Investing in Leisure: Exploring the Untapped Potential

The article evaluates the past performance and potential that leisure destinations hold for hotel development, and why hotel investors must look at investing in leisure destinations across India more actively.
Rishabh is a Director with HVS ‘s MEA team and is responsible for conducting consulting and valuation assignments in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past two years he has worked on over 12 different hotel markets across East, West and Southern Africa. Having worked with HVS’s South Asia office previously he has more than five years of hotel consulting and development experience, having worked on several projects ranging from market studies to commercial due diligence, transaction advisory and operator searches. Before joining HVS, Rish worked with Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in India and facilitated the construction and expansion of his family’s hotel business. He graduated from the Taj Management Training Program in 2008 and holds a BBA degree and a BA Honors degree in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad (University of Huddersfield, UK).
Contact Rishabh at [email protected]


  1. rajiv kaulAugust 4, 2015

    look forward to reading the article....shall share feedback

  2. Hi Achin....While deriving the numbers for business travellers, do you only account for the up-market 5 star properties or do you also look at the very basic business hotels and lodges that is used by a lot of the non-corporate business travellers too? With new entrants in this field, this sector has had ARRs now being redefined as well as what the customer actually pays.

    • The database that has been used to extract data points for this article includes the organized hotel inventory in the country including all branded accommodation across positioning in Leisure Destinations.

  3. Anshul KumarAugust 6, 2015

    An interesting evaluation and definitely a great case study for hotel operators in India. Additionally, state governments must look at developing infrastructure for these areas in order to assist hotel companies to invest in such destinations.

  4. Kevin B MurphyAugust 10, 2015

    An interesting qualification for the need, but where are the risks identified, perhaps by location? And why hasn't it happened already? For those of us who have worked there over decades, the Indian hotel sector still remains the one with the most "permanent unmet potential" in even my own 45 year experience in travelling there, and particularly in those potential heritage and environmental attractions where so much continues to deteriorate faster than active investors can act. Much of that potential will remain unseen, whether by domestic or international leisure visitation which remains among the lowest, per capita of all Asian destinations. Can you even give readers a timeline as to when a destination like India will surpass 400,000 branded hotel rooms?

    • Thank you for your interest and feedback on the article. I agree with the "permanent unmet potential" comment. As you rightly pointed out that the risk factors vary from location to location and may even vary in fact vary from site to site in a destination. But it is encouraging to see investors looking at destinations which are unheard of for a majority of the travelers. As for your question for the 400,000 branded hotel rooms, HVS estimates the branded room inventory to only cross 1,50,000 by 2019-2020 and 4,00,000 maybe beyond a 10 year horizon. However, there is a vast unorganized market which may be ‘branded’ through the aggregator model (with likes of oyo, zo rooms and so on) in which case India may cross the 4,00,000 branded rooms mark well before 2020.

Submit a Question or Comment