In the wake of COVID-19, many hotels across India have been recognised as quarantine centres. From providing food to appointing doctors, the government has worked with the hospitality sector to ensure a healthy and hassle-free stay for those stranded. Republic TV visited one of the hotels in Aerocity, Mahipalpur, and spoke to the GM of the Ibis Hotel.
Hosting hundreds of people is common for hotels in Aerocity but to take care of a huge number of people in a lock-down triggered by a global pandemic could be overwhelming. It could also be stressful for those staying at the hotel who have no choice but to stay put. So, how did the hotel helped both the government and the people?
Anant Leekha said, ''We initiated various activities to keep our guests happy, by running Hindi and English movies through our in-house channel in the rooms, taking notes of personalised requests and even helping them by arranging things they needed. For instance, one of the guests had lost their baggage while returning from another country. When one of the security members learnt this while interacting with her realised that the guest wasn't carrying enough clothes, so she brought a sari from home as a gesture.''
Though the hotel tried to provide people with all kinds of facilities, it had to face a few challenges. The availability of essentials has been one of them. ''Challenge so far has been ensuring the timely supply of goods and materials coming into the hotel so that we can take care of our guests and staff as per our brand promise,'' said Leekha. The central government had to step in following complaints of vehicles carrying essential items stopped at borders. The government had instructed the state governments to work with better coordination and cooperation.
While many districts in the country have not reported fresh COVID-19 cases, it might take long for people especially tourists to visit popular places and stay at hotels. However, those running the business are sanguine about the future.
''Like other industries, the Hospitality industry too has been affected by this pandemic. However, we are very optimistic that things will turn around soon and we will rise again. While this is a testing time for all of us but it has been great to see our everyone come together to fight this," added Leekha.