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Hotel industry in the Andaman Islands

Unique challenges of hotel management in the Indian archipelago


Compared to the mainland Indian subcontinent, managing a hotel chain in the Andaman Islands presents a unique set of challenges. Naturally, while both regions offer opportunities and challenges, the islands' remote location and reliance on travel agents necessitate special considerations. In this blog post, we will examine the obstacles encountered by hotels & resorts in the Andaman Islands compared to the mainland India and strategies for overcoming these challenges.

Unique challenges of hotel management in the Indian archipelago - Andaman Islands

Limited Accessibility


Compared to mainland India, the Andaman Islands' remote location poses a significant barrier to accessibility. The islands are only accessible by air or sea, with limited flight connections and ferry schedules. This limited accessibility affects the number of visitors visiting the islands and, as a result, hotel occupancy rates. Hotels must concentrate on attracting travelers through effective marketing strategies. Collaboration with transportation services to offer convenient travel options and all-inclusive travel packages can aid in overcoming accessibility issues.

Moreover, the already limited flight options become even meager when the only airport at Port Blair (Veer Savarkar International Airport) undergoes irregular runway shutdowns. The airport being a Civil Enclave under the control of Indian Navy in which the Passenger Terminal Building and Apron is administered by AAI- is susceptible to partial and complete runway closures. A challenge that the Hotel Federation of A&N Islands have been facing since a long time and government involvement has been requested at multiple occasions. The situation ahs definitely improved in the last few years with governments help and focus to develop A&N Islands as a major tourism spot while maintaining the environmental sustainability of the archipelago.


Seasonal Fluctuations


The number of tourists visiting the Andaman Islands varies with the seasons. The prime season, which coincides with the winter months, is characterized by high demand, whereas a significant decline in visitors represents the off-season. Managing finances, personnel, and operations during these times requires cautious planning and revenue diversification. During slow periods, hotels can consider targeting niche markets, promoting off-season packages, and collaborating with travel agencies to attract visitors.

While these seasonal trends had a vague pattern before the pandemic of 2020, the post-COVID world has blurred any such patterns and each season and off-season comes with unprecedented trends. The hotels in the A&N Islands have to be dynamic in their approach to keep up with these ever-evolving trends.


Infrastructure and Supplies


Infrastructure growth in the Andaman Islands is not as robust as on the Indian subcontinent. Inconsistent access to vital resources such as electricity, water, and internet connectivity exists. Hotel chains must invest in reserve power generators, water storage systems, and dependable internet connections. To prevent potential supply shortages in the islands, hotels require to establish robust supply chain networks, explore alternative procurement options and maintain ample inventories.


Environmental Sustainability


Preserving the untainted natural environment of the Andaman Islands is essential for the tourism industry's long-term viability. To reduce the hotel's ecological impact, they must implement eco-friendly procedures. Implementing initiatives such as rainwater collection, solar energy systems, and responsible tourism practices will benefit the environment and attract eco-conscious tourists. By collaborating with local environmental organizations and actively promoting sustainable practices, island hotel chains can improve their brand perception while doing their bit for the environment.


Manpower & Training


Finding and retaining competent human resource is more difficult in the Andaman Islands compared to the mainland India. Due to the local population's limited exposure to the hospitality industry, there is a need to have more trained personnel. Hotels should invest in extensive training and development programs to improve their employees' skills. Establishing partnerships with local educational institutions and providing internship opportunities can assist in attracting talented individuals interested in the hospitality industry. Providing opportunities for advancement and fostering a positive work environment will help retain employees.


Dependence On Offline Travel Agents


In the age of OTAs (Online Travel Agents), offline travel agents still play a big role in determining prices and influence passenger flow in the islands. Hotels must cultivate solid relationships with travel agencies to ensure a constant influx of visitors. Establishing long-term business relationships with travel agents through mutually beneficial partnerships, competitive commission rates, and familiarization journeys is possible through close collaboration. Moreover, hotel chains can invest in digital marketing strategies to target direct reservations and decrease their reliance on travel agents to strike a balance and create an environment for healthy competitive pricing for the guests.


Conclusion


Compared to continental India, managing a hotel chain in the Andaman Islands presents unique challenges. These obstacles require strategic planning, adaptability, and a focus on local dynamics. By addressing the barriers of limited accessibility, infrastructure and supplies, environmental sustainability, staffing and training, and reliance on travel agents, hotel chains can successfully establish operations on this picturesque island. With a proactive and customized strategy, hotel chains can flourish in the Andaman Islands and tap into the immense tourism potential of this unique destination.

 

Written by Rishabh B.

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1 Comment


SRS Infobit
SRS Infobit
Oct 26, 2023

Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared an informative and interesting blog post

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