On our cover page, in this issue, we have featured June’s performances of the Indian aviation sector. Overall domestic growth and, also, individual airline performances have shown considerable upward tick. The data put forth by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) gives a comprehensive insight into best and worst movers, their market-shares and other intricate details. When it comes to consistent and, almost, real-time research, a very good case in point is the automobile sector. In the first day or two of every month, the Automobile Association comes up with nationwide industry figures, drops, ups in sales, market share details and other facets. It is a comprehensive analysis of market trends and allows automobile sector to undertake corrective measures, almost immediately.
Taking stock of tourism and availability of data related to hotels and footfalls, we are getting overall tourism figures for a month, along with country-wise performances, and decline or growth in tourism numbers from individual countries. However, we are yet bereft of city-wise and hotel-wise break-down of performances. There is no mechanism in place to tell us how Delhi hotels have fared. How have hotels in the Aerocity done? We have no statistical data coming through, from let us say, Connaught Place hotels. So there is no mechanism to decipher trends in a real time situation, neither cluster-wise, nor city-wise.
The ministry of tourism comes up with tourism related figures – which is good, but not good enough. The statistical data is so oceanic in nature that it is difficult to carve out actual numbers and trends emerging out of it. Hospitality industry would be keen to know city-wise growth in key segments like growth and ARR in guesthouse accommodation segment, simply because whenever there is a critical alternative accommodation, even that needs to be examined in a fair manner.
Now, the bigger question facing us is who would undertake this research and where will this data come from. The first bet would, of course, be FHRAI – now, FHRAI does come out with figures and HVS brings out data for them – but there is no monthly mechanism in place. There must be a monthly mechanism where one of the responsible organizations comes out with latest trends as they unfold.
All these issues indicate a dire need for putting in place more research on tourism and related activities – which are independently driven – so that the larger industry gets its hand on data which could have a realistic impact on their businesses. Tourism related data that we have in the public domain, for instance, does not tell us what impact does footfalls in Tirupati have on hotels present there. Again, HVS does come out with some figures, but that is also, too, annually. Therefore, a vacuum does exist that needs urgent attention from the industry.
To sum up, we believe for a meaningful road forward for tourism, we need to look into its research foundations and make them more robust, so that as and when the boom in tourism or hospitality kicks in, we are well prepared to make the most of the positive development. Research is fundamental to growth.