The number of tourists checking in has taken a big hit following the global slump, major hotels, instead of slashing jobs have begun rationalizing their room-to-staff ratio by redeploying staff.
Recently, when Mariott opened its second Courtyard hotel in Pune several positions were filled through internal sourcing. Similarly, Zuri, another luxury hotel group, rotated some of its staff from its Goa and Kerala resorts to its first 162 room business property in Bengaluru, It works both ways, it helps keep the service ratio in control while maximization output from manpower. And for performing and experienced employees, it creates opportunities to reward them.
India’s largest hospitality chain, Taj through internal mobility has reduced overall headcount on a like to like basis by around 1,000. Those relocated include employees from the group’s flagship Taj Mahal Tower & Palace in Mumbai to properties in Goa, Kerala, Nasik and Rajasthan.
The Indian hospitality sector operates on a high room staff ratio if 1:2 as against its western counterparts of 1:1.
Pre-meltdown the emphasis was on creating a talent bench to meet the aggressive growth plan, while taking on additional costs. But now, it has been done based on needs going into sharper details of requirements of talent. With the industry slowdown hiring too has fallen and hotels have been internally rotating excess staff unless for specialized positions, IHCL is the holding company of the Taj group.
Currently, five star hotels in India have an average room staff ratio of 1:1.75 say industry observers. Zuri, with four properties in India, has reduced it from 1:1.9 to 1:1.6. Increased usage of technology and out sourcing of certain operations like security, landscaping and maintenance have also aided hotels to revise their ratios downward.
Accor has well laid down global standards for staffing based on brand specific needs, staff productivity and unique training & development programs. These have been implemented in our Indian hotels to ensure optimal staffing. This approach coupled with identifying developing and deploying talent pool for our upcoming hotels, ensures that we do not downsize during slowdowns.
Accor’s brands include Sofitel, Ibis, Mercure, Novotel and Formule 1. Attrition too has fallen to 11% from 18% when the industry witnessed skyrocketing growth.
Technology is radically transforming the travel industry
The General Aviation Industry continues to grow with respect to the demand despite the economic slump. India is witnessing a steep rise in the number of high net worth individuals who are considering acquisition of private / corporate jets.
Even though, the travel aviation and hospitality space has been affected by the recent economic downturn, like any other growing industry, we have seen this as an opportunity to leverage our core competencies. At the same time, technology is radically transforming the travel industry. Travel technology was originally associated wit the Computer Reservation System (CRS) for the airlines industry, but now is used more inclusively, incorporating the broader tourism sector as well as its subset the hospitality industry.
With the increasing globalization and opening of the economy to the world, aviation and travel industry in India received a great impetus. Technology, coupled with the growth of aviation and tourism globally, had a significant impact on transforming the employment out look in this industry.
The basic reason for the occupancy rate going down is managers are told by their organizations to conduct business through efficient communication systems including Video conferencing and preclude the necessity of travel and personal meetings. Even if they need to travel they have to plan a morning to evening schedule due to air services being available to almost every important business city in India as well as other parts of the world.