Mysore/Mysuru: Hotels and hotel chains are among the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the lockdown is lifted, the biggest challenge facing hospitality companies is how to get paranoid customers to walk in through their doors.
Cash-strapped and bruised by the prolonged lockdown, many hotels in Mysuru are coming up with new campaigns to convince guests that their properties are safe zones and COVID-19 protocol-compliant. Standard operating procedures have undergone radical changes, especially when it comes to guest check-in and back-of-the-house operations.
Despite rule relaxation, hotels and restaurants are reporting thin attendance now and in an effort to compensate for heavy losses, hotels including Hotel Grand Mercure, Pai Vista, Hotel Roopa, Rio Meridian, Country Inn & Suites and others are offering attractive discounts to lure customers.
Most of these hotels are providing a range of offers including 10 to 20 per cent discount on room bookings, food and beverages. Special discounts have been announced for mass gatherings and ceremonies such as marriages and birthday parties.
Special guest packages
Some major hotels have announced special packages for all social events which would include party hall, welcome drink, safety measures such as masks and sanitising, music, wedding cake, breakfast, lunch and dinner together with room services.
Corona Warriors would get an additional discount of up to 20 to 30 per cent for these services. Speaking to ‘Star of Mysore,’ Hotel Grand Mercure Sales Manager Suhas Hosamani said, “All Corona Warriors have to do is just show their ID cards. We will give special discounts to them.”
‘Go Safe’ logo
While booking rooms online, some hotels are displaying ‘Go Safe’ logo on their websites, which would mean that all the rooms, kitchen and hotel surroundings are sanitised to prevent spread of infection and contamination. Hotel Rio Meridian General Manager Ashok said “In view of customer safety, we are training our hotel employees about social distancing, hygiene, sanitisation as well as safety norms to be followed while dealing with customers.”
Most of these hotels and restaurants are also using social media including Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter to promote their business activities and make customers aware of their efforts that are being taken in post-lockdown period and pandemic. Some of them are even posting videos showcasing daily activities in their hotels in an effort to convince the customers.
Safety measures at hotels are focussed on identifying key areas where the guest comes in contact with other people and minimise that contact. Every hotel has identified over 200 touchpoints where they feel that they can make significant changes to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by the current environment.
The touchpoints include elevator buttons, handrails, linen in rooms, restaurants and even the pens in front desk, which after each use will be sanitised.
20 to 30 percent discounts
“We are offering 20 percent discounts to all our customers. There are special packages for birthday parties, naming ceremonies and marriages. We are taking all necessary safety precautions including usage of sanitisers and free distribution of masks,” said Ashok, General Manager, Hotel Rio Meridian.
“In an effort to make up for losses brought on by lockdown period and convince our customers about their safety, most of the hotels are offering discounts of up to 30 percent. They have announced special packages for room bookings and party halls,” said C. Narayana Gowda, President of Mysuru Hotel Owners’ Association.