Indian Travelers Looking at Airlines, Hotels to Boost Sustainability – India Report



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Indians are being more mindful of the impact of their journeys on the environment – and it is changing the way they live their everyday lives, according to a report from Booking.com. We look at some of the steps the government and industry are taking in response.

Indian travelers believe that airlines and hotels have the most potential to counter environmental impacts of tourism, followed by travelers themselves and major sites and apps, according to a report by Booking.com.

The report added that travelers adopting more mindful travel choices believe that sustainable travel adds value to their trips.

“Today for Indian travelers, sustainable practices not only enhance their travel experience but also inspire them to adopt similar habits in their daily lives. There is a desire to have a positive impact, with travelers more forthcoming in exploring activities that are driven by sustainability,” said Santosh Kumar, country manager for India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia at Booking.com. 

As India is actively promoting tourism to various destinations, including lesser explored ones, there is also a push towards sustainability from all stakeholders. Despite this push, the efforts have a long way to go.

  • Green tourism strategies: The Indian ministry of tourism has developed a national strategy for sustainable tourism to “ensure more resilient, inclusive, carbon-neutral and resource-efficient tourism while safeguarding natural and cultural resources.”

    Meanwhile, Goa state tourism has launched a regenerative tourism campaign to nullify the negative impact of tourism and make net-positive impact on the environment and local communities.

    Kerala also has a responsible tourism mission which aims to make tourism a tool for the development of village and local communities, eradicating poverty and giving emphasis to women empowerment. There is also a push towards ecotourism and rural tourism.

  • Efforts from airlines: SpiceJet, IndiGo, and Vistara have been exploring sustainable aviation fuel blends to reduce carbon emissions. They are also reducing single-use plastic on all flights.

    Air India has introduced TaxiBot, a semi-robotic equipment that acts as an extension of an aircraft’s nose landing gear. It tows the aircraft from the airport terminal gate to the taxi-out point and vice versa without using the aircraft’s engines.

  • Responsible practices in hotels: There is a boost in eco-friendly accommodations and hotel chains in India such as The Fern Hotels and Resorts and CGH Earth that focus primarily on the environment.

    Major hotel chains have so far minimized single-use amenities in rooms and established bottling plants in the premises itself to reduce dependence on plastic bottles. Hotels are also looking to procure from local vendors in order to support local communities. 

Hilton Signs Flagship Brand in Gurugram

Hilton has signed its flagship Hilton Hotels and Resorts brand in Gurugram near Delhi. The company is developing the new-build 223-key hotel Hilton Gurugram Baani City Center with the Baani Group, and the hotel is set to open later this year. 

This marks the expansion of the hotel chain’s partnership with the Baani Group, which owns the DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon Baani Square. 

“Hilton is making strides to expand its presence in key gateway cities across the country,” Hilton’s senior vice president and India country head Zubin Saxena said.

The hotel chain currently has 26 operational hotels in India and more than 20 in its development pipeline. The company is set to double its footprint in the country over the next 3 to 4 years. 

In an earlier interview with Skift, Saxena said, “Between this year and the next, we will be opening a hotel every two to three months.” Hilton is currently present in 15 Indian markets and is looking to expand into about 75. 

ITC Hotels Opens Mementos Jaipur

ITC Hotels has announced the opening of Mementos by ITC Hotels, Jaipur. The property, which features 64 suites and villas in the first phase of opening, is the second to open under the Mementos brand in India. 

With this, ITC Hotels has 14 operational properties in the state of Rajasthan, including Mementos Udaipur. 

At the opening, ITC Hotels CEO Anil Chadha said that the company is on an impressive growth trajectory. It has a target of expanding its current portfolio of 130 properties to 200 hotels over the next five years. 

Akasa Air Commences Operations From Prayagraj

Budget airline Akasa Air has commenced operations from Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. Post the inaugural flight from the city on Saturday, the airline is operating daily direct flights between Prayagraj and Mumbai. 

With this, Prayagraj has become the fourth city in Uttar Pradesh where the airline has commenced operations. It is also set to commence flights from Gorakhpur as the fifth destination in the state by the end of this month. 

Akasa Air has been expanding its network rapidly, both domestically and internationally. While it has 22 cities in its network in India, the airline is operating flights to Doha in Qatar and is set to begin operations in Jeddah from July this year.

IHG Signs Holiday Inn Hotel in Prayagraj 

IHG Hotels and Resorts has signed Holiday Inn Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. The 95-key hotel is scheduled to open in 2025. 

Sudeep Jain, South West Asia managing director for IHG Hotels, said that the signing is in line with the company’s strategy to expand in the secondary markets in India. 

In 2024 so far, the company has expanded its portfolio in India with new signings and openings in Jim Corbett, Dehradun, and Guwahati. The company is looking to double its presence in the country in the next five years, having 50 hotels in its current pipeline. For its growth, the company is targeting high-growth secondary markets like Amritsar, Lucknow, Zirakpur, Kasauli, and Katra. 



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