Article contributed by Mr. Achal Raj Vij and Dr. Savita Upreti, Amrapali Institute of Hotel Management
Corona Virus has created a lot of night mares in every occupation and hospitality is one such sufferer. Empty restaurants and rooms with the huge open space deserted and silent is not what this sector appreciates, it even dreads its thought. When COVID hit the world no one had even apprehended that the vicious cycle would engulf the whole world and consume most of its functioning within seconds, yet it happened. It came, it is and it may last for some time. This deadly thought came forward as nervous reflections from some but the majority started planning for it, equipping against it and preventing any future loss. Astonishing were the strategic planning and management that came from hospitality industry such that it bifurcated the entire scenario into three phases, the COVID phase, the present scenario and the future stage. Hoteliers have been dealing with the pandemic effects keeping these three phases in mind. They have used the lockdown period on research to develop strategy to overcome any future damage when the guests start coming out.
Mr. Raghvendra Pratap Singh, Associate Director of Sales Holiday Inn, Gurugram, on an online knowledge booster session on 6th Marchshared his experiences among the students and participants with inputs on the current strategies they are applying to chase market in Gurugram. He informed the students about various strategies that make the sales better. The first of these is IHG promo as YOU ARE # 1 PRIORITY. The customer is everything as far as this industry is concerned but the person who serves the hotel is the first to be taken care of. He can serve well when he is served well. Keeping this in mind the IHG has developed several ways to promote the well being of the guest and the hotel. These strategies can be broadly divided into Sales Initiatives and Customer Engagements.
The sales initiatives come from the promo through digital platform. IHG have developed numerous strategies to reach out to the guests to publicize the business and develop connections and collaborations.
What needs to be advertised is a common query from the nascent mind. The strategy must relate to increase Hotel Business and can be brought through Hotel Room Sales that drives revenue. The planning has brought the Hotels from empathy to emotional connect. It may sound strange to the professionals but the virus has triggered in the emotional aspect of human existence and needs to be encountered similarly. At least that’s the way we feel when we listen to a genius like Mr.. Raghvendra Pratap Singh, who has through his determination reached a height that is fantasized by the AMr.apalians worldwide. He happens to be an alumnus of the institute as well.
Digital platform needs a vast resource that makes the facility easy to watch and choose. The customer has once lost valuable money pooled for business trips to leisure trips post pandemic and now fears losing or getting it on hold due to the fact that insurgency crops in any time. Corona Virus has well taught us how insurgency takes its form as unknown, unidentified virus too that breaks through a major portion of the society and does not spare even the most well equipped ones. The IHG has tried to bring relief to this by developing flexibility in Hotel Industry as far as booking is concerned.
- We go for short term contact
- Cancellation flexibility
- Collaboration with other hotels
Let’s join hands together COVID is no less than an alien!!! That’s our view as bloggers of this activity but we personally feel we grow better as we collaborate.
A campaign is a must as a scheduled, systematic campaign but we cannot forget the guests at any place. Strategy #2 is to provide the guest with comfort as they contact. The IHG helps to meet with confidence
“Book now, let us meet later.”
IHG@ Business reward points for planners and bookers.
A promise is a sincere strategy #3
The IHG promises and advertises to provide the best practices and guide lines supplemented with additional COVID 19 cleanliness specific guidelines trainings and information consistent with their own high standards.
The hotels have been known for their cleanliness and have received a position called ‘Brand’ by the guest through the experience that have had of their stay in the past. ‘Rome was not built in one day and so were brands like IHG.’ This again is our interpretation of hotels as we catch up with another round of the best talks ever by Mr.. Raghvendra Pratap Singh and thus again we shifted our attention from analysis to listening and caught a few more best strategies that give an insight to strategic planning in the hotel Industry.
‘People never change what changes is the style’ and we are all sure of the enthusiasm and relaxation that will again pour out once man has got acquainted with the new virus strain called THE DEADLY CORONA VIRUS 19. It sends chuckles to think back of the days when man turned from a nomad to a civilized entity and then wanting to go on an audacious holiday to get out the best of his hidden genes of adventure and thus helped the hospitality industry to flourish. He will definitely come out again for adventure. Getting back to the knowledgeable session we heard a lot from Mr.. Raghvendra Pratap Singh about Sales Initiatives as
- Aggressive Pricing strategy
- Dynamic Packages
- Joint meeting with sister hotels
- Segment wise sales plan
We heard about the Customer Engagement Plans as
- Emotional Connect
- New initiatives towards safety and security
- In room meals and contact less service
- Rewards and Loyalty
Holiday Inn uses IHG way of clean standards that includes deep cleaning with hospital grade disinfectants in guest rooms and public spaces.
What else can be a morale booster for the Hoteliers in progress at Amrapali Institute of Hotel Management? I bet fear needs to fear now more than the ones on line to join the gracious, ambient profession called Hospitality Industry.