‘Hiring talent challenge for hotels in south India’

Chennai, Sep 4 (Calcutta Tube) With 119 hotels coming up in the four southern states and 11,000 rooms likely to be added to the capacity, hiring trained manpower will be a challenge for the sector, said a hotel industry official Saturday.

‘Hiring talent is a major challenge for the industry now with more properties coming up. Unlike earlier, the hotel industry is not a preferred sector for job aspirants owing to its working hours and the challenging nature of work,’ T. Natarajan, secretary, South India Hotels and Restaurants Association (SIHRA), told reporters here Saturday.

He said in Chennai alone 4,000 rooms will come up by 2012 and 2,000 rooms by 2011.

‘In the short run, there will be a pressure on the hotels to rein in their rates while increasing the offerings. In the medium term, Chennai will be a good market for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions),’ he said.

The other challenges facing the hospitality sector are availability of power, water and taxes, he said.

‘We need infrastructure status for the hotel industry so that long term loan is available. With land cost going up, the government should give land on long lease for the hotel sector,’ he added.

Queried about the mob attack on The Checkers Hotel here Tuesday, Natarajan said: ‘The attack is condemnable. Hotels are soft targets and we need more protection from the law enforcing authorities.’

According to him, a meeting of city hoteliers will be called next week to take stock of the security situation here.

The SIHRA, which held its 59th annual general meeting here, elected Vivek Nair, vice chairman and managing director of Hotel Leela Venture Ltd, as its president.

He replaces Empee Group Chairman M.P. Purushothaman who was holding the post since 1999.

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