23.06.2009 - New article - Living in Glass Houses!
Kerala gets ready for Monsoon!
19 May 2009. Welcome again to Kerala, God's own Country! Tourists still flock to welcome the monsoon. The rains have held its mystery since the beginnings of time. The ecstatic awe that the beach at Kovalam exhibits as the rain clouds gather on the Arabian Sea. The weatherman predicts the rains to arrive on the Kerala coast by the 26th of May.
But that is a regular event almost although the monsoon last year lasted only a few days so to speak. The hospitality sector, highly touted and promoted by the local government is still wide open for the savvy investor. This website spoke of some of the challenges in the same sector in a previous article. The investor is better advised to keep an unbiased approach to circumstances that await him as he arrives. The airports that boast some standards of comfort for the international tourist are only Nedumbassery at Cochin (Kochi) and the airport at Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). The airport at Calicut (Kozhikode) woefully lacks commendable accommodation in quantity and is far away from the city which boasts just one Taj property.
People come to Kerala for a variety of reasons. Spices, the resorts, of late conventions, and a good many come attracted by the ayurvedic treatments offered by good clinics in resort modes. There are a few hospitals who can offer world class treatment facilities at a fraction of the costs charged in The U.S or Europe.
Kerala beckons inland pilgrims too. There are places of worship attracting Hindu, Christian and Muslim pilgrims but the accommodations to lodge them are woefully scarce.
There is immense scope for investors who can develop properties that will cater for the inland traveler as well as the international set. Both look for clean hygienic rooms and restaurants in the least. A growing number of non resident Kerala folk come home and tour around the state while on their well earned vacations. Accustomed to international lifestyles they do not bend their lifestyles and living habits back home too, if they can find matching ambiance while here. Expectations are running high when people come here hyped by the GOC promotions.
Tourists should be able to expect and be delivered with first class accommodation with a combination of offers giving them in-house entertainment, culinary excursions, local festivals, waterway cruises, a taste of the sea, jaunts in the hills all with the certainty of reservations and top quality human interactions.
Cleanliness is not costly
Human resources is one factor that pose a challenge to the managements of the hospitality industry in general. The experts on training should be able to find solutions that can tap part time talent now plenty in the state. It's not uncommon to find engineering students in Cochin for instance, doing stints waiting at tables in the evening. It is not entirely essential for employees to be super-specialized in every chore!
Dedication and commitment from the management should be high enough to keep the standards high. The urge for subcontracting and outsourcing the property must be held at bay. Investors must find joy and satisfaction in trying out the profession 'hands on'. Venture Capital should find good growth as the market is buoyant again with the promise of good governance and stable foreign policies as the new government takes over in New Delhi.
God's Own Country beckons!
30.06.2009 Ramakrishnan writes from Saudi Arabia
We have to find a way out for disposing all unwanted items, otherwise Kerala will have more epidemics and communicable diseases. God's own country will become God's Trash country. The paradigm is that education has no relevance where cleanliness is concerned.
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