As the world battles the spread of coronavirus, veterans of the hospitality industry say this is the worst phase since the 2008-2009 financial crisis and revenue levels are now near zero compared to the same time last year.
While sources suggest that no job losses have been announced thus far, most hotels are likely to do an impact analysis once the situation normalises. Several leadership roles within the hospitality industry have already taken significant pay cuts in the current scenario, they added.
Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group which owns Roseate Hotels and Resorts said, “these are unprecedented times, have not witnessed an impact as grave as this since 9/11”. NDTV has learnt that most hotels are currently operating at single digit occupancy rates and remain concerned about their fixed costs.
Srijan Vadhera, General Manager, Conrad Bengaluru, said, “most travel and hospitality establishments in the country have come under tremendous pressure during this period”
Chander Baljee, Managing Director, Royal Orchid, Bengaluru believes, “the overheads continue. For electricity there is a demand charge and a minimum charge, other overheads such as salaries, etc. also continue.” Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson & Managing Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, said, “these are extraordinary times, COVID-19 is one of the toughest crisis ever faced by humanity”. For an industry that contributes nearly 10 per cent to GDP, the meltdown due to COVID-19 may have a spiraling effect .
Industry experts hope the situation will improve in the months ahead and some also feel that certain positive changes will continue to stay as a result of COVID-19.
Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group, believes, “safety measures and hygiene concerns will continue to be looked into with utmost importance”.