As a cautious India slowly ventures out of the COVID-19-induced lockdown in some areas, hospitality is prepared to slash prices, while maintaining hygiene.
The lockdown has been eased in many parts of the nation, so that restaurants and hotels, one of the worst hit sectors in business, are preparing to attract domestic consumers with decreased prices and a promise of hygiene
The lockdown has been eased in many parts of the nation, so that restaurants and hotels, one of the worst hit sectors in business, are preparing to attract domestic consumers with decreased prices and a promise of hygiene.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued guidelines to allow hotels and restaurants to resume operations outside containment zones from 8th of June. Accordingly, while Maharashtra, Sikkim, and Delhi still haven’t given the nod, Chandigarh, Gujarat, and Karnataka have allowed them to open in a phased manner in keeping with the new standard operating procedures (SOPs).
While the Union Territory of Chandigarh has allowed hotels to resume business from today within limits, hotels in Delhi still haven’t got the nod. Still, with whatever limited access, hotels are trying to get back in the game with deals and new models of cleanliness.
Hotel chains like Sarovar, which has 83 hotels in India are currently operating only 41. Fortune Hotels has launched a program called ‘Safe Stays at Fortune Hotels’ and ITC Hotels has come up with ‘WeAssure’.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh has allowed hotels to resume business from today within limits.
“The hotels reopening on Monday will follow the SOP and rent out only 50% rooms to maintain social distancing,” President of the Chandigarh Restaurants and Hotels Association, Arvinder Pal Singh, who is also the proprietor of Hotel Metro, Chandigarh, told HT.
Looking to welcome guests back, JW Marriott Chandigarh has announced a limited period offer ‘Save now, Stay Later’, which invites guests to make a booking till 30th of June 2020 and avail their stays from now until 30th June 2021.
Guests can opt for 30% off on room rate at JW Marriott Chandigarh inclusive of breakfast and coupled with the flexibility to modify their reservation at any point in time.
General manager of JW Marriott, Chandigarh, Ramandeep Marwah told HT, “Hotel rooms are available for booking and the dining area of restaurants will also be thrown open to public while adhering to the SOP for hotels and restaurants.”
Marriott International’s announcement holds specially for their hotels across South Asia. Guests can opt for 30% off on room rate at JW Marriott Chandigarh inclusive of breakfast and coupled with the flexibility to modify their reservation at any point in time.
Some hotels are ready to open while others want to return only after ensuring their adherence to the SOP. General manager of Hotel Lalit at IT Park, Imit Arora told HT that they have decided not to reopen yet.
“We first need to train our staff to follow the SOP released by the administration, and will return after that,” he said.
Other hotels slashing their prices are Roseate Hotels and Resorts in India who have had to bring down prices by 15-20% this May, compared to last year. Delhi’s Le Meridien hotel has cut down room rated from INR 12,000 to INR 8,000.
International Hotel Prices
Internationally, prices in Greek hotels will be low by 30-50% compared to last year, reports FT. Five-star hotels like the Six Senses Douro Valley Hotel in Portugal remained closed for as long as ten weeks this year and is now reopening with a 30% discount to residents of Portugal and Spain.
A Clean Promise
Hotels around the world are also promising virus-free cleanliness to assure guests of a safe stay. They are adopting practices like periodically disinfecting touch points like door knobs, lift panels, etc. Hotel entrances and public areas are sprayed with chemicals. Furniture in restaurants and eating areas are reconfigured to maintain social distancing.
The Oberoi hotel group assure they follow the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene, in keeping with World Health Organization guidelines, to mitigate the risks associated with the coronavirus.
IHG Hotels and Resorts are teaming up with medical experts at the Cleveland Clinic to come up with guidance and resources for their employees on returning to work and keeping guests safe in this new environment.
Europe’s A&O hostels, with their 39 hostels in 23 cities and eight European countries are installing Plexiglas protective shields to separate guests from their staff. They also have a designated hygiene officer in each hostel.
Domestic Consumers Only
The hospitality industry has emerged the worst hit by the pandemic, as travel and leisure have taken a backseat in the face of panic and social distancing. As restrictions lift, hotels can still only expect domestic consumers at the present time, since there is no expectation that international travel will resume any soon. Still, they are preparing as much as they can to offer a reassuring stay away from home.