10,125.50146.4
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Hotels should be given the opportunity to open: Vikram Oberoi, MD, Oberoi Group

Vikram Oberoi said he’s disappointed at the lack of government support for the sector.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: May 23, 2020, 10.19 AM IST
0Comments
DAMImage (14).
Coronavirus

COVID-19 CASES

Confirmed
207,615
Deaths
5,815
New Delhi: Vikram Oberoi, MD and CEO of the Oberoi Group, said he’s disappointed at the lack of government support for the sector and called for the restarting of hotel bookings. The luxury hotel chain has seen revenue plummet because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown.

“We have seen an erosion of revenue that is unprecedented,” he said in an interview. “We have not seen this in any crisis before and certainly not in my lifetime. But we see part of the picture. I believe the government would have applied due care in arriving at the decisions that they did to help various sections. Unfortunately, we weren't part of that. Something may still be done. Who knows? Covid is not going away tomorrow.”

He said the Hotel Association of India (HAI) and other groupings had sought aid from the government at various levels. A Rs 20 lakh crore economic revival package that was announced recently didn’t contain anything specific for the hotel industry.

“Are we--and I am not speaking for myself but the entire industry--disappointed that there was no support? Obviously, we are all disappointed with that. Like us, there are other industries that also didn't receive support from the government,” he said.

The Oberoi Group owns and operates 33 five-star hotels and luxury resorts in India, Indonesia, Morocco, Mauritius, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, it has rolled out enhanced health and safety standards and revamped standard operating procedures across all its hotels for various functions and spaces.

Oberoi said hotels should be given the opportunity to restart bookings since flights will resume in a calibrated manner from Monday. However, the fears that people have need to be addressed.

“Dissemination of information is critical and the same holds true for airlines,” he said. “If people are scared, nobody is going to come. There is a need to get factual and correct information out there so that people can take decisions on facts rather than perceptions for themselves and their families.”

The hotel chain may have been the first to implement measures in February such as temperature readings, checking the travel history of guests and having doctors on call before completing check-in formalities, he said. But everyone in the industry has worked hard to ensure guests and staff are safe, he said.

“We have not had a single guest during March that was positive while staying with us. Not one case of a colleague,” he said. “With all the measures that we have undertaken, I believe our hotels and those of others are as safe as anywhere else.”

The new health and safety standards and procedures will be supervised by hygiene and safety managers at each hotel, as well as by senior members of the hotel management team.

The Oberoi Group has partnered with laboratory testing, inspection and certification services provider Bureau Veritas to validate and review the new health and safety programme across properties. Bureau Veritas will also undertake various virtual and in person training sessions to supervise the implementation of the new hygiene and safety standards at Oberoi and Trident hotels. Details of the programmes are available on the group's websites.

"We have gotten into great detail over the last couple of months to cover every area and outline what we need to do in each of the areas to give comfort to our guests and colleagues and ensure their safety. Our new health and safety programme and the measures we are undertaking could be of help to other companies in hospitality, other sectors or even individuals at home. Every effort will be made to ensure our award winning hotels continue to be the safest and most desirable option for our guests and our employees," he said.

Earlier this month, the company announced that Cain International, the privately held real estate investment firm operating in Europe and the US, had signed an agreement with the chain for the operation of 23 serviced residences at 17-22 South Audley Street in London’s Mayfair.

“We are a hospitality company and that's what we are passionate about,” Oberoi said. “Tomorrow, we are not going to get into something that is unrelated. Our competencies lie in hospitality and anything that lends itself to hospitality.”
(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

Also Read

EIH elevates Vikram Oberoi to MD & CEO post

Vikram Oberoi revokes all pledged shares in EIH; shares fall

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service