Pakistan’s hospitality industry gains momentum

Published: August 21, 2016
Email
Growing economic activity, improved law and order help boost demand investment. PHOTO SOURCE: PAKISTAN SERVICES LIMITED

Growing economic activity, improved law and order help boost demand investment. PHOTO SOURCE: PAKISTAN SERVICES LIMITED

KARACHI: Pakistan’s hospitality industry is booming at an incredible pace amid growing economic activity particularly in relation to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Gwadar along with improved law and order situation across the country.

“The rate of hotel occupancy has surged to 80% {on an average} across the country compared to 35% before the current calendar year started,” said Beach Luxury Hotel Director Business Development Rehan Wahid.

Hospitality industry waits for improvement in conditions

“Hotels in Islamabad and Lahore are fully booked most of the days. However, this is yet to happen in Karachi,” he said.

Wahid said the situation in the country’s north improved at a faster pace compared to the south, particularly Karachi.

“The element of uncertainty has continued to rule the city for some unknown reasons. Although recent rumours about the kidnapping of children in Karachi have not impacted our business yet, the situation like this usually keeps the city and businesses destabilised,” he said.

He strongly believed that the situation in the city of ports would improve in the days to come. “The on-going Rangers-led operation against criminals will deliver the desired results like operation Zarb-e-Azb of the Pakistan Army going on in the northern parts of the country.”

According to Wahid, the developments connected with the CPEC projects were partly helping them meet their business targets. “CPEC projects have convinced a large number of foreigners to resume visiting Pakistan; this will help business grow as well.”

He said the ratio of foreign and local occupants at hotels had drastically changed over the past one year. “The current ratio is 50:50. It was 30:70 last year.”

The corridor projects have led to long-duration hotel room occupancy by foreigners; usually up to two or three months. “The Embassy Hotel remains full with Chinese visitors ever since the CPEC projects were launched in the country.”

Sea Shell Inn General Manager Operations and Marketing Fakhir Shah said business was growing at a rapid pace. “Although we only opened earlier this year, we are attracting business of months in days.”

Hospitality industry: Malik Riaz in Dubai to discuss hotel projects

Jovago Managing Director Nadine Malik said the number of tourists and visitors through the online booking portal had soared significantly over the past few months.

“We do not have the policy to reveal the number of visitors, but the growth in the industry can be gauged from the fact that we had opened our Pakistan office with just five-six employees in 2014; the number now has increased to almost 50.”

The number of tourists to northern areas like Naran, Kaghan, Swat, Murree and Islamabad increases notably during the summer season and majority of them use hotels for their stay. Besides, businessmen continue to visit areas like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad throughout the year.

Expansion and new projects

Gwadar Iqra Associates Chief Executive Mir Mazhar Ali Magsi said development works in Gwadar city, port and economic zones and other CPEC-related projects had created a huge demand for hotels there.

The Gwadar project director has so far given no-objection certificates (NoC) for the construction of at least five five-star hotels. These include a 250-room hotel apartment project of the management of Pearl Continental Hotels and another one of the Bahria Group.

Besides, a number of hotels in the categories of one-to-four stars would be developed in the next two years, he said.

According to government estimates, some 125,000 trucks and long-haul cargo vehicles as well as 25,000 passenger vehicles will run everyday on the roads between Gwadar and Kashgar, China under the CPEC.

“Many of the travellers will be in need of hotels and motels on both sides of the roads network between the two countries,” he said.

Besides, one of the five-star hotels in Karachi had announced in January 2016 that it would build another five-star hotel in the city for which they had acquired the land. Construction of high-grade hotels is also going on these days in Multan and Mirpur.

The writer is a staff correspondent

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd,  2016.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (12)

  • Rahul
    Aug 22, 2016 - 8:42AM

    The Chinese are coming in just to gradually take over Pakistan like they have done with Tibet, Taiwan, parts of South China sea and some parts of India. Chinese are just expansionists who would never let go of any opportunity to grab land which belongs to other countries.
    This article would make sense if Europeans and North Americans would flood their hotels. Forget about tourism, first try to have an A-lister international cricket match in your country. Recommend

  • Hyder
    Aug 22, 2016 - 9:37AM

    @ Rahul: I can smell something burning.Recommend

  • Careless Whisper
    Aug 22, 2016 - 9:56AM

    @Rahul:
    Good news about Pakistan is always considered to be bad for India by you Indians…. it’s time to grow up… we know it hurts, but hopefully you will get over it soon….Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Aug 22, 2016 - 10:57AM

    @Rahul….why do you guys get so worked up over something that is completely unrelated to you? Whether it is Europeans or Americans or Chinese for the hotels, they are simply customers. Recommend

  • me
    Aug 22, 2016 - 11:01AM

    @Rahul so what its our problem we will deal with it.Recommend

  • Shoaib
    Aug 22, 2016 - 11:09AM

    @Rahul: yes it hurts and not just little, it’s hard to say though that you will get over it. Recommend

  • Anum
    Aug 22, 2016 - 11:31AM

    New Hotels should be constructed in Karachi and Hyderabad

    PTDC motels and private sector hotels are the required of the day keeping in view surge in tourists to these areas in wake of better law and order situation. Recommend

  • Haseeb Khan
    Aug 22, 2016 - 11:43AM

    Please remember that no new 5 star hotel has been built in Karachi since late 1980s.

    In Lahore and Islamabad other than Serena (which was completed in 2001) no new 5 star hotel has been built.

    Yes,Pakistan needs more good quality hotels as in years to come the present capacity will not be able to meet the surge of demand for rooms Recommend

  • ali
    Aug 22, 2016 - 12:14PM

    Why most Indians burns a lot at any positive news from Pakistan. Grow up neighbors.Recommend

  • Anwar
    Aug 22, 2016 - 12:42PM

    @Rahul. Ruhul you are very popular on this site.

    My take is that: “If there is one hotel where there should be twenty in a city this size, of coarse it will be full”.Recommend

  • shafi
    Aug 22, 2016 - 3:56PM

    @Rahul., what abt american take over of india, today india is wooing USA to declare it as a Ally. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Aug 22, 2016 - 8:41PM

    @Anum:
    That’s the thing; new hotels will not necessarily be built because the few existing hotel owners have had a stranglehold over the market for the last umpteen years and have been significantly jacking up room charges each and every year. A fair share of the rooms are actually serviced apartments for an identified captive market.Recommend

More in Business