Recovery to 2019 Levels to Come by Q4 of 2022: Rajeev Menon

At the fifth edition of BW HOTELIER’s Indian Hospitality Awards and Summit, Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific, (Excluding Greater China) Marriott International delivered his keynote address and had one big message for the industry: Travel is here to stay and the sector would bounce back even strongly post the pandemic provided the industry learns to adapt, innovate and re-imagine its business practices

In his keynote speech delivered in a one-of-a-kind virtual event— Indian Hospitality Awards and Summit 2020 by BW HOTELIER— Rajeev Menon termed the impact of Corona virus pandemic as a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in which companies with strong culture and value would emerge out even more strongly. Menon is the President, Asia Pacific, (Excluding Greater China) Marriott International.

Speaking on the changed norms for travel in Covid times, Menon pointed out to certain specific things that the industry must focus on. “First and foremost is ‘hygiene and cleanliness’. I am a firm believer that brands which are able to consistently deliver on the new standards of cleanliness, will continue to stay”.

Underlining the importance of technology adoption in the hospitality space, Menon emphasized the need for more personalized experience using contactless technology. “Leaders and companies who are able to reimagine and build their organizations using the learnings of this crisis will come out stronger”.

Menon said he expected the hotels to bounce back to normalcy by the fourth quarter of 2022. “I believe that given India’s strong domestic market, there is a possibility for us to see a strong pickup in demand soon. Business recovery to 2019 levels will come only by the fourth quarter of 2022”, he said.

Menon said: “I believe that there is a silver lining in every crisis as long as we continue to recognize the opportunities. I am confident that the industry will come stronger out of this crisis”. At the same time Menon did acknowledge the adverse effects of the pandemic which have impacted the hospitality, travel and tourism industry ‘like never before’. “The pandemic has impacted every part of the world with unprecedented revenue declines,” he said. 

Outlining some of the key learnings from the last six-months, since the onset of pandemic, Menon said: “I am truly amazed by the resilience of the owners and other stakeholders in the business as they adapted to the adversity and took the challenge head-on.” Menon said he was amazed by the level of creativity and innovations around in the industry. “When we talk about people being pushed to the limits they come out with great ideas and initiatives. These will become the norm for the future and will become a great revenue producer,” Menon added. 

Giving a resounding message on survival, hope and revival Menon said: “While there are many businesses that say that travel shall not be the same again but I am hopeful of this sector bouncing back. Take for example the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. A number of changes got introduced in the world of security and travel. Yet, the cross-border travel only increased to billions worldwide. Travel is here to stay, he said.

Concluding his keynote, Menon said, “I continue to remain optimistic and strongly believe in the ability and resilience of my tourism industry colleagues in India and their ability to bounce back stronger. The opportunity for growth remains tremendous and we shall continue to focus our efforts on reviving travel and tourism and bringing the traveler’s confidence.” Menon thanked BW HOTELIER and congratulated all the winners in advance who shall be felicitated in the due course of the five-day gala.


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