Raoof Dhanani

In an exclusive interview with Travel And Tour World, Mr. Raoof Dhanani, Managing Director, Sayaji Hotels Ltd., shares his views on the scenario of the hotel industry that affected during COVID-19 time and how the industry will cope up for the newcomer Omicron.

Travel And Tour World: Tell us about the expansion plan for Sayaji Hotels Ltd. in Indian and international market.

Raoof Dhanani: We currently operate 14 hotels with 1000 existing rooms in the Indian cities of Indore, Vadodara, Kolhapur, Bhopal, Pune, Raipur, Rajkot, Nashik, and Sasan Gir. We aim to open 21 more hotels in the next two years and meet our target of 50 hotels by March 2024. International Expansion is definitely in radar and in our vision but currently we are focusing on Indian market expansion primarily.

Travel And Tour World: Share with us the statistics about festive season hotel stays?

Raoof Dhanani: Festive hotel stays are temporary in nature and November & December are the peak season for this. This is primarily due to an uptick in international tourists along with the wedding season, Christmas and New Year. Most of our rooms are sold out across the country during this season.

Travel And Tour World: Share with us about the room booking and banquet sales at Sayaji Hotels.

Raoof Dhanani: At Sayaji Hotels Ltd. room sales and banquet sales are two separate divisions which share a 70:30 ratio in terms of sales. Sayaji mostly has its loyal customers who are frequent visitors or there are group corporate events that drive maximum sales in terms of room bookings. However, when we talk about the Banquet it is largely about legacy and brand heritage that continues as family tradition. Guests visit Sayaji Hotels for its immaculate service and impeccable hospitality.

Travel And Tour World: Your opinion on the revival of hotel industry in post COVID-19 and steps to resist Omicron variant.

Raoof Dhanani: The hospitality sector has witnessed a significant surge in occupancy in the last few months and this trend is likely to continue in the near future. The idea of staycation that came into being during the pandemic has been a boon to the sector. People are exhausted staying at home and leading a monotonous life. Hence they have been extensively travelling to various domestic destinations nationally. Moreover with festivities and weddings around the corner there has been a significant increase in guest count. Omicron variant is definitely a concern particularly at a time when the hospitality industry is staging a gradual revival. But we are optimistic that impact would be minimum as the industry is already following various protocols to ensure safety of the guests.

Travel And Tour World: Tell us about the rooms and convention facilities at Sayaji Hotels

Raoof Dhanani: The key traction for any Sayaji Hotels is that all our 8 owned Sayaji properties have the maximum number of base rooms available, excluding the suites, premium and Grande category rooms. We don’t differentiate our guests on any parameters and offer the best in-class hospitality and in room facilities. We have 65 plus banqueting venues in 8 cities that include elegant ballrooms, expansive outdoor lawns, poolside terrace, and aesthetically designed banquets.


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