Pakistan-Indian cricket series: Hotel occupancy soars
KARACHI: Hotel occupancy in Pakistan has soared - as have room rates - ahead of the upcoming Pakistan-India cricket series, Pakistani hotel industry sources said on Tuesday.
“We have 100 per cent booking for March 12 and 13 and charges are over 200 dollars per night plus government tax,” said Ms Fakeha Imran, a senior sales executive at Marriot Karachi.
The first one-day will be played in Karachi on March 13. And all Karachi’s grand hotels - the Pearl Continental, Sheraton, Marriot, Avari - have no more rooms available for two days.
The smaller hotels are also attracting a large number of customers, a survey of the city hotels shows. The situation is similar in other cities where one-day or test matches are scheduled to be played, especially in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Peshawar. The big hotels have decided to charge the guests in dollars.
“This is the kind of boost the Pakistan hotel industry needed for a long time,” Ms. Imran said. “It is demand driven occupancy.”
“Big hotels are under pressure from their clients,” said Rohinton Khuradi, director sales and marketing of Sheraton hotel Karachi, the official hotel of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the place where the Pakistani and Indian teams will stay.
The interest in the event is as high as that normally seen during the World Cup. “For us, it is World Cup,” said one Pakistani cricket lover Mohammad Ismail, reflecting the general view. Issuing special visas for the occasion, the Pakistani government has allowed Indian cricket fans to come to Pakistan and enjoy the battle between the two Asian cricketing giants. The Indian decision to allow cricket team to play in Pakistan after 14 years was made possible after a string of CBMs. —DPA