Now that hotels and flights are gradually opening, tour operators face a new challenge – bringing back demand and starting business soon. While some think this demand exists, others feel that there’s still time before beginning international promotions. Opinions are many, but the underlying factor remains the same — restart.
Jatinder Singh Taneja, Vice Chairman, PATA India Chapter
To keep domestic business going, to increase and to keep the traveller’s trust intact, it is very important that ‘no quarantine’ be enforced. It should be publicised very well through all media channels so that everyone is aware of it if they are travelling within India. The traveller should carry the COVID-negative test certificate while travelling and that should be a passport to travel within India.
Kerrie Hannaford, VP Commercial, Accor – India and South Asia
The foremost priority is to bring back customers’ trust by incorporating top-level safety and hygiene standards in every aspect of business. We, at Accor, with the ALLSAFE label have strictly been abiding to cleanliness and hygiene measures, be it in rooms, public spaces, restaurants and all the possible places one can think of. Our focus initially is to promote domestic travel, weekend getaways and staycations.
Pushpendra Bansal, Chief Operating Officer, Lords Hotels and Resorts
The last few months have brought an unprecedented avalanche of challenges for the hospitality sector. However, with the country opening, both leisure and business travel is bound to increase. We have launched staycations, work from hotel, and exclusive long-stay packages, which are very popular among our guests. A mega sale on our brand website is currently underway.
Ravi Gosain, Managing Director, Erco Travels
We have been in touch with our clients overseas and no one has a clear indication about the future. Even if we push our products, we don’t know if it is the right time because they are also not creating any products for their clients who are the ultimate travellers. I think we must wait for some time before doing any planning or making a strategy for promotions. There is no clarity on visa. The regular flights are not happening.
Debjit Dutta, Chairman, IATO – West Bengal Chapter
When it comes to demand, it is already there as people are craving to travel and get out of homes. If a vaccine comes tomorrow, 75% of people will be out of their homes and travelling. Hence, creating demand now is not the correct term, but creating demand after the pandemic is over is what needs to be focused on. The industry has learnt a hard lesson in terms of doing business.
Vinayak Koul, Director, Snowlion Expeditions
Firstly, as a company we are in touch with our FTOs and focusing totally on making the client trust us so that when they start booking, they are as safe as they are in their homes. Also, we are trying to market whatever little we understand of domestic marketing, which is a complete overhaul for us as we have been in inbound business for the last 25 years.
Inputs by Nisha Verma