Sanjay Gupta, General Manager, Le Méridien Gurgaon, talks about what makes his hotel stand out and how 2019 was for the hotel!
How has the year been for the hotel?
The boom in domestic tourism, increased foreign travel and the influx of investment in the hospitality sector as a whole has created sufficient space for hotels to grow. Travel and Tourism has grown significantly as a sector over the previous years which has in turn given the hospitality sector the required push to grow as well. This has spilled over to Le Méridien Gurgaon where we constantly strive on providing a great experience to our guests as soon as they step in and an opportunity to get away from their busy schedules.
What kind of challenges did you face?
The first most common operational challenge in the hotel business is employee turnover. The around-the-clock hours means staff around the clock too. Therefore, finding long-term employees to work these hours can be difficult, not to mention ones that will work weekends and holidays. To suit their job roles, the employees have to have the right personality to serve the type of customers that the hotel business attracts. Dealing with high volume customers with peculiar wants and demands can be a tiring task for few, and may be a big reason hotels are known to have the highest employee turnover rate.
What about the ARR and Occupancy?
There was a time when hotels were dependent on foreign or business travelers for their revenues. However, over the past years, trends have slightly changed. Today we witness more of Inbound Indian business to a reasonable percentage of leisure travelers as well. Increased inbound airline connectivity, heightened use of digital platforms for bookings in India coupled with India’s rising middle class has led to a heightened growth of inbound Indian travelers. Families are looking for short getaways during the hustle and bustle of the week which is also leading to increased occupancy during the year. Now as we step into the holiday season, both ARR and occupancy goes up. Until mid-December hotels in both Delhi NCR enjoy reasonably good ARRs with high occupancies.
Talking of competition in NCR, do you think it’s a threat to you at all?
The scenario and landscape NCR has changed a lot over the past few years. From a totally under developed market a few years ago, the area now has surplus of hotels. This is due to the overall development of the area. There is an increase of investment which has caused remarkable growth in Gurgaon with Greater Noida to follow. While this does increase the competition it also provides an avenue for the area to attract both domestic and foreign travelers which will eventually help position the area as a prime destination for guests and tourists.
Is there anything new coming up in the property- like new restaurants etc?
The hotel constantly tries to adapt innovative ways of functioning. The aim is to provide a great experience to our guests as soon as they step in. We constantly attempt to use new ingredients, methods, menus in order to keep up with the evolving expectations and tastes of the guests and the industry as a whole.