Mother Nature has her own special way of bringing us back to earth: as the Seasons roll round, Spring can rouse us from our slumbers like nothing else. COVID locked us down, but as the Calla Lilies and Ranunculus begin to bloom again, the world is waking up to a new beginning. And, of course, the unprecedented success of India’s vaccine programme paved the way too, with declining case rates and a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions following hard in its wake. All COVID inspired prohibitions were removed in Haryana last month, and the State has been joined by Uttarakhand, and Assam…so the feeling of Spring in the air has already started to work its magic, most notably with the welcome return of that most springlike of creatures…the blushing bride.
With an average of 524 guests, Indian weddings have always attracted the biggest number of well-wishers on the planet (according to research agency Statistica (www.statista.com), so few if any happy couples were ever likely to welcome the twenty guest restriction imposed in Delhi (even liberal Haryana and Mumbai were insisting on a paltry 200 of the couples closest friends): it was all too much like a birthday party without the cake, no candles, and a single (particularly unpopular) uncle for company. No surprise then that weddings on the subcontinent were cancelled in their droves during the dark days of 2021.
Most of those weddings, that never happened, were due to take place in a hotel, with catering and entertainment on tap. So with obvious justification Anil Thadani, owner of the Jea Band Hotel in New Delhi, asked where else “the common man” (or woman presumably) should go to pledge their undying love (after all, not everyone has a two hundred acre ranch)…”hotel workers are upset too”, and well they might be, because, for owners and workers alike, COVID restrictions were hitting the hotel industry hard.
Not any more though: with restrictions easing significantly across the country, and yes, with Spring in the air, India’s weddings are back…and, good news for brides everywhere, they’re back with a vengeance. Having slumped to an all time low last year, bookings are currently showing guest numbers back up to India’s record breaking average of between five hundred and six hundred, so proud fathers would do well to dust off their speeches.
It's not just weddings either: hotel and hospitality bookings are up for less earth shattering reasons too, like birthdays (hopefully without unpopular uncles), business conferences and commercial events. Even in Delhi, which has maintained a number of night time and social gathering restrictions, bookings in all key hospitality segments are showing a springtime surge; and flights to locations as diverse as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad are seeing a marked uptick as well…after all, the guests have to get there somehow.
Ever since it was founded, more than a decade ago, Eco Hotels, has placed mother nature and sustainability at the forefront of its business model: nurturing energy efficiency and sustainable waste management from the ground up, sourcing supplies locally to support local communities, and managing operations with a clarity of vision designed to make the most of every season.
So, let’s welcome a new beginning: let’s wake up to a better World together…