“In the face of uncertainty, hoteliers have had to relearn some of the key cornerstones of the industry, such as staffing and revenue management, both of which underwent major transformations because of COVID.” said Mehul Sharma, Founder & CEO – Signum Hotels & Resorts
What is the current portfolio of Signum Hotels?
Signum Hotels & Resorts is currently operating 4 hotels across Punjab and Bengaluru, and adding another 7 across India, Greece, Bosnia & Canada
Any expansion plans / new hotel openings this year?
We are launching 4 more hotels in Punjab, in next quarter and few more across Greece, Bosnia & Canada.
What are your biggest learnings from the pandemic?
As a result of COVID -19 outbreak, all of our well-thought-out predictions and analyses on the future of Hospitality went out of the window.In the face of uncertainty, hoteliers have had to relearn some of the key cornerstones of the industry, such as staffing and revenue management, both of which underwent major transformations because of COVID.
Web traffic on hospitality-related educational platforms nearly doubled in the past few months. COVID-19 afforded much needed time to hoteliers so that they could sit down and review their approach towards the digital world. While pre-COVID, a lot of hotels used to rely almost solely on OTAs, some took this as an opportunity to regain control over their online acquisition strategy. Doing so, they started improving their website, acquiring new direct booking tools, and working on digital marketing campaigns.
Has business picked up in recent times? How do you foresee demand in 2022?
Yes, demand is accelerating and we can see it touching pre-covid figures by Q3, 2022.
Do you think the worst is over for hospitality sector? What steps should be taken for quick recovery?
The tourism economy, including Hospitality industry, has been heavily hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and measures introduced to contain its spread. Depending on the duration of the crisis, revised scenarios indicate that the potential shock could range between a 60-80% decline in the international tourism economy in 2020.-21. Yes, the worst is over and industry is re-building itself.
Key steps include:
-Lifting travel restrictions and working with businesses to access liquidity supports, apply new health protocols for safe travel, and help to diversify their markets.
-Restoring traveller confidence and stimulating demand with new safe and clean labels for the sector, information apps for visitors and domestic tourism promotion campaigns.
-Preparing comprehensive tourism recovery plans, to rebuild destinations, encourage innovation and investment, and rethink the tourism sector.
-Slashing Taxes, Pushing visa on arrival and increase in flights should also help.
Do you think easing of international travel restrictions will majorly impact the current revival of domestic tourism?
Yes, International travel restrictions will majorly impact the current revival of domestic tourism. It will lead to healthy ARR growth. Currently, the thrust is on domestic travel, hence ARR is pulled down but with inbound coming in we shall see higher ARR hence increased profitability.
Any other new developments that you would like to share?
Signum Hotel Academy is hiring students in full swing and soon to complete its first batch. We are making our global presence stronger with soon to be launched hotels. Also, we are working towards launching our loyalty programme.