Meena Bhatia, VP-Operations, Le Meridien New Delhi reflected on the year gone by and opportunities ahead for the hotel business. She argued that while business segment, backed by MICE movement, remained healthy, growing number of stand-alone F&B outlets were posing a challenge to the hotel’s prospect in that segment.
What is the single biggest challenge in running your hotel?
Le Meridien New Delhi is an Iconic hotel. The hotels outstanding architecture and its coordinates lend to its celebrated character. What also enhances its beauty is the extraordinary heart of the house, the well-knit fabric of the work force and the distinct work culture that has evolved over the years. Ownership, passion and commitment of each of the associates is what differentiates the hotel from many others. Nothing that can’t be overcome and nothing that is really an obstacle.
The Government taxation policies though have always posed a challenge, especially the luxury Tax, we are hoping that the GST implementation will resolve this matter.
How has the last year been in terms of business for the hotel? How has it impacted various aspects like FnB, Rooms, average ratings, outlets etc.?
It has been a great year, despite the speed bumps of the emerging Aero City, Demonetisation, Global recession, Brexit, global terror threats etc., I think we have had a great year. India has been repositioned on the global map which has certainly increased demand, especially arising from political and commercial visits, exhibitions and events and foreign companies seeking business opportunities. It has been a growth year. The average room rates have seen a marginal growth, which indicates a positive strength in demand, increase in occupancies have pushed up RevPar as well. Food & Beverage business has seen a bit of challenge in wake of abundance in high quality stand-alone dining venues.
How has the tourism sector shaped up in the last year in your city? What have been the impact on the hotel in regard to the same?
Indian Tourism is looking up as well as India’s position on the global map goes a few notches above. Tourism in the capital has been buoyant, this has been one of the reasons of the increase in demand for hotels.
Electronic visas, new tourist circuits and boost in domestic tourism all additionally contribute to the growth in tourism.