Outlook Traveller|May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the hospitality industry. as a leading figure in the space, what’s your take? how will hotels cope going forward?
The nature and location of the hotels will decide their fate in the current financial year. The closed, air-conditioned, corridor hotels may not be sustainable for now. After the lockdown, people will want to be close to nature in open spaces. So how will modern hotels sustain themselves? Nearby, true city escapes—mountain, sea, garden, or riverside—should work. Hotels will have to reinvent themselves. Heritage and boutique hotels with plenty of open spaces and natural ventilation in the rooms should do well post the lockdown.
How can the government ease the pain? do you have any specific expectations?
Our government has helped contain the virus well in time. India should now be projected as being the size of Europe— 2,300km of just one mountain range, 7,500km of coastline… Space is what the world will seek. Social distancing is talking of one metre. India is spaced out—literally!
Financial help is always welcome, but we can’t do the national mathematics. The government has to step in to support the survival of the tourism industry—an industry which employs crores of people. The government has already been requested to step in immediately by waiving off GST for the entire financial year 2020-21, by permitting a complete deferment of all statutory dues payable by the tourism, travel and hospitality industry at the central, state, and municipal government level. Similarly, the government must step in to support salaries and establishment costs. This is especially relevant for the heritage hotel sector which supports locals in the nearby villages and prevents rural migration to urban slums. The unskilled and semi-skilled workforce needs to be protected the most—they form the backbone of the Indian hospitality industry.
What coping strategies is Neemrana hotels adopting?
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