MICE will be a Key Segment for Both City Hotels as well as Resorts

In an exclusive interaction with BW Hotelier, Abhishek Kamani, Managing Director, The Zuri Hotels and Resorts speaks about the role of smart technologies, challenges in the indsutry and future plans.

CREATING A benchmark in the world of hospitality in its unique way, the Zuri Hotels and Resorts offers uncomprising luxury, best-in-class service and world-class amenities to its guests. Abhishek Kamani, Managing Director, The Zuri Hotels and Resorts speaks about the role of smart technologies, challenges in the indsutry and future plans.

Can you tell us briefly about Zuri Hotels from start to now and the idea behind the brand?

We have been in the hospitality space for many years now. The brand Zuri came into existence in 2009, that is the year we rechristened our Goa and Kumarakom resorts under the Zuri Brand and opened up a brand new upscale city hotel at Whitefield Bangalore.


What have been your biggest challenge in the recent times?

Since we have three properties in Kumarakom, Goa and Bangalore. The challenges that we face are unique to each property. Kerala had its own share of issues with the flood in 2018 and 2019. However, with the excellent marketing support of the tourism department we have recovered in 2020, but the news of Coronavirus has again hit us in Kerala, hope the recovery is quick as the Government has done an excellent work in terms of controlling any spread of the Virus.

Goa market has seen a share shift in segments. Earlier Charters were the bulk of business in all hotels across, that has shifted to MICE and Weddings. OTA share has also seen a steady growth over the years and with new tools of channel management it’s become convenient to optimize the yields. We enjoy a healthy mix of Domestic as well as International guests and that’s key in sharing our business risks in various baskets. We are definitely heading towards a positive growth in 2020.

Bangalore is a completely corporate driven market and Whitefield as a micro market has its own dynamics, which is quite buoyant at the moment. It’s a growing market and I don’t really see a challenge in that unit.

In your view which are the new disruptors in the hospitality industry and their impact?

In India, the new disruptors are not much is the luxury space that we operate in, they are more in the mid-market and budget hotel space. In more mature markets of London, New York, Frankfurt the disruptors are getting into the luxury domain, their USP lies in allowing guests to rent out private apartments with more space and complete facility that enables families to have superior experience than a hotel room. In my opinion the service that luxury hotels in India provide are the key for domestic as well as International guests to come to us, standalone residences and apartments will find it difficult to deliver such service.


What do you see as the role of smart technologies in the new market?

Smart technologies will definitely keep coming and inventing the wheel in terms of how we enhance guest experiences in a hotel. It will help in controlling wastage in HLP costs. It will bring in new methods of acquiring new customers and retaining the regular guests. The OTAs, GDS, Mobile payment apps, Guest feedback tools and many more have eased the way we do business and are avenues that we would be keen in exploring as they keep coming.


In your view how is the industry going to perform over next five years?

Indian hotels space has seen a steady growth over the last five years and with new investments coming in from Global giants, demand will be on a continuous rise in all cities across the country. MICE will be a key segment for both city hotels as well as resorts.


What are your future plans and how do you want to position Zuri Hotels in the next five years?

Zuri as a brand promises to Create Unique World class products, Welcome back our valued guests every time with a promise of yet another personal memorable experience. We look forward to delivering our brand promise and keep doing ethical business and be socially responsible in all our endeavours.

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