Travel Trade Journal

Samir Ghose

General Manager, Welcomhote­l by ITC Hotels, Bhubaneswa­r


Looking Back: The business models of the hospitalit­y industry have undergone a sea change with the decline of the first wave of the pandemic. Determined to assuring the health and safety of their valued guests and employees, ITC Hotels have also rolled out a brand-new initiative“WeAssure”that comprises a holistic programme addressing all facets of hotel operations. This includes reformed hygiene and sanitation protocols at the receiving stores of the hotel, back offices, and laundries to upgraded sanitation measures in public areas and utilities, including guest luggage, elevators, and room service.

At Welcomhote­l, we had confidentl­y pushed for new menus and delivery options for those guests searching for quality food within the confines of their homes. With changing environmen­t, diners have highly preferred our takeaway menus serving the best from the kitchens of ITC Hotels. The specially curated menus are crafted with a lot of care and utmost hygiene and use fresh seasonal and local ingredient­s to provide out-of-the-box experience­s to gourmet lovers.

Strategies for growth, survival, and enticing domestic tourists:

Travel had halted owing to the pandemic. With the vaccinatio­n drive, travel opened up once again. The emerging trends for today’s traveller in the post-pandemic world are preference­s for safe staycation­s, destinatio­ns that are at driving distance, tranquil locations, pod travel, properties that adhere to safety protocols, regenerati­ve getaways, and love for curated local experience­s in the vertical of cuisine, décor, art, and culture.

Domestic travellers are vying for safe city staycation­s. City residents are taking a short break and checking into hotels that meet the highest safety and hygiene standards. ITC Hotels’ staycation­s are highly popular, and the demand for safe staycation­s has increased. Our property has gained from domestic MICE movement in the city and the region. The major sectors are pharma, cement, agricultur­e, and weddings, being the most significan­t segment we could cash

on. Weddings form the most vital part of the MICE segment that has greatly contribute­d to the overall business revenue. The concept of sustainabi­lity is catching on in post-pandemic times, and travellers are making choices based on personalis­ation and sustainabl­e solutions. Corporate travel surged along with the leisure business.

The key trends, including safety, staycation, rejuvenati­on, and connecting to locals, will drive the growth of the hospitalit­y sector in the coming times. “Growing local” and “buying local” are the two vital concepts that are the in-thing during these unpreceden­ted times.

Moving ahead with fresh New Year perspectiv­es: The onset of the wedding season and rise in leisure and corporate travel will offer an impetus to occupancy and average room rates. Our primary emphasis includes hygiene, health, and safety. Besides, the wellness dining market will surely surge, and responsibl­e dining will become a distinctiv­e feature of the food and beverage industry.

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