The Westin Mumbai Garden City: Riding the crest
The coronavirus pandemic devastated the hospitality industry, and those who work in them. After almost 18 months of prolonged devastation, the cases have now started to decrease. Due to dropping cases and rapid vaccinations which are happening in the country, consumer confidence is gradually coming back. People are now heading to hotels and destinations to celebrate their special days, weddings and spend holidays. The hospitality industry is slowly limping back on track with a healthy increment in occupancy. Mumbai, one of the worst-hit cities in the country, is showing signs of business revival. Asmita Mukherjee spoke with Sharad Datta, General Manager, The Westin Mumbai Garden City to understand how the business health is coping up with all the ups and downs that the city has gone through.
Expecting positive demand in the business, Datta said, “The business health of the hotel is showing positive signs of recovery and normalcy. The hotel has been able to pick up occupancy of close to 60% YTD 2021, as compared to 30% YTD 2020. Food & Beverage is also showing good recovery considering relaxation of govt. norms and the positive sentiment of corporate and leisure guests. We also see a good visibility index for our staycation and business packages online, indicating a positive demand in the coming months.”
Datta foresees a very positive recovery trend in food & beverage outlets and catering operations with the relaxation of government guidelines for both office goers and event companies. Elaborating on the MICE strategies of Westin Mumbai Garden City, he stated, “MICE movements in Mumbai is predominantly centred around Pharma, Automobile, and the Sports segment. The plan for the hotel would be to reinforce our business relationships with our corporate customers and ensure smooth delivery for our commitment to clean protocols thus building a safe and conducive service atmosphere to host events within the property premises.”
The wedding segment has always been a predominant business focus area for hotels in Mumbai pre-covid and the trend still stands strong, mentioned Datta. “With maximum relaxation from the Govt. regarding caps for hosting a larger number of gatherings at outdoor venues, the hotel aims to promote and effectively leverage the premier outdoor venues within the premises in the coming season. The hotel provides customised wedding packages and offers, that suit a larger audience. The hotel specialises in curating end to end services for guests planning for destination weddings,” informed Datta.
While speaking on his expectations about revenue growth, Datta mentioned that the hotel is forecasting a strong occupancy trend in the coming season owing to a steady revival in corporate business and strong demand for wedding events. “We are also witnessing an ADR revival of 12-15% in the last quarter versus that of 2020. This year has predominantly been dominated by the domestic leisure segment. The hotel foresees an increased demand trend from production house segments with many film projects scheduled to commence in Q4 2021 and Q1 2022. The sports segment would also see an increase in demand with the sporting events scheduled in 2022 and the hotel would strive to target association with major sports brands and event houses,” he added.
According to Datta, this year is all about the consolidation of businesses and reinforcement of the service culture. Stressing the people first approach of the brand, he said, “Commitment towards providing customers with our well renowned intuitive services is of utmost priority. Putting people first has always been a part of our core values. Be it, customers or employees, our agenda towards success strives on strong relationships and well-being. The hotel also focuses on efficient stakeholder management by concentrating on elevating guests experiences, reduction in operational costs and efficient management of our resources.”