‘Be receptive to change’
Kanwarjeet Singh Kochhar, Managing Director, Best Western Taurus, talks about changes affecting the hospitality industry, the relevance of travel trade in this day and age, and his expectations from the implementation of Visa-on-Arrival. A few excerpts fr
We will all agree that running a business today, is more complicated and requires more resources than in the past. Technology today plays a major role in almost all aspects of hospitality.
We need to be receptive to change, and extremely willing to acquire new skills. And in these times of rapid change, strategies must be formulated and implemented quickly and swiftly.
In our kind of business, hotels occupancies are affected by a lot of external factors such as seasonality, conferences and symposiums being held in the city, shift in government policies and of course the very essential competitive set. These days, the guests are spoilt for choice. They have a plethora of hotels to choose from in each segment. Therefore, even in the capital city of Delhi, our occupancies fluctuate from 25% during lean seasons, to 80-90% during peak seasons.
Today, our business partners work hand-in-hand with us. In fact, they enjoy a very dominant position in our business module. For rooms, I can comfortably state that our 50% business comes through TAs/OTAs and counting.
How relevant is the travel trade in this day and age?
Travel is indispensable to hospitality industry. What is the point of having a beautiful property at a scenic locale, if there is no accessibility? Today, guests are spending lesser number of nights outside their homes, and this is made possible with the constant endeavor to improve connectivity, infrastructure and conscious effort to built hotels closer to the airports.
I most definitely will vouch for Modi Government’s VoA policy. It will provide a major boost to India’s push to develop into one of the world’s noteworthy tourist destinations — a position that it rightly deserves. But with increased inbound tourists, we need to focus on India as a brand. India seems to offer everything, from deserts to evergreen forests, beaches to snowclad mountains, ancient historical sites and pilgrim centres to modern-day urban hotspots. We also need to improve our infrastructure, cleanliness and upkeep. Tourists do not only see monuments. They are also exposed to various other things, which make a deep impression on their minds and contribute to the overall experience.