Indian Hospitality Industry An Overview
The hospitality industry is a key member of the service sector and is linked directly to domestic and international tourism. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), tourism has become one of the most important economic, social, cultural and political phenomena of the twentyfirst century. Hospitality comprises a wide range of services such as accommodations, food and beverage, events and activities etc. With the world becoming a global village, travel for pleasure and business has increased manifold and is expected to rise further in future making travel and tourism as the world's largest industry. This has resulted in increased demand for hospitality services worldwide that conform to internationally acceptable service standards. This has resulted in great demand for skilled manpower all over the globe. In a report on Hotels in India by HVS International in 2004, 'Assessing Trends and Opportunities', available rooms of all approved and unapproved hotels was estimated to be close to 90,000. Taking into account an estimated demand growth of approximately 18 per cent over the next few years, another 65,000-80,000 rooms will need to be added, across the country, in the next five years. This speaks volumes about the manpower requirement as well.
The history of modern hotels in India is not old. In 1903, J.R.D.Tata constructed the Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay. It was the first hotel of international standard and repute, built by an Indian. About three decades later, in 1934, in the northern climes of India, Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, acquired his first property, The Clarkes Hotel, Shimla. Post independence, government realized the importance of tourism and set up a new corporation India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC). In 1975, ITC entered the fray with the Chola Sheraton in Chennai, and eventually entered into a marketing alliance with Starwood, a relationship that stood rock solid for its length, till some time back. The last decade has witnessed foray of almost all leading international hotel chains into India. With the further increase in projected demand of hotel rooms as India with further increase in projected demand of hotel rooms due to the Government "Incredible India Campaign", the celebrations in Indian Hospitality Industry has just begun.