Unlike previous season, there is not a single match scheduled to be played in Ahmedabad during IPL-4, which was kicked off in Chennai.
This is going to pinch city-based hoteliers as they view it as a loss of business opportunity.
Sample this: Apart from providing food to the cricket players, Fortune Landmark was in charge of catering to 2000 odd spectators at the VIP enclosure at the Motera stadium during IPL season-3 in 2010.
"There is definitely a loss of business opportunity this year. Usually, summer is considered to be a lean season for hotel industry in Ahmedabad. Thanks to IPL matches in the city last year, our revenues saw a rise of nearly 20 per cent," says Nicholas Fernandes, general manager, Fortune Landmark.
Interestingly, the summer is considered to be a lean season for the hotel industry in the city. However, hotels in Ahmedabad saw a robust business during IPL tournament in Ahmedabad last year. As many as four IPL matches were played in the city previous year.
According to hospitality industry sources, a number of hotels in the city are going to see lower revenues and occupancy as against the same period last year.
"We have certainly been impacted as we fear a 45 percent revenue loss as compared to last year when the city had hosted four matches. For IPL's last edition, we had a sizeable number of the support staff and crew from the IPL teams staying with us. To offset this opportunity loss, we have increased the Food and Beverage revenues. Last year we saw a 100 percent occupancy while this year we have only 50 to 55 percent occupancy," adds Anil Jha, Food and Beverage manager, Country Inn.
However, most hoteliers are reluctant to let low occupancy play a dampener to this cricketing extravaganza and are making the most of the opportunity by building events around the matches as they happen. "We will have the screening of the matches in the restaurant so that the local clientele can have the best of food while catching up with their cricket," says Jha.
Similarly, Fortune Landmark plans to get innovative by offering food with menus that will have dishes named after players, maybe have cuisines of participating regions to match the mood of cricket lovers across the city.
Hotels have now have taken this news in their stead and are bracing themselves accordingly. Chaula Mazumdar, of St Laurn hotels says, "October to March is generally a peak season for us while post March is generally a lean season for the hotel industry. But having known in advance that there are no matches to be held in Ahmedabad we have braced ourselves for the same. While we had full occupancy due to IPL in the previous years, we still expect to meet our projected yearly targets."
While cricket lovers have the option of heading to nearby options in Mumbai and Jaipur to watch the matches, the hospitality industry seems to be making the best of the extended cricketing season.
Darius Merchant General, Manager of Taj Gateway says, "Although we were in the knowhow of the lack of matches in the city we have planned out events around the tournament accordingly. But the event and its spirit would definitely be missed."