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Hotels in Chennai send executives out on road trips to woo customers

Monday, August 23, 2021, 10:30 Hrs  [IST]

According to TOI, After almost two years cooped up at home, Sathish Kumar set off on a road trip with friends from Chennai to Ladakh just a couple of days before Independence Day. But this time round, the avid biker is not pursuing his passion. As the IT manager of GRT Hotels, which is sponsoring his trip, he is also spreading the message that it’s safe to travel, if you are fully vaccinated and follow all Covid-19 safety protocols, by sharing his journey on social media #greatladakhtrails.

“After the second wave of the pandemic, we were discussing how to revive travel and tourism. Sathish had been planning this trip and we thought sponsoring it and sharing his journey on social media will encourage more people to travel,” says Vikram Cotah, CEO, GRT Hotels & Resorts. “He is following all safety protocols – wearing a mask, sanitising regularly, avoiding crowded spaces, staying at hotels that are well sanitised. And we have given him an ioniser that he can use to sanitise his room wherever he stays.”

The hospitality and tourism industries took a hit during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. But now, with people slowly venturing out, city hotels are sending their senior executives out on road trips and recording their journeys in a bid to revive travel and tourism.

“Many people are afraid of travelling, so I want to break that fear. So I hope sharing my journey – where I stay, people I meet, food I eat -- will help encourage others,” says Sathish. “I want to tell people you can travel now. And this will also help the hospitality sector.”

The hospitality industry has joined hands with the tourism department. On August 22, general managers of city hotels will go on a motorbike ride, ‘Rediscover Chennai, Rediscover Life’, to promote secure and safe tourism in Tamil Nadu, an initiative that is supported by India Tourism and TN tourism. “The GMs of city hotels have a forum and many of us are bikers. We did a similar ride last year after the first wave of the pandemic. And this time, we are seeing travel slowly picking up and we want to promote tourism in TN and especially to Chennai as a gateway city,” says Rajesh Radhakrishnan, GM, The Park.

“We will start the ride from E Hotel, Royapettah, stop at the Gandhi statue on Marina beach, then ride to Kovalam. The tourism department has tied up with the Bay of Life Surf School as they want to promote Kovalam as a surfing destination so we will spend an hour surfing,” says Radhakrishnan. “We will then go to Muttukadu, which is also being promoted as a tourist destination, head to MGM and then back to the city.”

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