The pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard along with IT, manufacturing, and allied industries. And worst affected have been restaurants and hotels. But thanks to strict COVID protocols, the star hotels in the city have seen decent business in terms of weddings and business meets. The luxury hotels have stayed afloat due to weddings at their popular destinations where the spendings vary between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 80 lakh per wedding on an average. Taj Falaknuma was one of the most favored destinations, with families spending days during weddings.
Another reason for staycations where one spends two to three days as a holiday and big cations where people mix work with leisure for five to six days to become popular was the reasonable pricing during the last 18 months. While there was no compromise on quality and service, the rooms that once cost Rs 7500 to Rs 9000 now cost Rs 5000 to Rs 6500. The occupancy at present is about 60 percent shares Ian Dubier, area director and general manager of Taj Krishna, Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL).
Globally, the hospitality industry has lost around Rs 1.3 lakh crore or $17 billion due to COVID, and the plight of city hotels is equally deplorable. However, since the Telangana government has asked the IT companies to resume work from offices, there is light at the end of the tunnel finally for the hospitality sector in the state.
Apart from staycations and bizcations, the trend will be towards wellness packages as people have become extra conscious of their health, says Dubier. Going to a luxury hotel, taking up spa services, eating a customized menu will be a norm in days to come, he says.
As for his Taj group of hotels, he reveals that Falaknuma served 75,000 meals at Gandhi Hospital during the pandemic. He further adds that the pandemic has made them re-prioritize their expenses and revenue models.