Travel is coming back as nearby weekend getaways and city staycations: Anuj Chaudhry

People are slowly embracing the ‘new now’ to resume life. Anuj Chaudhry, General Manager, ibis Gurgaon Golf Course Road, shares more…

Tell us briefly about the market response to the reopening of hotels in the city?

There is an encouraging demand and we have been receiving positive response from our guests, who are opting for short breaks, seeking a break from the mundane. After months of restriction and lockdown, travel is coming back in the form of weekend getaways to nearby leisure destinations or same city staycations. People are slowly embracing the ‘new now’ to resume life. Accor has launched several offers, campaigns and strategic partnerships to reinforce their trust and remind our guests that they can enjoy travel and their hospitality experiences with the highest level of safety and hygiene through our ALLSAFE label. The demand is owing to the domestic tourism and hopefully, with our innovative offerings, we’ll be able to capture it. 

We will continue to enhance our offerings through campaigns like ‘For the love of Travel, for the love of Now’ and ‘Missed Celebrations’, encouraging guests to follow their hearts and cherish every moment of life in a safe and hygienic environment.  

F&B has been another significant contributor for a hotel. What creative initiatives have been taken by you to maximise your F&B business?

Food and Beverage has played a crucial role in the time of pandemic for all ibis hotels across India. We have recently ventured into food deliveries which has facilitated us to increase the F&B demand during this period. Our main aim is to provide ‘Good Mood Food’ to our guests in the comfort of their home with all the safety precautions and protocols in place from their favourite signature restaurant, Spice It. 

As part of our elevated hygiene protocols and ALLSAFE guidelines, we have moved to contactless menu and ordering software at all our outlets. All physical menus have been replaced with a QR code for digital menu access on your smartphone, allowing guests to place their orders seamlessly.

Shortage of skilled manpower was one of the major issues that the hospitality industry was facing in the pre-Covid times. What is the current situation?

Key focus during the pandemic and post has been multi-skilling. We are extensively focusing on up-skilling our team members to ensure that our services can be more efficient. The agility, adaptability and flexibility of the team have brought success to the brand all over the world and it has contributed to the ‘personal touch’ of the guest experience that we deliver. Our teams have embraced new skills that this ‘new-normal’ demands. Our employees are now trained to balance the ability to demonstrate heartening levels of warmth and personalized care, the very core of what hospitality is about.

Housekeeping has a leading role to play in the new normal. What is your take?

Housekeeping is the one of core pillars of the hotel, with a larger focus now in the new normal to ensure that the hotel is well managed with stringent hygiene practices. We believe that the well-being measures will be a key influencer for guests, clients and corporates to decide their preferred choice of hotels. Hence our housekeeping teams have a critical role towards the business aspect of our hotels.   

What would be your message for the guests who may be making their travel plans for the near future?

I would like to assure guests that all safety precautions are being undertaken to reinstate their trust back in travel. In addition, with technological innovations to reduce touchpoints such as contactless check-in, check-outs, and even towards contactless dining, we have refurbished our entire offering, keeping the safety of our guests and team members in mind. We look forward to welcoming our guests with the same warm ibis hospitality and experience in the new normal.


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