With the arrival of 2020, there came one of the most difficult times of the century for the world. The deadly Coronavirus took the shape of a pandemic, putting the fast-moving world to a halt. Most of the nations imposed strict lockdowns and implemented severe restrictions on movement. Amongst several other industries, the hospitality sector in India and abroad has been facing unprecedented crises since then. This has forced the rapid evolution of the industry at multiple levels. Chairman of Claridges Group of Hotels, Suresh Nanda has called pandemic the one that has fostered the speed of change for hospitality.
“The pandemic has fostered the speed of the change in the already fast-moving world. This time, the brands did not get time for the technical evolutions and they were forced to embrace the changes in this new world where social distancing is the new normal.”
Rapid implementation of technology
During the pandemic, IT and allied industries came to rescue other businesses with their viable technical solutions. Stakeholders in the hospitality were amongst the ones which took advantage of such a situation to implement highly advanced technologies that include AI and IoT. “Before the pandemic was officially announced, almost everything was manual. Now, hospitality is trying to automate things as much as possible and this is the global phenomenon of change,” says Suresh Nanda.
He also said that earlier such advanced technologies were considered as luxury accessories but now, they have become necessities. “You might witness this phenomenon during your stays worldwide very frequently,” he adds.
Interestingly, he said that coronavirus has manoeuvred the idea of environmentalism in hospitality. “Today, when the whole world has experienced being locked at home, people are expected to become more concerned about environment protection and nature conservation.” For hospitality, he said that technology is going to be the main driver of change for the implementation of environmentalism in hospitality.
“With automation, it is going to reduce the wastage in energy. Moreover, the players in the sector are going to care about the environment by promoting proper management of resources,” he adds.
An opportunity to explore new pockets of India while the local tour & travel industry is the one that is suffering immensely with restrictions on movement, Suresh Nanda calls for travelling locally as much as possible within unexplored hinterlands in India.
“For all the inveterate travellers, restriction on international tourism is an opportunity to explore India to the fullest. As the Prime Minister of India recently called for being vocal for local, what can be a better opportunity? Travelling locally will not only help you understand your nation better but will also help the local tour and travel businesses economically which is crucial for our hospitality industry as it constitutes the lion’s share in the sector,” concludes Suresh Nanda.