Tourist arrivals up a whopping 14.7% YoY in April - Views on News from Equitymaster

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Tourist arrivals up a whopping 14.7% YoY in April

May 15, 2000

Total tourist arrivals to India grew by 14.7% YoY to 1,89,906 arrivals in April'2000. This seems very encouraging as compared to the figures of April'99, when tourist arrivals had actually fallen by 5% YoY. However per capita expenditure per tourist in April'2000 was only marginally higher at US$ 1,222 as compared to US$ 1,220 during April'99. The period from April - September are traditionally considered lean months in the Indian tourism industry, and arrivals during this period are generally low due to the hot summer months. Normally tourists avoid coming during this period, however business travellers come throughout the year. This growth in April is a good beginning for FY2001, considering that during FY2000 arrivals grew by an average of only 4.6% YoY to 2.5 m tourists. If this trend in FY2001 continues it would be a good year for both the hotel and tourism industry.

Occupancy rates of hotel companies which have been facing a declining trend should improve this year on the back of higher tourist arrivals. The economic scenario, political stability and increasing number of foreign direct investment approvals all seem to favour the inflow of tourists during the year. Hence the prospects for the hotel industry seem brighter in FY2001.

On valuation terms, Indian Hotels Company Ltd is trading at a price to earnings multiple of 8.0x and EIH Ltd is trading at 6.5x (both on FY99 earnings). This is low as compared to multiples of 20x-25x they traded at few years ago and negativity's facing the hotel industry all seem to be in the price.

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