We, the students of GATE College from Batch 27th, had an opportunity for an industrial exposure in the hospitality industry. We visited the five-star property at Kathmandu’s Marriott Hotel, although it was not my first hotel visit as a student. I found it completely different from the last one due to the Covid-19 pandemic which shut down the world’s economy almost overnight.
The pandemic has confronted the hospitality industry with an unprecedented challenge. Different strategies to flatten the COVID-19 case such as community lock downs, social distancing, stay-at-home orders, travel and mobility restrictions have resulted in temporary closure of many hospitality businesses and significantly decreased the demand for businesses. However, the reopening process has slowly begun and authorities have started to ease restrictions, for example, allow dine-in restaurants to reopen at a reduced capacity with strict social distancing guidelines, and gradually reduce restrictions on domestic and international travel.
While the hospitality industry is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, I found that there have been a lot of changes in service style and hotel operation, as compared to the past. Every single service from check-in to checkout has been digitized and can be controlled from the guest’s phone which is a major change to minimize the contact of Covid virus from one person to another.
As the Learning and Development director, Mr. Rupesh explained to us that all food handlers are extensively trained and audited daily for safe food practices. All kitchen processes are strictly undertaken with proper food safety gear (face mask, vinyl gloves, hand sanitizer, etc.). I could see that there was a good flow of guests in the hotel. Guests while social distancing were enjoying the service, which shows the positive impact of reopening. It also gives hope that the hospitality industry will rebound to flourish again to reach its previous height.