Pooja Patti, General Manager, Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Goa Candolim, talks about the uniqueness of the property and the evolution of Goa as a tourist destination.
How is the hospitality industry in Goa faring?
The hospitality industry of Goa has been on a growth trajectory constantly for the past few years. There has been an influx of hotels across brands and the total available rooms in the city has nearly doubled. The city has seen occupancies of approximately 75 per cent, however, the ARRs have been slightly affected with an increase in supply of available rooms and hotels have been focusing on RevPAR.
How do you cope with fall in demand in the off-season?
During the off-season, there is competition everywhere as all hotels want to secure business. We witness a lot of deals breaking or business moving to other hotels due to budget constraints from the client’s end. The life-saver for the off-season is the MICE segment, which contributes in a big way both in terms of room nights and additional revenue from meetings, cocktail dinners, entertainment, etc. The online segment too contributes to this demand as it has a much wider reach and provides ease of booking through mobile applications.
What makes your brand tick in a market teeming with other prime properties?
Each hotel has its niche offering and Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Goa Candolim is a mixed blend of business and leisure. The hotel offers a meeting space of over 2800 sqft with a pillarless ballroom that is one of the largest in the locality. Also, the hotel is a mere 700 metres from the beach, making it conveniently located and within easy reach, while being away from the hustle and the bustle of the busy Candolim streets. As far as dealing with competition is concerned, we focus on maintaining quality of our products and services in order to retain existing clients as well as build a loyal customer base.
What kind of challenges do you face being in Goa?
Though there has been improvement in the recent years, Goa has to concentrate on improving the condition of its roads. The local transfer fares have to be modulated as there are no set rules or guidelines and more often than not, customers feel short-changed with the high fares quoted for chauffeured vehicles. The overall infrastructure also has to be improved and more avenues for guest entertainment or engagement need to be developed.
Tell us about your clientele.
Our hotel has guests from across ages and market segments. The clients range from youngsters and honeymooners to families, senior citizens, and business travellers. The hotel offers an old-world charm as it is built to exude Indo-Portuguese architecture that offers contemporary and modern facilities.