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-Tanisha Saxena (email@example.com)
Rajasthan is a beautiful blend of history and culture and one can feel how every nook and corner of the state is unique. Exploring the lanes and bylanes of the state one is bound to witness the beauty of the state. There are best boutique and luxury hotels in Rajasthan, from five-star hotels to cutting-edge boutique retreats. However, one of the worst hit industry in pandemic was the hotel industry. There was barely any tourism after the pandemic but now things have been coming back to their original shape.
Kuldeep Singh Chandela, President of Rajasthan Hoteliers association, shares, “After the pandemic things have drastically changed for the hotels in Rajasthan. There’s more domestic tourism now as people are traveling within the country. Another factor is the delay in the visa processing that is kind of pushing people to travel and explore within the country. Otherwise the hotel industry would have been in a very bad shape. More and more people are choosing destination wedding and with this we have been observing bookings for more than 200 rooms as well. Also, hotel industry has realised that they can’t be too expensive because people who decide to do a destination wedding have options like Oman and Turkey besides India. So, we have to make sure that people don’t go outside and for this we need to keep our property (hotels) charges low and affordable. Another barrier which inbound travellers were facing was transportation charges which the Rajasthan government made tax free. Hotel segment was in a very bad shape due to the pandemic and we wrote several letters to the state government to support us. Finally, the government recognised and we were given the status of a proper industry which is a major step taken by the government.”
Rajasthan oozes heritage vibes and carry history in every brick and stone of the state. We are natural at hospitality. Ofcourse, pandemic affected the hotel industry and we were at our lowest because we totally depend on people moving around. But now that everything is over the industry is thriving by the grace of God. “Foreign tourism has once again returned to its normal pace and even the domestic travel is booming. A humble abode of majestic forts the state attracts people. But what supercede all is the immense support of the State government. Time and again the government has come forward and helped the hotel industry in flourishing. Destination weddings and large scale events has made the things even more fantastic. It is indeed a great phase. If we talk about the changes that hotel industry has done then there’s hardly anything that needed to be changed. We appreciate invitation but we don’t imitate the western concept because that’s not our cultural ethos is. So, we keep it authentic and everything else just fits in the place,” says, Ranvijay, Joint secretary hotel and restaurant association of Rajasthan.
Khalid Khan, Executive Director at Le Passage to India, explain, “Up until now the hotel industry in Rajasthan believed that 80% of revenue comes from foreign tourism and 20% is domestic tourism. However, the scenario totally changed owing to the ripple effect of the pandemic. There were hardly any foreign tourism immediately after the pandemic and the industry remain afloat just because of the domestic tourism. I would like to highlight this very important factor which I have observed especially after the pandemic that 30% of elderly population passed away during those tough times and the remaining age group is traveling with family because they’ve realised the fragility of life and consequently the need to be together. Earlier people aged above sixty used to visit states including Rajasthan because of their liking towards art and Heritage. Now, the young generation has been taking interest in exploring the relationship between humans and heritage of our nation. So, now I believe our hotels need to cater that new generation by embracing changes and keep innovating. For example, the night life which is what young generation is attracted to.”
At the moment the hotel industry is witnessing good inbound tourism because after the pandemic people have realised that travelling is only a way of refreshing and with Visa issuing process of some nations becoming more stringent, the people are traveling within the territory and enjoying the beautiful country. Tarun Bansal, CEO at Arya Niwas hospitality, shares, “Rajasthan in particular is observing tremendous growth in hotel industry because there have been more events and marriages now as compared to the last decade or so. You can see most celebrities have tied the knot in Jaisalmer or jodhpur. This has definitely motivated other people to choose Rajasthan for a destination wedding and similarly for events the hotels have seen great potential. Infact, there are hotels coming up primary focusing on events and marriages. Last year, foreign inbound market didn’t really picked up but this year both foreign and domestic tourism has accelerated the hotel industry. We really hope the coming years flourish the industry.”
On a concluding note, Apuurva Raghuveer, who runs Noir Coffee House, Jaipur feels, “After the pandemic, travel and tourism influx has drastically changed the state of business in Rajasthan pretty much like all across the globe. Experimental psychology has been a blessing as people are now exploring far more as compared to the past.”
According to her, this in turn, has motivated the restaurants and cafes to curate a unique menu and also work on new ways of carving out a niche. Rajasthan is famous for its vibrant culture and heritage. An amalgamation of history and modern aura makes it all so unique. While we can’t predict what lies ahead, I am sure that the food and business sector/hotel and restaurant business is bound to grow.