‘Guests are looking for environmentally responsible products and services’
Kamaljit Singh, General Manager, Hyatt Regency, Amritsar talks about the challenges and opportunities of the hospitality sector in the city of Golden Temple along with some valuable insights on guest services, staycation and sustainability
For over 13 years, this talented and accomplished hotelier has had a proven track record in managing guest experiences, hotel operations, financial management, F&B operations and team leadership. As the incumbent General Manager of Hyatt Regency, Amritsar, Kamaljit Singh is responsible for ensuring revenue generation and profit optimisation along with looking after guest satisfaction. In an interview with BW HOTELIER, the seasoned hotelier talks about the challenges and opportunities of the hospitality sector in Amritsar along with some valuable insights on guest services, staycation and sustainability.
On hospitality market in Amritsar
After the Covid-19 invasion, the hospitality industry has become more business-based. For every hotelier, the constantly evolving challenge is to optimise the guest experience and ensure that guest expectations are met at all times.
On Hyatt Regency positioning
Over the last few years, the hotel has positioned itself as leisure, family as well as MICE destination, given the city is primarily a pilgrim destination. Hyatt Regency Amritsar offers modern surroundings draped in luxury, comfort and deluxe amenities like its home brand, Shanti Spa which takes guests on a holistic journey of wellness and self-discovery; the Teens and Kids Zone designed for the little guests as well as the curated leisure experiences that ensure a mix for all domestic and international travellers. With over 14,000 sq ft conferencing space, the hotel provides state-of-the-art meeting facilities accommodating up to 800 guests. Regency Ballroom and Regency Garden are perfect venues for customised wedding receptions.
On staycation trend
Ever since the pandemic restrictions have eased, the hospitality industry is witnessing a surge in demand for staycation options in hotels. Given that outbound travel still has many restrictions implied, many Indian tourists find it convenient and safe to explore their travel options away from their cities but mostly within the states. Promoting staycations is proving to be in line with promoting the local economy. Hyatt Loves Local is one such global initiative that was launched to support and collaborate with small local businesses, organisations, and non-profits impacted by Covid-19.
On sustainability factor
Guests today are looking for environmentally and socially responsible products and services. Hyatt Regency, Amritsar is committed to examining how the hotel sources, consumes and manages natural resources to serve the guests. At a former level, we encourage using products that are sourced locally, promoting local economy. Various sustainable resources are implemented at the hotel to reduce carbon footprint like the use of solar panels. We have a sewage treatment plant that removes pollutants from the used water and is recycled to be used again and a food compost plant that decomposes the food wastes into a humus-rich compost. Both the recycled water and compost are then used for tending our hotel gardens. Thus, ensuring water wastage and food wastage are reduced to the maximum level and taking a greener step towards our environment. We have recently installed PNG and are the first hotel in Amritsar to do so.
On plans to drive occupancy and RevPAR
In Amritsar, where corporate travel has yet not begun completely and major tourists are domestic and leisure-based, the market has become price sensitive – increasing occupancy alongside RevPAR – is the biggest challenge. With ease in foreign travel restrictions and many tourist spots now open, there is a possibility for the markets to change trends again.
On strategies to increase business
Curating bespoke experiences for guests. Hotels need to look beyond the confines of bricks and mortar to understand guest expectations and cater to them. Re-launching leisure experiences to promote tourism as well as local businesses. In 2019, the hotel introduced the concept of Leisure Experiences by Hyatt wherein a guest would be able to experience the true spirits of Ambarsar as a local resident and enjoy the culturally and historically rich lanes of Amritsar.
Befriending social and digital media as they have become pivotal in the advertising world for the world of business and hospitality industry is no exception. Guests begin planning vacations using a search engine, searching on social media for travel inspiration and reading online reviews. Social media can assist them throughout the decision-making and booking process. As a result, it has become an essential hotel marketing tool.
On return guests
The focus is on curating delightful moments for guests with genuine care and perceptiveness so that their stay is seamless. A guest recently left feedback on an OTA sharing that it was his first time staying in a five-star hotel and wasn’t comfortable speaking in English. The staff, through their sense of humility, made the guest feel warm and welcomed him which, in turn, resulted in the guest feeling contented with his stay. Such gestures shown innately by colleagues make a huge difference for the guests.
On an average day
The day begins at six with a wellness routine: a 45-minute morning walk or gym to stay fresh for the day. A light breakfast before nine and catching up on previous evening’s emails sets the tone for the perfect work itinerary. Meeting regular guests and brand loyalists during breakfast and exchange of courtesies initiates mornings. A brief with the head of departments is planned at 11 am post-breakfast where short-term and long-term plans are discussed. Afternoons are spent on business calls and virtual meets for forecasting, cash flow and expense-related agendas. With a strong inflow of MICE and non-residential events, meeting guests and families happens during this time till early evenings. The day ends with rounds of the front of the house, public areas, restaurant and bar to meet guests as well as a team for evening operations.
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