How has business for HRH Group of Hotels shaped up in the last couple of years?
|Arvind Singh Mewar|
Two things have affected business, the downturn and consolidation. Now we are looking at newer ways of attracting business. We are also looking at adding more rooms through our hotels in smaller destinations.
How has the misinterpretation of heritage hotels negatively affected business?
There is sanctity of a brand, a palace or a fort which people don’t understand. It is important to know that every palace cannot become a hotel. The government should intervene and see that the customer is not misguided. They are the only ones with the ability to enforce rules.
What potential do you see in other states for heritage hotels?
The states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have great potential for heritage hotels. After all they do fall in the same belt with a similar essence.
Your association with the Taj is four decades long. What is the secret behind the success?
We have been with the Taj group for 42 years since 1971. It has been a pioneering example which has run through three generations. One of the biggest things we have realised is that for such a relationship there has to be sustainability. Continued business relations are about passing on values of sustainability. Its very similar to a husband and wife; the relationship is all about give and take.
How does a hotel and destination have a symbiotic relationship?
We couldn’t promote Udaipur as a destination earlier. When Taj came in they promoted the Lake Palace bringing in the tourists. Unfortunately, people recognised Lake Palace much more than the city of Udaipur itself. Then we invited The Oberoi and The Leela group and in effect Udaipur took precedence as a destination.
What has made Udaipur a successful destination?
We are trying to promote Udaipur as a ‘living heritage’. If you take away heritage from a place the destination dies with it. In Udaipur each and every resident is a stakeholder. My family may have been the pivot but as a leader we need to be able to be relate to that heritage and the stakeholders too need to do so.