Each Friday, the HotelNewsNow.com editorial staff picks the most compelling (or downright gutsy) quote and reader comment from the previous week.
Comment of the week
Ratan Marothia has a lot to accomplish in his newly appointed role as president of the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India. Among the challenge he and the country’s hotel industry face: promoting the hospitality and tourism industry in general; facilitating a stronger relationship with government; fast-tracking new hotel development to meet underserved demand; and training the workforce necessary to keep pace with new hotel supply.
During a Q&A with HotelNewsNow.com’s Stacey Mieyal Higgins, Marothia discussed these and other challenges and how he hopes to address them. Though commenter Gaurang khemka was pleased with what he heard, he has his doubts about the feasibility of Marothia’s agenda:
“The interview touches on all possible issues ad (sic) Ratan Marothia seems to understand the key issues and ways to tackle them. What remains to be seen is how much the indian government with its corrupt politicians and bureaucrats will allow any of these seriously required changes. Its appalling that India received 3m tourists in 2010 when it has so much to offer While even a small country like Singapore with only shopping and entertainment on offer received 18m tourists. While this is not a direct agenda topic for FHRAI - it shld (sic) be as it cycles back to lack of infra.”
Join the conversation by commenting on “Q&A: Ratan Marothia, president of FHRAI.”
Quote of the week
The hotel industry might be on the road to recovery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean hoteliers are looking to pack on the fat once again. Hoteliers at a recent presidents’ dinner didn’t appear too rushed to add back all of the cost-cutting initiatives they implemented during the downturn, according to HotelNewsNow.com’s Jeff Higley.
During the event, which coincided with the Memphis Lodging Industry Update earlier this month, Wright Investment Properties’ president Larry Wright said he’s hesitant to beef up staffing as long as hotel performance remains healthy.
“We didn’t touch sales staff because we needed top-line revenue,” he said. “We started using opaque sites, which offer historically low rates. But we needed heads in beds.
“We’re showing fairly significant improvement in the performance of our hotels, and (general managers) want to bring back some staffing, but I’m pushing back as long as our scores with the premium brands are in good shape. We’re going to try to keep the cutbacks in place as long as we can and still deliver the experience.”
• Read “Hoteliers ponder reinstating cut items.”