Rishi Puri, Senior V.P Operations & Development, Lords Hotels and Resorts
The best way to do things is to constantly trot ahead and to never doubt anything; and keep moving forward. This very industrious perception of the hospitality industry is what brought back the fighting spirit to a winning space.
Random research was conducted to gauge the sustainability vibe of the industry and this is what is holistically perceived.
No doubt, it has been challenging times for the industry, but the growth has been slow and steadily picking up pace as far the revenue is concerned. The challenges have been many, and one of it has to do with corporate India’s decision to follow the new norm of staying back home and conducting business virtually. With drastic budget constraint on travels as compared to the pre pandemic times, cost cutting and people cozing up to this very concept of the management… Hotel industry perse is now trying to woo back the corporate India with high-end amenities, discounts and wider range of destinations to choose from for a corporate destination event.
In recent times, hospitality industry has also gone through a technological revolution to keep pace with the rest of the industry. This automation has been the biggest driver of change when it came to dynamic pricing and automated revenue management. The paradox of this change was that the team members were not ready to shoulder this revolution, because they were still struggling to be on track with the changing trends and best practices. But, now most of the hospitality companies have tech professionals on board to train their staff to be technologically savvy.
These tyring times, have also been observed as a period of new adaptations and in fact, Lords Hotels and Resorts has incorporated new tech aides to expediate its productivity; especially with Book on Line (BON), a booking engine from Greece and Rate Tiger, a hotel price intelligence tool that automates management and distribution of the hotel pricing across all channels from a single dashboard. We also intend to soon install various loyalty programs to enhance the customer experience. We are both bullish and optimistic about the future of mid-segment hotel business because of its pocket friendly budget, which is complimented with high-end amenities, offering exhilarating experiences all the way.
From Sales perspective, the growth has seen a spiral growth, people who never ventured out, took to travel with a vengeance. And, with the closing of international destinations, the industry has witnessed surface to surface Revenge Tourism movements, including big splurge on vacations to exotic domestic places. Wedding and pilgrimage destinations also have become a big hit and we see a rise in the visits to such destinations, which has given a significant buoyancy to the market, increasing the sales figures. We foresee, wedding destinations and the MICE movement to take off steadily with regular operations commencing from October season. And, from November 2022, a robust growth is envisioned for the inbound market, student group business and businesses from film production units, who scout for new and unexplored destinations. It is also anticipated that the demand supply in the hotel industry will now play an important role in enhancing the ARR of the hotel. We will also see an uprise of new projects and new chain of hotels in the coming times, bringing about new era of competition. And, we need to be equipped with the best sales team to conquer the vast Indian market.
As far as developing business is concerned, the trend is slowly moving towards building hospitality business in the Tier II cities: especially in the Konkan belt. Moreover, we seem to be felicitating various community-based groups, who are big time travellers and love traveling in huge numbers for benefits of a wholesome discount to places like Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Goa.
Last but not the least, it’s the Human resource department, who are the game changers; bringing the right talent home for business posterity. Doing the rounds on the Internet is this one motivational quote, which states that, “In order to build a rewarding employee experience, you need to understand what matters most to your people.” And right now, it’s the money that walks the talk. Because of this factor, the hospitality industry is witnessing big time attrition. The situation is worsened by the latest news doing rounds that 60% of IHM seats have gone vacant this year which would have a cascading effect in years to come resulting in poor supply to fuel man-power requirements in hotels. It’s become a humungous task for the HR department to retain its people. The talents as per companies’ budget and requirements are not meted; and scenes of referral opportunities to greener pastures have been observed, which are in rapid succession. To combat this, the management needs to be flexible and find productive ways to retain the best talents in the house; by investing fairly and squarely as per the prevailing market trend.
We need to be the Leaders of the change; and change technologically and holistically for a brighter future for all parties concerned.