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Crisis management is the need of the hour for the hospitality sector: Experts

New Delhi (India), May 10: The hospitality sector, both in India and across the globe is witnessing a significant transformation in the post-Covid-19 era. The sector is often referred to as the Sunrise Industry in India and contributes significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

Also, a report by the market research firm Mordor Intelligence has revealed a consistent year-over-year (YoY) increase in the number of tourists arriving in India in recent years, driven by the rapidly growing economy, rich cultural heritage, and diverse culinary offerings, among other factors.

Despite the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions on travel and tourism, this indeed is a remarkable recovery in the sector’s growth trajectory. It also depicts the industry’s adaptive response to the pandemic, which has given rise to several new trends and practices.

Leveraging technology as an enabler, a host of hospitality players today are utilising digital contact and platforms to interact with customers. This includes contactless check-in and check-out, mobile ordering and payment, and virtual concierge assistance.

However, according to experts, the need of the hour is to focus extensively on crisis management education and training to avoid the impact of catastrophes like Covid-19 in future.

”We do not seem to see crisis management as a popular topic at the college level. Certainly, more dedication for students to practise problem-solving in difficult circumstances is massively important. Additionally, managing the impact of that event on the media and external stakeholders is also very important,” says Jon Loiti, MSc, Academic Dean, Senior Lecturer in Human Resources and Management Skills, Les Roches.

Mr Loiti also opines that one of the biggest transformations which the industry has witnessed post the Covid-19 pandemic is a significant emphasis on ”Preparing for the Future.”

”The industry seems to be recovering well from past difficult times. Local tourism too has increased and digital contact has become quite an expanded culture across the industry. Even though takeaway delivery was very popular, going back to restaurants is also rising, reaching numbers close to pre-pandemic times. The biggest change is how prepared the industry is now to face future issues of the same nature for future. We have learnt a good lesson over the last years and the industry will be more and better prepared for future cases,” adds Mr Loiti.

Also, with sustainability gaining considerable significance, hotels and restaurants are becoming more mindful of their environmental impact and are ensuring measures to lessen their carbon footprint. This includes utilising renewable energy sources, receding food waste, and implementing sustainable practices like water conservation and recycling.

While the pandemic posed unique challenges for the industry, it bounced back by embracing new trends and technologies, investing in crisis management and contingency planning, and implementing sustainable practices. Citing the resilience of the industry, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it is poised for multi-fold growth in the coming years.

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