As India entered Unlock 2 mode from Wednesday, the hospitality industry, one of the worst-affected sectors due to the COVID-19-induced crisis, has started gearing up to revert to their earlier levels across the country.
While, hotels in Jaipur also took a beating during the nationwide lockdown, but now they are preparing to get back on track. The hoteliers here are busy finding solutions to greet their guests with warm smiles which now seems to be covered under the masks and screens amid the pandemic.
Many leading properties have started getting queries for wedding and individual bookings and hence they are busy cracking ways to ensure they welcome their guests with an intact smile, while saying 'Namaste' or 'Khamma Ghani' with folded hands when they check-in.
"We need to ensure that the warmth and the smile remains intact for our customers as they enter into our property. Hence, we are ordering transparent masks which enable our staff to make quick contacts with our customers with the warm smile, says Ram Rathore, CEO, Rambagh Palace Hotels Pvt Ltd.
"Our staff has been already trained to greet our guests with warmth in their eyes. In fact, the lean period was utilised as a learning period by us," said Rathore.
"During lockdown, we ideated to bring in fresh prospects and now, we have included an immunity booster menu containing spinach and lemon. Our spinach cocktail and citrus based food is very much in demand in present times," he added.
"We further ensured that our entire team stays intact during tough times following 'digital empathy.' Each of our employees' well-being was checked no matter where they were and none of our staff were laid off. Our magicians, flute players and artisans were duly taken care of and that is why, they now stand with us as we have opened up for weddings which have been solemnised here. We are also ready to greet our guests who have been calling us from different corners of the world in the next few months," said Rathore.
As we have trained our staff, they are now hosting guests smartly adopting all guidelines of new normal, he added.
Ram Bagh Palace has already hosted eight weddings in June and the guests from neighbouring states have been basking in the lavish splendour here during the Unlock 2 period.
"In fact, we have been engaged in community development and sustainability also and have been asking our vendors to provide masks and other such commodities to ensure they can boost their business in tough times," said Rathore.
Another property Alila Fort also confirmed to have been getting booking queries for weddings.
"We are also getting queries for wedding and other travel segments and it seems that we will be hosting them from October," said Binny Sebastian, General Manager, Alila Fort Bishangarh.
Speaking of the lockdown era, he said, "We used the lean period in training our staff to follow new normal guidelines.
We continued developing new work procedures and mandatory training to educate and equip our team with the right information and safety tips. The well-being of our people remained at the heart of our business. "To ensure that the team remains happy and engaged, we engaged in fun activities and participated in regular yoga and workout sessions."
Sebastian further said, "We, at Alila Fort Bishangarh, aim to preserve the local way of life and traditions , while benefiting the local community. We supported the local villagers of Bishangarh by distributing fruits and vegetables grown in our in-house organic farm."
The silver lining is also being seen in Udaipur where Udaivilas Palace standing synonymous to weddings has started receiving wedding bookings from October.
"It's a decent start after a tough period and we look forward to a better 2021 as international travellers have also started showing interest, says Amit Kaul, GM, The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur.
"We are all ready to serve our guests with a smile," he added.
(Archana Sharma can be contacted at email@example.com)
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