Q&A library

We are planning to setup a unique Tent stay(Camping) experience in Idukki, Kerala. We found a very attractive location for this. Along with Camping there will be Trekking, adventure activities, food, music, relaxation and Recreation activities. Currently we are in the process of creating a project report, Cost calculation, designing etc. We are looking for loans to buy a property and set up the infrastructure. Please advise.
Questioned by Manu Mohan, Kerala
Loans are available from all major banks at around 9-10% interest rate. (HDFC, ICICI Bank etc.) You will need to fulfill the requirements from the bank to avail the loan. Seed funding is used during the formation of start-up i.e during the infancy stage of the startup. It is provided by investors in exchange for an equity stake in the company. It can be obtained from family, friends, relatives etc. This is only for the initial stage processing after securing it, one can approach investors for additional funding. This is utilized for the initial operations of the company.

Travel agency fraternity is the worst hit as travel is banned in most places. Moreover, most people are trying to avoid unnecessary tours. Is there any other business that I can pivot to with my expertise in travel?
Questioned by Tridip Chakraborty, Tripura
With the relaxation in E-pass across India, Domestic tours are expected to increase. Bangalore, Delhi, Kochi, Chennai is already seeing uptick in terms of people planning getaways. If you have an already existing customer base, do try and see if they are interested in planning holidays. If you are looking at an exit from this industry, the pivot options are limited. You might want to consider switching industries such as becoming a reseller for your region for any of the Edutech brands (in the school student segment). Some of the brands like Byju's, White Hat Jr , Uncademy are aggressively looking to expand.

How can we manage the house boat business during this tough time. If we have any kind support to convert the business model by utilizing the same infrastructure resources ?
Questioned by JITHU VT, Kerala
House boats are well devised for self isolation and no exposure to outside people. This can be well marketed along with introducing industrial quality sanitisation program. Reimagine the value prop to your customer - "Lockdown yourself and your loved one in a house boat for a serene experience". If you have existing user base already, throw them interesting deals and position this as quarantine alternative for change of mood. You may be surprised to see the no. of bookings you can expect. There are resorts which are already seeing 30-40% occupancy rates

I am a travel agent since 2008. The travel and tourism fraternity is facing a stern problem due to Covid-19. I have decided to recalibrate and start laptop and mobile spare parts business. Can you please suggest about the success probability?
Questioned by Tridip chakraborty, Tripura
The Covid impact has changed the daily lives of millions of people all over the world but the use of technology has seen a tremendous surge. With people confined to their homes, work from home and online learning has become the new normal. There has been an enormous increase in the access and the usage of desktops, laptop and mobile, as they need to pursue their work and learning requirements from home. The key players in the business has surely been PC and mobile. Customers who have not accessed these systems, have started using personal computers to stay productive, connect and learn at this time. As per the statistics in India, demand for laptops have surged since March, mirroring a trend as in other parts of the world. Additionally also, monitors and IT accessories have seen a rise in demand. The mobile business too has seen a consistent growth since March. The data also indicates that there will be a huge demand for communications equipment and cloud infrastructure. With the demand for laptops and mobile devices spiking, the service factor will also be in demand. Therefore the success viability for this business is much stronger at this point in time.

I have 20 years of experience in software arena. Now I want to start a venture on Homestay. I would like to first start in Odisha, my home state. I am sure it is a unique idea and will bring in a lot of employment, making people self-sustainable by becoming owners of homestays. I can say the idea is homestay++. I have tried to bounce off the idea in various forums but while it is well-accepted, I am not getting a helping hand to start with. Not sure, what kind of help can be provided to me? Can you advise?
Questioned by Pradeep Kumar Panda, Karnataka
You have 3 problems to solve at hand:1. Build the product itself - Homestay infrastructure, hospitality needs to make it operational, staffing + training them2. Position what the homestay is going to offer ( Value prop (nature, culture, relaxation, audience profiling - family, friends, couples)3. Distribution - How will you sell these resorts - Do you have enough muscle power to distribute it to your audience, or do you need distribution channels like Direct website, OTA, revenue management software or travel agents?The first 2 can use great help from general managers of any boutique hotels or properties. A great way to connect would be to identify such people on LinkedIn and approach them with an honest introduction. You will be surprised to see them willing to share their experience.The final pointer would be ideally solved by a good revenue manager in the hotel industry. Again LinkedIn is a great place to connect with such people.

What are the alternate sources for income, for a tourism dependent business (such as travel company, small hotels and restaurants, etc.), in current situation with no footfall?
Questioned by Dipankar Pal, KERALA
What we have observed is that the founders have the conviction in the following aspects:1. Do they believe in tourism industry long term. Are they willing to fight out the current phase and rebuild.2. Are they open to look at ancillary services within their industry. For example - some companies like PickYourTrail have started doing domestic staycations while they used to be exclusively an outbound travel company.If the answer to above question is yes - then we would suggest evaluating opportunities within our industry:1. Hotels can think of staycations (weekends), Workation (offer alternate work from home option in a scenic resort) or think of advancing their peak season promotion right away with attractive campaigns.2. Travel companies - Think of this time as your way of digitising your business and process. Though it is not revenue generating, it can be revenue multiplying when things start looking up.

What will be the precautions to be taken while travelling and staying at Hotels? What Should be the Hotel industries response to address the fear amongst the travellers with respect to the hygiene factor in the new normal?
Questioned by Bibhay Anand, MH
From a guests perspective, the precautions to be taken are the general preventive measures that one is already following to prevent the spread of the virus. Aside from that, going to known/trusted places which have high quality in terms of hygiene and cleanliness can be trusted as they would not compromise on the goodwill they already have with their customers.From our experience and having conducted a large scale survey with potential travellers these are the factors which are important right now - Covid-19 related safety, flexibility in booking and a great deal in terms of price. If these are in place, smart marketing can surprise you in terms of how many travellers are willing to travel. All this said, heightened hygiene measures definitely needs to be in place which is imperative.

Amidst Covid, the hotel industry is badly affected, as people shy away from leisure travel. Request your advice on the safety measures the hotel industry should practice to safeguard the concerns of their guests. How can the hoteliers convince the guests on the safety measures being taken
Questioned by Imitiaz Parackat, Lakshadweep
Having worked with resorts during this time, what we have observed is, customers want the following :1. How is the house keeping process between the 2 consecutive check-in's (deep cleaning, industrial sanitisation and ensuring there is no contamination of beds/bathroom by previous guest.2. How is food being served and kitchens being maintained3. Common area social distancing protocols and exposure to other guests within the resort.An honest video covering these aspects and assuring a safe stay will boost lot of confidence for customers. If possible try adding testimonials from customers who have travelled and experienced this post Covid-19 phase at your property.

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