The Covid-19 crisis has upended the travel and hospitality industry. In an exclusive interview with Voyager’s World, Aditya Mata, General Manager, Hawthorn Dwarka, sheds light on how the Dwarka-based property has put safety protocols in place to encourage tourists.
How do you see Dwarka evolve into a preferred tourist destination?
Dwarka is the destination to watch out for in the PC (post-Covid ) era. It was waiting to happen, and Covid has only accelerated the process. Within driving distance from most parts of Gujarat, Dwarka is well connected with surrounding states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. The roadways are well planned, scenic, and hassle-free. The Holy City of Dwarka is known for its heritage and the Dwarkadish Temple. There is more than just homage, obeisance, and religion in Dwarka. Deep-sea diving, snorkeling, outdoor activities, art, culture, painting, stargazing, and the archeological sites make Dwarka a destination of choice for getaways, social events, weddings, and pure vacation.
Besides, the salubrious climate is conducive to an individual’s well-being and is suited for yoga, Ayurveda and longevity. I foresee wellness growing multifold here rapidly.
The proximity to Jamnagar, Porbandar, and Rajkot also make it a preferred weekend getaway for the local community.
There is bound to be the growth of manufacturing in this belt of Gujarat – salt, soap, textiles, footwear, power, oil and petrochemicals, dairy and agricultural produce. This will enhance the demand for staycations and leisure in days to come. Hospitality linked business in Dwarka will gradually become year-round. The city is clean, serene with warm and welcoming people.
Of late, Dwarka has seen the emergence of several quality hotels and newer homestays. What should be done to increase the tourist inflow into the region?
Awareness through communication across domestic platforms – digital and print. Both by Gujarat Tourism and Incredible India. Ministry of Tourism must offer subsidies and incentives to promote Dwarka along with other emerging destinations pan India. Visibility and information on Dwarka is critical to the target segments at the right time to ensure there is conversion.
Dwarka needs gentle packaging and elegant merchandising. It is the most forthcoming ‘ jewel in the Gujarat crown.’ Pristine and serene, it is ideal for relaxation, stimulation and rejuvenation. Rugged, pure, unspoiled, hygienic with traditional values and flavor, Dwarka has the elements for all levels of leisure and socials: Weddings, family outings, celebrations, and business events.
How exciting is to work with a new brand in the Indian market? What are its key differentials?
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham is an extended stay brand that provides an ideal atmosphere for travelers, whether they are embarking on a temporary assignment, relocating to a new area or vacationing. Guests enjoy spacious suites, free Internet, complimentary breakfast and social hours, and the convenience of services such as on-premise stores and laundry facilities for a feeling of home while away on longer stays. Hawthorn Suites are located throughout North America and have a presence in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
The eco-spiritual Hawthorn Suites in Dwarka is spread over 15 acres and propagates biodiversity and connection between mind, body, and soul through its design, location, and soothing interiors. Our Green Team ensures we have almost zero-emission while the entire resort has integrated a state-of-the-art RO water facility with a fully compliant Sewage Treatment Plant. The product is designed and executed to have a net-zero carbon footprint that is completely vegetarian and alcohol-free. With a separate wellness area, meditation room, and a fully equipped gymnasium, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham is simply waiting to be revealed. The one and two-bedroom villas have a living room with a kitchenette for extended stays and families on vacation while the Kids Club is one-of-a-kind with indoor and outdoor activities.
These are challenging times with great opportunities either to be created or waiting to be explored. Agility and wisdom are the key differentiators. This is the time for vision, understanding, courage, and adaptability, which only an established and resilient brand can offer.
Safety First-Count on Us is a protocol and communication specially curated towards hygiene and sanitation, and is a trust- build process worked on meticulously by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. Our Team has been trained on enhanced safety and preventive measures to ensure the stakeholders and guests are offered a clinically processed environment. Food handling, production, storage has undergone different stages of checks and measures to offer our Guests a completely hygienic dining experience.
As an experienced hospitality professional, how do you see the recovery post the current Covid-19 pandemic?
Honestly, stability and consistency in revenues will take time. I see the markets gaining ground post-October 2020 across various formats and stabilizing with progressive demand around the third quarter next year onwards. Until then, there will be spurts of demand, uncertainty, and fluidity. Hence the strategies will need to be dynamic. There is an element of fear, the world has been shaken and we just need to ensure we continue to empathize and be patient towards colleagues, partners, and guests. There are no winners here and those who learn from this unprecedented situation and move onward.
Design and the integration of technology will be more evident and seamless in hospitality. Voice-enabled processes and digital applications are here to evolve rapidly, emphasis will be on functionality and comfort, more privacy fewer people. Space will be realigned, aroma, lighting, color, and feel will be more relevant competency and efficiency will be the catalyst to better profitability hence greater sustainability. Organizational structures will be flattened and hotel managers will have a larger role to play across departments. Human Resource Management besides Learning and Development is the key result areas.
What are the opportunities for Hawthorn Dwarka to welcome the Meetings and Weddings segment?
Hawthorn Suites has the most remarkable set of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. Ideal for board meetings, breakaway groups, social events, wedding, this luxury the resort offers specially curated theme breaks, buffet ‘a la carte’, a unique version of Dwarka ‘haat’ while maintaining the most stringent control on hygiene and sanitation. With a special entertainment and activity capsule for children and families and a comprehensive Spa on offer, this is the destination of the future. The unique evening by the poolside with live folk music and art, star gazing complimented by ‘tulsi’ -infused tea and honey-dipped almonds make the experience at Hawthorn Suites in Dwarka an experience to remember.