Consumers are Getting Aware of How the Choices they Make Affect the Health of the Planet: Julian Ayers, Hyatt Regency Delhi
In an exclusive interaction with BW Hotelier, Julian Ayers, Area Vice President for North India and General Manager, Hyatt Regency Delhi shared his views on the growth of the hospitality sector and sustainability inittiatives.
HYATT REGENCY Delhi is a luxurious business hotel conveniently located in the city’s central business district, 20 minutes from Indira Gandhi International Airport. Recently, Hyatt Regency Delhi announced the launch of its own in-house water bottling plant, making it one of the first few hotels in India to take this stride. A specially constructed sterile room, equipped with the latest machinery was constructed within a record of two and a half months.
Passionate about sustainability, Julian Ayers, Area Vice President for North India and General Manager, Hyatt Regency Delhi said, "The water bottling plant endeavours to eradicate approximately 1.08 million plastic bottles a year." In an exclusive interaction with BW Hotelier, Ayers shared his views on the growth of the hospitality sector and sustainability inittiatives.
What is your take on the current scenario in Indian hospitality sector?
The Hospitality sector is one of the key and fastest growing sectors in India. Hotels and hospitality industry is driven by consumer behaviour and demand. The needs and desires of guests’ have led to the emergence of new trends in the industry, we have to continually change and improve to stay competitive.
What has been your biggest challenge in recent times?
The hotel industry, driven by customer expectations when it comes to hygiene standards, exceptional service and customised personal experiences, faces a vast set of challenges. Combined with increasing competition, hotels need to make sure they exceed expectations at every stage of their guests’ stay. A few of the challenges faced by hotels on a regular basis include cleanliness, technology, sustainability, meaningful experiences, etc. Efficient housekeeping teams, innovative use of technology that benefits customers, and meeting the challenges and expectations of the guests in a sustainable way can ensure long term growth and loyalty amongst guests.
How according to you is the hospitality sector going to perform in 2020?
With increasing guest demands and expectations, and the changing scenario of the condition of the planet, social consciousness is not only a need, but also a critical concern. Consumers are getting more and more aware of how the choices they make affect the future health of the planet and that is the reason why we will see a lot of ‘conscious travel’ in 2020. Another trend that will be in focus is ‘tech-augmented hospitality’. While human element being paramount in the hospitality industry, striking the right balance between automated solutions and human in-teraction is the key.
What are the steps being taken to improve hotel indoor air quality?
As this problem will be around for a while, we have installed Siemens Electrostatic precipitator filters on all our air handling units, so the air quality in the guests rooms is of the highest quality.
Tell us briefly about your sustainability/eco-friendly initiatives.
Plastic waste has become a major issue for our environment. From causing harm to the planet and clogging up the oceans to affecting wildlife, plastic waste is a serious problem. The hospitality industry is a major contributor to plastic waste, so it becomes imperative for them to look into ways to combat this problem. Along with contributing towards the wellness of the environment, reduction of plastic use by hotels also helps in portraying the hotels as conscious and sustainable. A lot of the times, guests prefer to stay at sustainable hotels in order to do their bit for the environment. Another advantage is the decrease in waste produced on a daily basis. The alternatives to plastic can be reused and recycled in turn reducing the amount of waste.
Hyatt Regency Delhi has recently launched its own in-house water bottling plant, making it one of the first few hotels in India to take this stride. The fully automated water bottling plant at Hyatt Regency Delhi which endeavours to eradicate approximately 1.08 million plastic bottles a year, by making the switch to reusable glass bottles. This process saves 28 tons of plastic waste every year.
The chefs at Hyatt Regency Delhi have adopted several ways to ensure sustainability in the kitchen. Purchasing for food supplies is an important aspect of the hotel’s processes. A lot of thought and attention to detail is involved as some ingredients are sourced locally and the other are sourced from various other countries. The rule followed at Hyatt Regency Delhi is to buy only as much as is anticipated that will be needed at that point of time to reduce wastage to whatever extent possible. We believe the key to having a sustainable food supplies is to minimise waste.
Additionally, we have a contract with a government approved vendor to collect dry waste for its correct disposal, and for wet waste we have installed Biogas plant of capacity of 500 kg/day. The kitchen equipment does add to the hotel’s sustainability. Being truly sustainable is not just a matter of reducing food wastage, it is also about reducing overall wastage and trying to support local communities that our hotel is part of.
What are your future plans?
Hyatt Regency Delhi has been a pioneer in F&B in the city. This year the hotel is celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Italian specialty restaurant – La Piazza. Next year we will be celebrating the silver jubilee of TK’s Oriental Bar & Grill. We will be building on this legacy with the launch of our new outlet, which is going to be a modern Middle Eastern restaurant. Hopefully, it would be another gem under our culinary belt.
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