The Executives of the companies said that though the demand for alternative accommodation was spurred by the pandemic, it will not subside despite the waning cases.
Alternative Accommodation Providers such as Vista Rooms, Saffron Stays, and Airbnb have aimed to continue with their plans to expand their infrastructure in the upcoming months and years. They claimed that even with declining COVID Cases and hotel rooms filling up again, there is no going back for them.
Vista Rooms Co-Founder Amit Damani said that they are planning to add around 2000 Holiday Homes and increase revenues to around Rs. 1000 crores in the next three years.
“In the financial year 2020, we were roughly at around Rs 40 crore of sales. In the financial year 2022, we have more or less tripled. From about 500 homes, this year itself, we are looking at adding around 800-900 homes. And this would be across key markets, the typical holiday destinations that people get away from larger cities,” said Damani.
“We continue to work to grow our host community in India so more people and communities can share in the benefits of travel. We continue to see people embracing new ways of traveling and living as they become increasingly untethered from their offices. People are looking to explore more places, stay for longer, and travel at off-peak times. This travel revolution is also presenting new opportunities for people to become hosts and benefit from this newfound flexibility that’s being embraced by travelers.”, said Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager of India, South East Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Airbnb.
Saffron Stays is adding 25-30 homes per month in 16 chosen sectors across seven Indian States – Maharashtra, Goa, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala.
Lohono Stays that provides luxury villas and holiday homes currently and has more than 100 properties in India, will add 25-30 new villas every month in the upcoming financial year.
“To give you a sense of demand, we are running at an occupancy of over 85% across the board, with most properties being sold out 8 weeks in advance. We will be growing our revenues by more than 350% over the next financial year”, said Rachit Nagalia, Head of Revenue at Lohono Stays.
This confidence in the alternative accommodation provider companies is instilled by many factors, one of them being Habit of Travel. There has been a habit formed among people which is attributed to the growth of these companies despite declining COVID cases.
Another important factor is the safety and security of having your people around. People have also appreciated that the entire place is “exclusively reserved” for them.
What would have taken five years is taking place in two years in terms of awareness for this segment, according to Damani. “People will get back to offices but there will also be people who will continue working from anywhere. The majority of people anyway stay with us for two to three days, and that is continuing,” he said.
Work from Home has significantly increased in the past 2 years and has become a viable option. Hence, taking a holiday while work goes on is quite the option opening up the possibility of work from vacation.