Written by Sriram Ramakrishnan, FHD GroupFriday, 19 April 2019
Speaking of Indian Hotels, the first image that comes to mind for most people would either be a traditional looking lavish palace or a generic business hotel. However, changes in choice of guest experiences has gradually altered this presumed image and now, contemporary New-Indian hospitality has become a reality. Next time new hoteliers plan on a hospitality project, it is important to be prepared and offer the following to their growing number of unique guests.
With a bunch of new start-ups entering the hospitality sector, mid-budget hotels are revolutionized in large cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru and so on. Small spaces are revamped with bright, colorful interiors, and certain facilities are availed to attract young travellers. Most of these hotels are run by a small group of entrepreneurs wherein most cases, the owner would be a part of the customer service team to ensure a friendly experience for the guest.
Thematic Hospitality & Wedding
More weddings are moving to hotels and often with a theme. This demands programmatic change in planning hotels. It is to the point where some wedding rituals may have influenced the planning aspects of a hotel. The design of unique hotels, beach resorts have an advantage in this regard, that they can take up a theme into wedding arrangements. Unique Selling Propositions are becoming more valuable.
Specialty in Hospitality
Traditionally, most Indian hotels were made for family users. Since the evolving socio-economic development, it has given rise to more user typologies – Backpackers, business executives, hostels, millennial, old age travellers, etc. The modern tourists have specific expectations, and so the need for specialty hospitality that can address those specific expectations are in need.
Busy lifestyle preference and access to cars, tempt city dwellers to take a weekend getaway outside the city. Weekend getaways have an added advantage when they are close to nature and have silence & serenity. Farming is also a trending activity that is growing unique when people opt for weekend getaways.
Health and Wellness
An actual spa that we would have noticed in a Bangkok resort is now a mainstream / mandatory feature in growing Indian hotels. Yoga, Ayurveda, and Spa are becoming an essential part of special hotels, as they help people in unwinding from lifestyle stress.
Role of Technology
Technology is becoming an essential part of every aspect of hospitality. Hotel bookings have become easier than ever with travel search engines, and loyalty point systems. It also becomes vital for the hotel to showcase its uniqueness to attract visitors this way. Once a visitor is in the hotel, technology can assist in understanding specific user requirements and serve them in a pre-setmanner, without intrusive questioning. Technology can also collect data of user requirements to serve them better next time.
New Entrants in the Hospitality Sector
Beyond the famous hotel chains, new entrants such as builders and investors are showing a keen interest in entering the hospitality segment. This opens up the opportunity as well as creates a demand to have an experienced designer and operating team on board to guide through the decisions. FHD is working with leading hospitality brands such as Mayfair, as well as new entrants such as AR Foundations who recently built Grand Sheraton Resort in Chennai.
To summarise, the Hospitality segment is looking to create a wholesome experience/environment that is beyond providing just rooms. Luxury hotels are aiming to be more lavish, budget hotels are becoming comfortable and efficient, and the rising hotels are considered to hold the essence of Indian Hospitality.
We at FHD Group are continuing to research on such topics and will be issuing periodic insights.
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