Hospitality Has Changed In the Post-COVID-19 Era. Will This Change Stay Forever?
Even though the hospitality industry has reopened and has started functioning limitedly, there are a host of changes that have been observed. It would not be wrong to say that the post- COVID world would have some landmark changes in the social behaviour of the people. The people would be more apprehensive of their hygiene everywhere they go. Therefore, the hospitality industry needs to be abreast to cater to these changes of the Post-COVID world.
Unlock process gave a steady kickstart to the 3-star to 5-star hotels, but occupancy is not that way right now. Hotel staff is also less as most of the labour has gone back to their native land. The guests are also less since the danger of COVID still hangs on our heads. Services offered are also less but have revised. Not only this, but the service to the guest has also been reduced. If two people are allowed together in the lift, then mask and sanitizer are being given free.
You will not find a buffet in hotels these days
According to an official of the Taj Group, the country’s largest brand of 5-star hotels, we have not yet started the buffet. Whatever lunch or breakfast is there, it reaches the guest room. We open the restaurant to prepare guest food only. After that, no food or breakfast is allowed anywhere in the open area. Not only this, but there are also no big events happening yet. Parties for small weddings are taking place.
Poolside area, spa facilities not available
According to this officer, there are arrangements for social distancing, sanitizer and masks etc. at all the hotels across the country. We put fewer tables because of the scarcity of guests. Safety measures have been communicated to all staff. Guest luggage is also sanitized. However, the poolside area is not open yet and the spa and conference etc. are also completely closed. Spas are on in some states, but most are closed.
Food is also being sanitized
Le Meridien Delhi also has a similar situation. Here, guests are also served breakfast, lunch and dinner in their room. An official here said that all food items are completely sanitized and then packed and then given in a bag to the guest room. The official said that there is a free mask, sanitizer here, as well as menus and so on. For this, one has to scan through QR code now. No menu is physical. All work is done from inside the glass at the cashier and billing counter.
Oyo’s occupancy is 60% at the moment
Occupancy of a hospitality firm Oyo Rooms is improving. Oyo currently has an occupancy of 60 per cent. Partially correct but corporates travel has started. Also, people are doing emergency travel. In such a situation, there is a 30-40 per cent improvement in occupancy. This improvement is most visible in metro cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi, Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. Of these, places like Howrah, Marathalli and LB Nagar have more than 50 per cent occupancy.
At the same time, Oyo’s occupancy has declined in tourist places like Himachal Pradesh and Goa. Explain that Oyo has made the cancellation process easier. So that before booking, the consumer can get complete information about the hotel and the room.
Know, the facilities available in Oyo Rooms-
- The bags are sanitized upon entry inside the hotel.
- It is mandatory to check the temperature outside the hotel by the security guard.
- Circles have been formed to ensure social distancing.
- Digital payments are being promoted.
- The elevator button and the room door lock are being sanitized every two hours.
- Small stickers are being installed inside the bedroom at Touchable Place, which ensures that it has been sanitized.
- The cancellation process is being flexible. So that before booking, the consumer can get complete information about the hotel and the room.
Has there been any change in the hotel room rates?
If you talk about Oyo rooms, then here is the same rate as before. There is no change in it. The company is offering 10-15 per cent discount even today. At the same time, if we talk of Five Star Hotel, there is no special change in the rate here. A source of IHCL has said that the company is not thinking about increasing the room rate of the hotels right now. The priority at this time is to build trust among the guests regarding safety and hygiene. This can be considered later. Rooms are currently available at the old rate. No discount is being given at this time because this sector is already running in deficit.
It will take up to 2023 to fully manage the industry
Kamlesh Barot, former president of VIE Hospitality and Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India, said that as per government regulations, occupancy should be 33 per cent. However, this much is still not being done. Occupancy is 12-15per cent at this time. He explains that until international flights and fully domestic flights start, occupancy will remain the same. It will take two to three years for the industry to become normal. If we talk about the rate then we can increase the rate in future because this already loss-making industry is following the rules of cleanliness at this time. Spending on this has increased manifold.