Friday, 18 January, 2019

Hotels bet big on Christmas and New Year's eve

At a time when the tourist season is looking a bit underwhelming, 5-star hotels in Goa are offering exciting activities, dinners, gala parties on Christmas and New Year's Eve to attract tourists and improve occupancy rates

Story: Karan | Sehgal | 25th December 2017, 02:39 Hrs



While Christmas has already arrived and New Year's Eve is just round the corner, there is no surprise that top 5-star hotels in Goa are doing their best by offering an eclectic mix of food, drinks, music, activities and parties to the tourists in order to make their stay experience memorable and also to drive up the occupancy rates at the properties.
Grand Hyatt in Bambolim offered Christmas Eve dinner to its guests on December 24, wherein it had musicians and a sumptuous buffet of international cuisines and also Christmas desserts at Rs 2,200 per person.
Sascha Lenz, Executive Assistant Manager - Food & Beverage, Grand Hyatt, said, "Apart from Christmas and New Year's events, we also offer more than 100 recreational activities to our guests. This is to ensure that they can spend a week at the property and not get bored. We are expecting a 60:40 mix of domestic and international tourists on Christmas and New Year's Eve."
Similarly, Alila Diwa in Majorda also organised a Christmas Eve dinner, wherein its chefs created an artisanal five-course set menu, which they paired with premium wines at Rs 5,000 per person.
Hotels are offering not just a dinner on Christmas Eve, but also a brunch on Christmas Day. This makes sense because a number of tourists fly back on the evening of December 25.
Rajesh Mallya, General Manager, Hyatt Place in Candolim, said, "Our emphasis is actually on Christmas day brunch, wherein we are offering a mix of international cuisine like ‘Honey Glazed Ham with Apple Sauce', ‘Malaysian Laksa Soup' and a number of Oriental, Indian tandoor delicacies. We are charging Rs 1,200 plus taxes per person for this buffet without alcohol and Rs 1,500 plus taxes with alcohol."
Mallya admitted that the demand for Goa as a destination is slower this year than last year. But, 5-star hotels are still able to drive up the occupancy rates thanks mostly to their aggressive marketing and presence of their sales teams in several parts of India. It is the 3-star and smaller properties, which will find it very tough to have 100% occupancy even on Christmas and New Year's Eve, this year.
Even 5-star properties now have become more accommodative in their policies towards tourists. Earlier, a lot of 5-star hotels used to build in the price of Christmas Eve dinner or the New Year's Eve party in the room tariff. Due to this, tourists had to have dinner at the hotel they were staying. However, now, hotels are moving away from such practices to become more tourist friendly.
Unlike many other hotels, which offered a dinner to tourists on Christmas Eve (December 24th), Royal Orchid Beach Resort and Spa in Uttorda planned a dinner on Christmas Day, December 25th.
Shivam Verma, General Manager, Royal Orchid Beach Resort and Spa, said, "We'll be having ‘village theme' for our dinner on December 25th. We will have Goan dance and traditional Rajasthani dance, as 85 percent of our guests on this occasion are domestic. So, they will be able to connect more with these events. Apart from that, we will also have a live band. We are totally sold out on Christmas Day. "
Verma further said that the theme of his property's New Year's Eve party will be ‘Arabian' and set-up, decor, music and dance on that day will be in sync with the theme.
Resort Rio in Arpora had on offer ‘Free Christmas Eve Dinner and Dance with Premium Drinks Included' for tourists provided they stayed minimum three nights at the property, December 22, December 23 and December 24.
On the same lines, Resort Rio is also offering ‘Free New Year's Eve Gala Dinner and Dance with Premium Drinks Included' provided tourists stay at the property for minimum three nights, December 29, December 30 and December 31. 5-star hotels are trying their best to attract tourists on Christmas and New Year's Eve and also in the week in between. If they manage to do well in the last week of December, they will ring in New Year 2018 and rest of the season on a positive note.

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