India’s hospitality sector witnesses USD 401 mn investment activity in FY23: JLL

Kolkata / New Delhi, Apr 2 (Mayank Nigam) The hospitality sector in India witnessed 80 percent year-on-year growth in hotel transaction volumes, reaching USD 78 million in the first quarter (January–March 2024), according to JLL India’s latest report titled ‘Hotel Investment Trends in India 2023’. The report said the growth showed a positive start to the first quarter (Jan.–March) of 2024 in the hospitality sector. The sector has been witnessing a good surge since last calendar year (2023). A record number of hotel signings and openings took place in 2023 with 25,176 keys signed and 12,647 keys opened.

There was an increasing interest in hotel development activity in Tier-2 cities, with 54 percent of the total signings taking place in these locations. In 2023, hotel investments in India touched USD 401 million, which was nearly four-fold the volumes witnessed in 2022. 25 percent of the overall value of transactions involved under-construction hotels in both business and leisure destinations. 2023 also achieved a significant milestone of 22 hotel transactions, which was the largest number of assets traded in the last decade. It also saw three hotel companies successfully debut on the stock market through their initial public offerings (IPOs). There were approximately 13,600 greenfield projects in 2023, surpassing the figure from the previous year (8,000 keys), showcasing the enduring confidence of hotel developers in the long-term growth potential of the sector.

The report noted the emergence of tourism and leisure destinations as centres for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) activities, with the signing of three large-format hotels with a total of approximately 900 keys. “The year 2023 has been a record year not only in terms of hotel investments but also in terms of new branded hotel openings and signings. Furthermore, 2024 has started with strong tail winds, as we saw prominent hotel deals early on in this year. The enthusiasm of the sector is further strengthened by the performance of hotel stocks, which also gave confidence to a couple more hotel companies entering public markets and achieving strong valuations. We expect this story to continue in 2024 on the back of diversified avenues of growth such as expanding commercial office markets and the development of infrastructure such as new airports, motorways, and increasing pilgrimage travel, leading to the emergence of new real estate and tourism hotspots across the country, stated Jaideep Dang, Managing Director, Hotels and Hospitality Group, India, JLL. High-net-worth individuals (HNIs) and institutional capital played a major role in hotel investment activity during 2023, accounting for the largest share at 31 percent.

Real estate developers accounted for 27 percent of investments, followed by owner-operators at 11 percent. The upper upscale segment saw the highest number of keys changing hands, followed by the upscale, luxury, and midscale segments. There were five transactions facilitated through the insolvency resolution process under the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), representing 33 percent of the total value of transactions in 2023, which amounts to USD 133 million. While management contracts continue to dominate the majority of signings, representing 78 percent of the total number of keys, there has been a notable increase in lease and revenue share models across different tiers, comprising 4 percent of the total keys signed. The robust performance of the commercial sector has directly benefited major urban centres, as Tier 1 cities experienced the highest number of keys signed since 2020, with a notable increase of 31 percent as compared to 2022.