Wedding Season – A boon for the industry and Government restrictions affect hotel business at the time of Pandemic
Every aspect has two faces one is positive and other is negative. Same as with Hotel industry on one hand Wedding season came like ray of hope for the industry after pandemic and on other
Every aspect has two faces one is positive and other is negative. Same as with Hotel industry on one hand Wedding season came like ray of hope for the industry after pandemic and on other hotel business suffered immensely due to government restriction. Let’s take a look at our Industry Experts views on this.
Punish B Sharma
Vice President – Operations
THE FERN HOTELS & RESORT
Weddings are an extremely important part of our lives. We Indians like to celebrate in style and we save the best of our celebrations for the marriages of our loved ones. From the business point of view, marriages are an extremely good source of revenue for the hospitality industry. A typical Indian marriage lasts for a few days and if they have booked a hotel it means the property ends up selling the rooms as well as banqueting space and makes good money.
In recent times destination weddings have also become prevalent. Everyone wants to create a perfect moment when they begin their new life and what better way to book a nice resort and solemnize the rituals. The resorts and hotels go out of their way to woo the wedding planners to book their venues. Guests also prefer such weddings as they don’t have to bother about anything and they can enjoy the celebrations without any worries.
During the last two years the banqueting business has suffered the most. The entire MICE industry had come to a halt. There were a lot of restrictions as far as no. of people attending the functions were concerned. In today’s scenario MICE forms a big chunk of revenue for the hotels. Properties which cater primarily to the segment suffered the most.
However, things are looking brighter now. There have been many marriages which have been conducted in the recent past. There are also good inquiries for the coming season. I believe the worst is over for the industry and from here onwards things can only improve for the better.
The Resort Mumbai
Pandemic has every industry in our country and Wedding industry is no different.Number of weddings didn’t change much during the pandemic phase but the BIG FAT INDIAN WEDDINGS did not remain as big as they used to be. Due to numerous restrictions the guest list shrunk & expenditure patterns changed.
Most of the 2019 and 2020 weddings went lean or were postponed due to COVID. However now with 2022 promising to be a better wedding market is back in action and it is showing prominence as it never showed before. With the lockdown relaxations, weddings planners, caterers , event companies and hotels are finding their muhurat dates filling up fast. Even the pre wedding festivities are getting bigger and better . Guests are ready to spend a lot of these small events too. These pre wedding events are celebrated with dazzling decor , bold colours and exuberant menus.
Obviously hotels are happy. After a lull of two years one feels that now is the time to make some monies and at the same time to ensure that we dont let our guards down completely. Certain changes that have happened during the two years are not bad to be continued further. Guests are still reluctant to use enclosed venues and hence open venues / lawns are much more in demand. Some resizing of the guest list continues but then hosts are eager to make it more exclusive and are now ready to spend for the same.
Having said that , Indian Weddings are all about glitz , glamour and shenanigans : where family , relatives , friends come together and put up an extravagant show. Post pandemic we are positive that this trend will continue.
The hospitality industry had never seen norms and restrictions from the government such as at the time of the pandemic. The industry had taken a major hit during the first and the second waves, and after the ease of restrictions, government norms remained more or less unchanged. However, we have maintained our status as the dream wedding destination due to guest confidence, and trust of our employees.
Associate Director Of Sales
The hospitality industry has been decimated by Covid-19 and the resulting lockdowns across the globe. The industry has suffered massive losses with many hotels and restaurants facing closure and bankruptcy. Such restrictions have a long-term impact on trade, industry and their effect on the economy will be harmful.
Group CEO, The Lexicon Group of Institutes, MultiFit & EduCrack.
The pandemic affected each of us, whether it was isolation, a disruption in our schedules, loss of business or loss of employment. Low and almost non-existent demand, the imposition of section 144 (restricting mass gathering of individuals) and the lockdown had unprecedented ramifications for the Hospitality Industry, making it one of the worst-hit during the pandemic. For corporations, analysts, legislators, and many other market participants, the recent COVID-19 crisis was the most impactful event. Besides the global pandemic, it has also spread commercially to massive capital markets and sectors, especially harming the efficiency and stability of the hotel industry.
The COVID-19 dilemma and the required government restrictions surrounding it are mostly hurting service-oriented industries, such as the hospitality industry. The latter serves as a potent engine of economic growth and employment creation across the world. It is intrinsically and extrinsically liable for regional growth, a wide range of employment kinds, industries, and sub-industries, and it serves as the foundation for many business activities. The Hotels and Tourism sector saw losses of approximately 75% of the industry’s total revenue due to the pandemic restrictions, said the FHRAI for the fiscal year 20-21. Restrictions during the pandemic included a stop to foreign tourist arrivals, domestic travel restrictions, shut down of public transport, and drastically reduced presence of staff members. Though some hotels functioned, meeting bare minimum financial requirements due to international travelers directed to hotels for isolation, hotels relying on segments like MICE, Business and social events were affected severely.
Another struggle the hotel industry faced was meeting its financial obligation since March 2020. Hotels are deeply leveraged enterprises, both in terms of financing and in terms of wages. Many, if not most, hotels are often unable to function for months or even weeks with that level of expense and little revenue. Repayment of loans and interests becoming next to impossible led to many businesses being closed, and Non-Performing Assets witnessed a rise. Occupancy across hotels in key cities of the country saw a decline of about 45% compared to the previous year. With approximately 21.5 million jobs lost during the 3 waves of the pandemic, the recovery from financial and human resource losses is expected to take at least 1-2 years.
All aspects of hotels were affected negatively during the pandemic and the need to step up and start the process of recovery was urgent. Organizations like the FHRAI, HAI, and TAAI urged the government to put in place relief measures and help the industry come back from devastating losses. The government at its end has tried to support the industry to the best possible through policy roll outs, loan moratoriums, directing its businesses towards hotels, suggesting change and at the same time supporting it through rebates and lowering of license fees. Additionally, hotels across the country started employing strategies to adapt to the changes and mitigate the immediate impact that the pandemic was having on the business. Strategies including focusing on ancillary revenues, providing luxury food experiences at the doorsteps through online
platforms and cloud kitchens, and stringent cost-saving measures that included wing closure if required, were employed by the hotels to cope with the unprecedented circumstances.
Once the pandemic restrictions lifted, resilient as ever, the Hotels Industry saw the implementation of measures to satisfy the guest’s demand for increased focus on cleanliness and hygiene in hotels. To function at full strength at the earliest possible, employers sponsored immunization for all employees and their families. Innovative sales and marketing strategies were adopted to boost or create new revenue streams and attract new customers. The need for people to move out of their homes and get a respite from work led to revenue generated from staycations. Though the COVID 19 pandemic made the Hotel industry realize its vulnerabilities, it also prepared the industry and the stakeholders for any such situations in the future. The sun has started to rise as far as the hospitality industry is concerned and 2022 should see results in tune of the 2019 revenues + 20%. Looking forward to a new era in the new normal for the hospitality industry.