“We are getting a good response on our promotional offers”
BW HOTELIER interacted with J.K.Mohanty, CMD, Swosti Group, to chart their trajectory of progress in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Offering a plethora of sightseeing opportunities, Odisha is a state that has housed several pilgrimage sites. Apart from that, its beaches, landscape, classical dances like Odissi and Chhau, Buddist tourist attractions, etc., provide the tourists the much-needed exposure to the culture and history of the state.
Swosti Chilika Resort
With more than 300 luxury rooms, the largest convention centre in Eastern India, personalised services, 5-star rating (Swosti Premium), SWOSTI GROUP, has been the pioneer in the State of Odisha’s hospitality industry since 1981. At Swosti Group, they are committed to making a difference every day; continually getting better to keep themselves at the top.
It is needless to mention here that the venture of Swosti Group ‘Swosti Chilika Resort’ which became operational in 2017 is the only Resort which has been certified by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) in Odisha, situated in one of the most pristine locations in the country on the banks of the largest lake in Northern Hemisphere (Chilika Lake). Within a short span of time Swosti Chilika Resort, with its luxurious cottages, lush green landscaping, facilities of Jet Skies / speed boat to visit various Islands, serving delicious fresh sea-food cuisine, etc., has already made name as one of the best resorts in India. It has been widely acclaimed across the globe and has become a major tourist destination of the State. Everyday more than 2000 people are posting on social media about Swosti Chilika Resort. Apart from this Swosti Chilika Resort has made an opportunity to give employment to local villagers.
As far as prospects of Odisha Tourism is concerned, Odisha is the only state that has everything which other states in the rest of India have as their USP like Goa is attracting tourists for its beaches, Kerala for its back water, Rajasthan for its deserts, Madhya Pradesh for its wildlife, Utter Pradesh for various ancient marvelous historical architectural attractions like the Taj Mahal and South India for temples etc, but Odisha is the only state filled with art, craft, culture, cuisine, beaches, lakes, mountains, tribes, the richness of temple architecture, rich heritage tourism, rich Odissi dances, the Tussar silk woven sarees, silver filigree works, rich stone carved statues, sand art exhibitions, the rich eco tourist destinations, Bhitarkarnika, the largest mangrove forest in India. When we compare the potential of Odisha Tourism with the above states, Odisha is much richer in its tourism potential above the soil besides having rich mineral resources beneath the soil.
Odisha has tremendous potential for eco / wildlife tourism lovers where one can get completely devoted to natures beauty and have a peaceful mind when one goes back. The eco / wildlife tourism sector of Odisha has been well protected by the government and the forest department. Odisha is perhaps the richest Eco-tourism state in the country. Some places worth visiting include: Similipal, Satkosia Gorge, Tikarpada, Gahirmath Turtle Sanctuary, Migratory Birds at Chilika Lake, Debrigarh Eco-tourism etc. Beside this, Bhitarkanika, an eco-tourist destination, is popularly known as a mini-Amazon. This is the only place in India where they guarantee tourists to see largest population of giant saltwater crocodiles, eight species of Kingfishers, the nesting of Olive Ridley turtles, Mangroves, and other terrestrial wildlife. Odisha Tourism is also started eco retreat at Konark, Bhitarkanika, Daringbadi, Hirakud & Satkosia to explore the eco-tourism sector of the state.
Promotional offers helping hotels
All their hotels and resorts were completely closed since March 23, 2020 with zero occupancy and income till August 2020. In August 2020 Swosti Grand, at Janpath, Bhubaneswar opened, in September, Swosti Chilika Resort, at Chilika Lake and Gopalpur Palm Resort, at Gopalpur-on-Sea opened and in November, Swosti Premium, Bhubaneswar opened. The average occupancies in all their properties are extremely low and are increasing gradually as domestic as well as international flights and trains are not yet fully operational. However, we are getting a good response on each and every promotional offer at all our properties.
Ensuring a safe and healthy stay
During this unprecedented impact of COVID 19, Swosti Group has been focusing round the clock on the hygiene & cleanliness of all their properties (Swosti Grand, Swosti Premium, Swosti Chilika Resort at Chilika Lake, Gopalpur Palm Resort at Gopalpur-on-Sea, Swosti Travels & Swosti Institute of Management & Social Studies) for the health & safety of all the guests as well as employees and have implemented a number of precautionary measures to ensure the safety standards of all their properties.
They are taking adequate steps for sanitisation, maintaining social distance, wearing masks and very strictly monitoring guest movement in the hotels as per COVID guidelines framed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare as well as the State Government. They are doing their utmost best to provide a very safe and healthy stay at the hotels.
The State Government is also taking proactive measures to protect spread of COVID 19. As the vaccines are now rolled-out we are hopeful large number of devotees / tourists will enjoy the festivals like Gandhalepana Yatra, Mahabisuva Sankranti, Rath Yatra, etc.
Domestic Tourism to drive recovery of the tourism sector
Hospitality and the Tourism Industry world over has been battered and badly hit by COVID-19. It will take at least one / two years after fully lifting of the lockdown period declared by the Government, for the tourism business to get back to full-fledged operations. People will be scared to travel by air and train, people will be scared to attend meetings, conferences, weddings, social functions etc., as social distancing would become a standard practice. The hotel industry, which is dependent on transport, air and rail travel, is bound to take beating for next 12 to 18 months.
Now the Domestic Tourism is the main force driving recovery to the tourism sector. Although the domestic tourism flows have also been heavily affected by restrictions on the movement of people but are expected to recover more quickly once lockdown is lifted. The most important thing now is to focus on the vast potential of domestic tourism and a vigorous marketing plan is required. In a post-COVID-19 world, travellers will love to travel to places rich with nature’s beauty and such destinations that make it easy to maintain social distancing practices. Tour operators will need to get creative by designing itineraries that avoid public forms of transportation and crowded tourist areas.
If we give priority on Health and safety of every tourist, travel in 2021 should be as exciting as we hope.
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