradun. “We have 15 hotels slated to be opened in the coming months and out of these, we expect nine to be operational in 2023,” shares Sarbendra Sarkar, Founder & MD, Cygnett Hotels & Resorts.

The year 2022 witnessed a strong rebound for the hospitality sector after the pandemic-induced slowdown. The average occupancy level in the majority of Cygnett properties was in the high 80s. “The ADRs also witnessed a jump of 15-20 per cent. The year 2023 is slated to be the best one for the industry, post-pandemic. Both leisure and business segments are expected to drive the demand. Meetings and conventions are back strongly and 2023 will be a bumper year for the industry. However, the pandemic situation has to be in control if the industry has to thrive in the New Year,” he adds. 

Sharing his plans to sustain business growth and attract more guests to the properties, Sarkar says, “We have a sales and marketing team that constantly remains in communication with corporates and tour operators. We also focus on social media and digital marketing to promote our properties. Our instant loyalty programme has also helped us to win repeat customers.” The Cygnett Hotels & Resorts’ MD feels that India’s G20 Presidency has put India on the global map. “More than 50 cities in the country are going to host meetings under the G20 Presidency and it is a great opportunity for us to promote our destinations for tourism both leisure and MICE,” he feels. Sarkar expects the long-delayed National Tourism Policy to be introduced in 2023. “This will help the Ministry of Tourism to promote India in international markets. I wish the Government also considers bringing Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) under the GST regime as it will help the aviation business. We need good connectivity across the country if we want the tourism and hospitality sectors to flourish. This can only happen if airlines are profitable and new regional airlines are launched,” he opines.

With the cost of travel having surged in 2022 and likely to rise again in 2023, according to a business travel industry report, Sarkar feels the biggest threat to international tourism is the rise of the pandemic in markets like the US and Japan. “We don’t want to see a repeat of what happened in 2020 or 2021. Overall inflation is an issue being seen across the globe. However, travel which is important not just from a leisure point of view but also from a business perspective, will happen. The only roadblock is the pandemic situation if it turns bad,” he says. 


Around The World