Travel Trade Journal
Area General Manager, The Park, New Delhi
Looking back: The year 2022 brought a lot of hope to our industry. After almost two years of COVID impact, the year, especially from April 2022, greatly relieved the Hospitality segment. We went back to comparing our numbers from the preCOVID time of 2019 as the 2021-22 number made no relevance to the business volumes that hotels had started to gain. It was back to the business year for the hotel, with an average increase in business of rooms ranging from 10 to 20 per cent from 2019. There has been a growth in domestic leisure travel this year, and people have wanted to cover India itself like never before.
On the other hand, corporate travel has been saving all the travel during the pandemic, outflowing into 2022, and will continue in 2023. The Government of India’s initiatives and efforts also paid off, with many events being organised on a very large scale. The year has taught hotels not just to keep their dependence on international travel, which filled most of the valley dates and winter months. The confidence to stay afloat and do better even with the domestic business, including leisure and corporate, has increased.
Strategies for growth and survival: 2020-2021 brought in many new concepts in the hotel industry, Bleisure travel, topmost hygiene, staycations, and unique experiences. We brought these concepts into 2022 along with a better understanding of the evolving market and guests’ requirements. We introduced packages online for all major events in the city. We did many online promotions targeting the domestic market, as 90 per cent of the business came from there. Making the hotel offers more attractive for families, and young business travellers remained our focus.
Being a city centre hotel, we benefit from a very healthy business mix. We saw an upbeat movement in the corporate MICE segment with regular residential conferences at the hotel. Weddings have also been a big hit, with our beautiful poolside venues and upgraded banquet space on offer.
Moving ahead with fresh New Year perspectives: Well, 2023 brings with it even more hope and confidence that we will be able to get over the COVID losses our industry has faced. These losses were not only monetary but also in terms of good talent. We hope that in 2023 we can gain back in both aspects. This year is also very powerful for India, as we have the G20 Presidency. The Government has planned over 250 meetings across India and is promoting some of the most off-beat locations. We are prepared to ride on the business volume we will see in 2023. Still keeping in mind sustainability, hygiene, and digitalisation being our centre, we keep our hands strong on personalisation and unique guest experiences.