Compared to sluggish months after first wave, business vigorous now
Mysore/Mysuru: After missing out on a big chunk of revenues from the domestic leisure, tourism and wedding season business due to lockdown following the catastrophic COVID second wave, the hotel and hospitality sector in Mysuru has reopened on a full scale barring minor restrictions from July 5.
Though it was predicted that it might take months for the nosedived industry to get back on its feet, major city hoteliers say that business has picked up though not on full scale. It is showing signs of full recovery and the sector will revive as the festive season is ahead. But vaccination and caution is crucial, they said.
For stakeholders this is not the proverbial new dawn as the hotel sector’s survival and fortunes hinge on the number of tourists arriving in the city. However, the tourism industry too is showing signs of recovery as more than 16,000 tourists have landed up at Mysore Palace and Mysuru Zoo ever since the lockdown was eased from July 5.
Those in the hotel industry and tourism related business are happy as the occupancy rate in hotels and dine-ins have improved. Relaxing restrictions beyond the present 9 pm will be an added advantage, they said.
Radisson Blu Plaza
Speaking to Star of Mysore, S. Vijay Selvaraj, Director, Sales and Marketing, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, said that recovery after the first wave was sluggish and it took over four months to recover while the recovery now is fast and the industry is showing signs of bouncing back with full vigour. “People are travelling now and there are increased bookings in terms of people while in the first wave people were not coming out. Now they are more aware of the vaccines and staying on guard. Also, allied industries like the manufacturing segment too are in full swing. I am happy to say that we too were able to start operations quickly and the staff too re-joined us as we had made adequate preparations,” he said.
All the staff at Radisson Blu are fully vaccinated as the hotel had taken the initiative, Vijay said adding that this is one more assurance for the guests that they are in a safe zone.
Windflower Resorts and Spa
Tharun Giri, Managing Director, The Windflower Resorts and Spa, said that weekend tourism is fairly strong after the July 5 unlock while weekday tourism is still a little weak. “This is the Ashada month and not many events like marriages are happening. People travelling for those events and using hotels for their stay are not there as of now. Also, since COVID is still prevalent, we are using only 50 percent of the inventory for both the safety of guests and our staff,” he explained.
Compared to the first wave where the industry took off after over three to four months of low lying, the recovery after the second wave is promising. “If you compare 2019 July to July 2021, there is definitely an uptick in the weekend bookings. But that said I would say that the recovery process in the hospitality industry could be judged only after 21 days of assessment when we know exactly if people are travelling. Usually it takes three weeks or a month to make a judgement. Anything before that might be a little pre-emptive to say if it is a good success or not, Tharun Giri said.
Silent Shores Resort and Spa
B.N. Kushalappa, Sales and Marketing Head of Silent Shores Resort and Spa, said that they opened a week back and the business is slowly picking up but weekends were packed. “The wedding crowd has been restricted to 100 and once the restrictions are lifted, I am sure we will see brighter days in a phased manner,” he said.
“In the first wave the hospitality sector was shut from March to July and after it opened in August, it picked up within a month or so. Now after the second wave, it has picked up suddenly. Now people have started living with the virus by being more cautious and they know how Coronavirus behaves and last year, the disease was unknown,” he said.
On the employee strength front, he said, “When the unlock was declared, it became difficult for us to get back our old staff as they had left for their homes in North India and certain staff had switched over to farming. They are returning now. But we were prepared at the same time to welcome the guests also by some balancing efforts.”
The Quorum Mysore
Sri Ram, General Manager of The Quorum Mysore, said that the hospitality sector was limping back to normalcy after months of no-service. “It will take at least another three months for it to fully bounce back but on a positive note, it is showing signs of recovery and that’s encouraging. As of now tourists are bare minimum as Kodagu too opened just two days back,” he said.
Quorum gets 90 percent of corporate guests and the 10 percent is tourists and in the coming days, the tourist flow might pick up. “Before COVID, corporates were maximum 15 percent and 75 percent occupancy was from tourists and leisure travellers. This will change after a month where tourist occupancy will be over 30 percent and the corporate guest volume will come down to over 70 percent,” he explained.
Widespread vaccination gives enough confidence to the people and the hotel industry too will be able to take more people in, heralding the full revival of the industry, Sri Ram added.