Q. What are the services that you offer and how does this compare to other star-rated hotels?
A. Ginger is a 3-star hotel brand that believes in providing a valuefor-money, comfortable stay option without compromising on quality. It is the largest chain of branded budget hotels. It has good air-conditioned rooms equipped with a comfortable bed, refreshing shower experience, a hearty breakfast, and seamless Wi-Fi. We also have a restaurant, fitness centre, and state-of-the art meeting facilities. We constantly work towards building a better and sustainable way of living by providing facilities to our customers without compromising on the environment.
Q. What are the special packages that you offer and who are your target customers?
A. We target business and leisure travellers who are looking for a comfortable and value-for-money stay. Our packages depend on seasonality, festivity, location, and nature of stay of the guest.
The two-night cum three-day package with a complimentary breakfast is very popular among the
weekenders and families. We also offer customized packages to groups, travel agents, and tour operators, which are inclusive of meal. At some of the Ginger properties, we also offer Transit Stay options targeted at travellers who require a room for a few hours, just for quick refreshment; either before a meeting or when the travel schedule is slightly delayed.
Q. Is the MICE segment a huge revenue earner when it comes to your hotel?
A. Ginger being present in key locations across India, we tap into the MICE business in a few of these locations primarily for lodging during conferences and training programmes organized by
different corporates. We have seen a healthy inflow of this business coming to Ginger especially with more and more organizations looking for branded value-for-money accommodation options with a pan-India presence.
Q. What are the major trends that you are seeing in the budget hotel sector?
A. The budget hotel sector has observed a transition in the last few years. We are seeing rapid expansion in the leisure segment and movement of business travellers into ‘efficiently adorable’ budget hotel rooms. The mid-segment travellers are frequently turning their business trips into ‘bleisure’ vacations—extending work trips to unwind with family or friends, better yet- just explore the location.
Q. How is the year-on-year business for your hotel? Do you see the number of budget hotels increasing?
A. Our brand has seen good growth in the inflow of business.
We have consistently achieved 75%+ occupancies overall for the brand in the last couple of years. The budget hotel sector has observed a transition during these years. Business travellers look at ease of stay with smart, efficient, and value-for-money proposition, however, they want state-of-the-art technology at their disposal to work while staying at a hotel.
In the coming years, travel will increase amongst all demographics, however, ‘money-conscious’ travelling will remain a big part of this burgeoning travel industry. Also, India has seen a phenomenal increase in internal tourism, as the Gen-X travellers set in the current trends in the country. If seen in hindsight, this is an effect of growing mid-segments in the hospitality industry.
Q. What policies would you want by the government in this sector?
A. The Indian government has taken positive steps to strengthen the Tourism and Hospitality sector. Some of these steps include E-Visa for 150 countries, M-Visa and initiatives like ‘Project Mausam’ under which it has proposed to establish cross cultural linkages and to revive historic marine-time cultural and economic ties with other Indian ocean countries. The revenue growth is expected to strengthen to 9-10% for the financial year 2016-17.
Q. How are you getting clients, through online bookings or through tour operators?
A. Our focus has been to increase the share of transient business; be it through online booking or any other channels. However, we have seen an increasing trend in the online channel in the last couple of years. Prevalence of smart mobile phones and the internet has led to a rise in online bookings. The entire life cycle of the customer experience is digitally intertwined with the hospitality industry- right from choosing the destination, identifying properties on the basis of reviews, customizing requirement, booking, and voicing their opinion on social media platforms.