With an influx of foreign tourists and a spurt of middle-class domestic travellers, tourism is a growth story that people can't stop talking about. But the underbelly of this boom is the immense pressure on hotel rooms that has pushed prices northwards. A recent study estimated that the three major Indian cities - Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi - had the highest room rents in the world, comparable to London, Moscow and Rome.
A study on the hospitality sector by Indusview Advisors estimated that Bangalore had the wor-ld's highest room rents ranging upwards of $500 with Mumbai's average room rent of $400-450 coming a close second and Delhi ranking third with room rents at $350.
Internationally, London hotels charge $300-450 while star properties in Moscow and Rome charge between $260-350 and $140-350 respectively.
According to the study, room rents have seen an increase across the board. "The average room rate for a 5-star property is up by 27% to $160 in 2005-2006 as compared to a 3-star one which is up by 12% at 46$ per night," the study said.
The crush has affected business in the IT city - that accounts for 51% of foreign business travellers coming to India - prompting companies like Infosys Technologies and Wipro to set up their own guest room accommodations than risk non-availability of rooms and high costs.
Skyrocketing prices are principally because of shortage of hotel rooms. According to a report by FICCI, India has 1.05 lakh hotel rooms while just Shanghai accounts for 1.35 lakh rooms. In fact, China has 10 times the number of rooms and the US 40 times as compared to India. The New York metropolitan area itself has rooms equivalent to all of India. The tourism ministry has launched the 'Incredible India Bed and Breakfast establishments' as a quick-fix solution (to add an estimated 20,000-25,000 rooms) to meet the shortage of hotel rooms in the Capital in time for the Commonwealth Games.