Leisure travel for families with children will lead recovery: Manish Tolani, Commercial Director and Vice President, Hilton India

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August 17, 2021 2:32 PM

The country’s hospitality industry has demonstrated resilience and agility in prioritizing contactless services right from check-in to check-out and are at the forefront of implementing safety requirements they can while hoping that individual customers will act in good faith, while maintaining social distance so as to keep everyone safe.

Manish TolaniManish Tolani, Vice President & Commercial Director, Hilton India

Who doesn’t want to take great, small breaks? Clearly, Indians love to travel and across the country, hotels are reporting increased bookings even as proof of vaccinations have become almost mandatory at every place. The country’s hospitality industry has demonstrated resilience and agility in prioritizing contactless services right from check-in to check-out and are at the forefront of implementing safety requirements they can while hoping that individual customers will act in good faith, while maintaining social distance so as to keep everyone safe.

In this exclusive interaction, Manish Tolani, Commercial Director and Vice President, Hilton India informs Financial Express Online, “ Our research shows that leisure travel for families with children will lead the recovery. Our customer research shows that buying decisions will be largely based on which travel experience is going to be the safest, and where is the safest place to travel to – rather than promotion packages and discounts. ”

With regard to takeaways, Hilton has introduced a special mascot to rekindle memories of the stay and an option to print their images on a frame as they bid adieu. He further highlights that the newly launched Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton ensures families can search for, book and instantly confirm connecting rooms at the time of the booking.

Little details make a big difference in the world of hospitality.

Hilton’s customised registration cards and arrival amenity kits with a choice of desserts stocked for young guests delivers its masterful grasp of what little guests look forward to. Hilton has also rolled out a curated menu for children that is delicately designed and easy to grasp. Food fun deliverables include heart shaped paranthas, dosas shaped like Mickey Mouse, yogurt ice cream for breakfast and DIY food options with the guest’s name on it! Amenities for kids include a recyclable, handmade goodie bag made by Gabriel Project India. In it, the good bag stocks seed pencils, bookmarks and diaries made from a ‘Beej Kapas’ that will later grow into a plant. To reduce screen time on gadgets, rooms are also stocked with board games for little guests to play and to encourage family time.

In your view, how safe do young Indians feel about taking small breaks?

Beginning of this year, travel was gradually picking up. However, in the last few months due to the severity of the pandemic and enforced travel restrictions, the hospitality industry literally came to a standstill. However, in the last few weeks, with cases reducing, we are seeing a growing interest in our bookings. We are seeing rapid interest for our destination properties and impulsive in-city breaks uptick for our hotels.

Hilton has been at the forefront of offering what is best for its guests. Hilton’s flexibility in planning, enhanced cleanliness processes and bespoke experiences are parameters that are more likely to influence the decision-making process of travelers. Our promise is to provide a safe, friendly, reliable and memorable experience to all guests.

Tell us more about Great Small Breaks: Your concept, your objective and what benefits are in store for guests who are keen to travel?

As short-distance travel is becoming a preference, the latest offering will offer an enhanced experience for families, especially the young ones, with personalized surprises, fun activities, complimentary stays and lots more.

Great Small Breaks caters to the interests of young guests. Those below the age of 12 have a complimentary stay and food across Hilton properties. A few offerings include personalised goodie bags, meal options,in-room board games, and more. Hilton collaborated with The Gabriel Project India to offer sustainable goodies such as seed pencils, paper and bookmarks, which are aimed at bringing awareness to their young minds on how to look after the planet. To foster their creativity, colouring books and colours are stocked in the dining rooms.

What specific measures are you taking regarding safety protocols, menus, amenities around the property?

We introduced two best in-class Cleanliness and Hygiene programs across all Hilton Properties. In a post-COVID-19 environment, guests will be more conscious of hygiene practices.

Hilton, in collaboration with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol, and in consultation with Mayo Clinic, has launched an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection called Hilton CleanStay as well as its meetings and events equivalent, EventReady with CleanStay.

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