Indian hospitality, which laid off millions in the first and second waves of the pandemic, has started hiring again as leisure and business travel make a comeback amid falling infections and widespread vaccination.
Leading hotel chains such as Fortune Hotels supported by ITC,
, and Royal as well as travel platforms like Makemytrip have resumed the setting as post-Covid travel trends of Staycation and Workation, wedding bookings, upcoming vacation season – many are planning their vacation around Christmas and the end of the year and have a lot of catching up to do with the demand for hotels and the whole Put the travel industry on the road to recovery, company officials said.
Some of the settings are focused on new hotel openings, while others populate the exits.
Lemon Tree Hotels, which had laid off several employees by the end of the second wave, hired 500 people last month and plans to hire 1,000 more over the next two months.
“From a total of 8,500 employees, we had dropped to 5,000 by the end of the second wave,” said Patu Keswani, chairman and managing director of Lemon Tree. “We hired 500 last month. As new hotels open, we’ll be hiring another 2,000 over the next 18 months.”
Fortune Park Hotels, who want to open several properties, will hire around 500 employees by March Parkhotels. “We have just opened our newest resort, Fortune Resort Benaulim, in South Goa. We are actively looking for employees for locations like Tiruppur, Hoshiarpur and Haldwani, ”he said.
Royal Orchid Hotels plans to add nearly 400 new employees to its existing and future hotels, said its managing director Chander Baljee. “As the economy and our business show signs of recovery, we have stepped up our recruitment efforts,” he said. “We hope to have 100 hotels in our portfolio by the end of 2022.”
Travel industry recovery
Makemytrip is also aggressively hiring in all technical and non-technical functions as the travel industry recovers from heavy losses during the pandemic.
“Domestic traffic is skyrocketing every week,” said Yuvaraj Srivastava, Makemytrip’s group chief HR officer. “Premium and five-star hotels have recovered more than 100% from pre-pandemic times, and budget hotels have seen around 70 to 80% recovery.”
The country’s leading travel portal has around 200 vacancies. “We started hiring people for all locations and across roles,” said Srivastava. “It involves a combination of replacement and growth-minded attitudes.”
Economists and labor market experts ET spoke to believe the worst is over for the travel and hospitality industry, where multiple establishments have closed and thousands have lost their jobs.
“The high death rate in hotels and restaurants is a thing of the past,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at
. “Various state governments have been promoting the hospitality industry since September. The increasing desire to travel has led to better occupancy rates for hotels – especially in tourist destinations. All of this leads to a higher staffing requirement, ”he said.
“The attitude is also being driven by future growth plans as people expect the worst to be behind us,” Sabnavis said.
The increase in travel has led to a labor shortage and increased turnover in the industry. Both five-star hotels and smaller competitors are facing staff shortages as they have had to let go of many resources, said Rituparna Chakraborty, executive vice president of TeamLease Services, a human resources and solutions company.
“Most of this is incremental hiring as the long vacations ahead and the increase in travel activities create a need for more manpower,” she said. “There is a need for people through housekeeping, the kitchen, looking after guests, etc.”
Functions that are heavily dependent on migrant workers are also facing a shortage, said Chakraborty.
Arjun Sharma, chairman of Select Group, which has diverse business interests in the tourism and hospitality industries, said, “The industry’s biggest concern is the shortage of skilled workers.”
Makemytrip’s Srivastava said a slight increase in turnover shows that the market has opened up. “This applies not only to the high-demand tech roles, but also to non-tech functions,” he said.