A safe experience

Family leisure & private mobility is bringing more bookings & there is demand for safe stay packages, says Kunal Shanker, GM, InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort.

Neha Rawat

How has the hotel industry changed post the pandemic?

Amid the current scenario, hoteliers have been required to acquire additional skills or even reskill for the safety procedures. Hotel operators have relearned to study the market trends, operating costs and package pricing have been reworked to ensure that the ‘safety protocols’ do not make the visitors’ stay awkwardly expensive.

Guests are now travelling for experiences and not just the product and service. This is one of the reasons that the hotels in India have become innovative, experiential and environment conscious.

For COVID-19 safety measures, InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram has implemented IHG Clean Promise programme with SOPs on temperature check on arrival, Aarogya setu app is mandatory along with 24 hours prior self-assessment form, contactless checkin, a Guided Room Orientation Video is available as a part of luxury check-in experience, prior reservation is required in restaurants as per social distancing norms,baggage sanitation, luxury car sanitation (in case guest requests for transportation), guest masks & sanitisers are available in rooms and on request, it is mandatory to wear masks in all public areas.

Has there been an uptick in leisure travel?

Campaigns likes Vocal for Local have somewhere helped in building momentum for a destination like ours i.e.Mahabalipuram, we have seen an uptick of eight per cent on traditional occupancies with improved ARR, though with governing protocols and ensuring safety measures as hotel operators we have consciously worked to avoid overdrive occupancy and continue to service safe and quality experience for our guests.

What trends do you see post-COVID?

Family leisure & private mobility is bringing more bookings to InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram, there is a  demand for safe & all-inclusive stay packages.Guests are looking at drivable leisure locations for short burst vacations.

Another interesting trend noticed in the resort has been the growth in private room dining preference by guests. InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram has used this trend to curate themed set meals from our signature

restaurants like Tao of Peng as a part in-room dining, while at the Beach side restaurant private enclosures are built on the water’s edge to create one-of-its-kind dining experience.

KUNAL SHANKER General Manager InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipura Resort.

 “An interesting trend is the growth in private room dining preference”