How are the Airports Gearing up for the New Normal – An Insight

The much talked about ‘new normal’ is now around the corner, and the aviation industry has brought about a lot of changes in its way of operations to deal with the situation. In this article, we have brought to you some crucial insights into the functional and organizational alterations that the airports have implemented to thrive amid the new normal.

30-seconds summary

  • Strengthening social distancing and health screening measures through better surveillance
  • Increased automation at several crucial checkpoints across the airport premises
  • Better management of passenger flows at the major points through active monitoring
  • Renewed training and preparations for the workforce to play a pivotal role in preventing the spread of COVID-19

With the world coming to a standstill and the countries shutting down their borders, the onset of the global pandemic changed the face of travel and tourism as we know it. And, undoubtedly, the airports had to bear its impact in a major way. There was no more of that mad dash for tickets, crowded immigration lines, sitting areas packed with people, big luggage bags all around, and the general bustle of the airports.

However, the aviation sector is known for being resilient to challenges and hurdles that come along its path. As such, when the country resumed domestic flights back in May, the airports were quick to adapt to the multitude of changes in its procedures and operations that came as part and parcel of this recommencement.

So, today we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, one of the leading aviation colleges in Kolkata, have decided to take a closer look at how the airports have geared up to welcome the new normal. Read on to know more.

New measures for social distancing and health screening

Given the highly transmissible nature of the coronavirus, the first and foremost thing to ensure is to pertain to the measures for social distancing and health screening. To that end, markers have been placed at each turn to remind travelers of the need to maintain distance. Additionally, authorities and teams are being present at all security check areas, boarding gates, check-in halls, and curbsides to ensure that adequate health screening is being carried out, along with following the norms of social distancing.

Specific measures for better hand-hygiene management

The significance of hand hygiene can never be stressed enough in the current scenario. No wonder why the health officials and the media consistently keep reminding the people about its importance. And, going by the studies that have revealed that as many as 30% of travelers avoid washing hands after using public restrooms, which further increases the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, the airports have enough reasons to particularly stress on the measures for better hand-hygiene management.

A 10% rise in the level of hand cleanliness at the airports can ensure a 24% reduction in the spread of a disease, while a 40% increase in the same can lead to a 69% reduction. This not only outlines the role of airports in controlling the pandemic but also highlights the significance of maintaining hand hygiene for all passengers.

The airports have provided touch-less hand sanitizers at different points along the premises and are also ensuring sanitization of the check-in baggage through UV machines. Furthermore, several points have been demarcated at the airports where hand sanitization is mandatory.

Increasing presence of automation at the airports

With the need of the hour being reducing the contact between passengers and staff, increased automation has become one of the prime focus of the airports. Though Indian airports were already making the move towards greater automation for the past couple of years, the resumption after the pandemic has accelerated the rate of adaption of advanced automated technologies.

Automated information kiosks are already a part of most airports, and these are being further enhanced with decision-making software and artificial intelligence. Here are a few areas where the airports have either already implemented or are in the process of implementing promising automation measures:

  • Security surveillance
  • Baggage collection from passengers
  • Offering information regarding passenger transit
  • Disinfecting and cleaning operations

The present health crisis might even accelerate the realization of the vision that airport robotization might be a possibility by 2030. Apart from the inherent cost-saving potential of increased automation, such solutions offer the added benefit of keeping both the passengers and the employees safe from close interactions.

Improved management of passenger flow at the major points

Just as the tower control makes sure that there is a safe separation between aircrafts, the airports are now promoting safe separation between the passengers! Better management of passenger flows at the major points pertains to taking a number of critical actions.

For instance, airports have regulated access to different areas, and are carrying out active monitoring of the expected and present passenger density to mitigate any chances of congestion. To add to that, since queues are simply unavoidable at places like check-in counters and passport control, improved queue management techniques are also being implemented.

Training and acquainting the teams to face the new normal

Last but not the least in importance, the pandemic has made the airport employees gear up for the latest challenges with a new round of training and preparation. After all, the airport managers and their teams are instrumental in ensuring the effective implementation of all the measures that we talked about so far. Being in the frontline of the fight against the pandemic, the airport staff are not only having to keep the premises protected and secure for the passengers but also ensure their own safety to offer the optimum level of services.

So, when it comes to being one of the leading forces of the country in its combat against COVID, the aviation industry needs an adaptable, proficient, and skilled workforce that can rise to the demand of the times. And, this is where our advanced training and real-world teaching methodologies come into the forefront.

As one of the pioneering aviation colleges in Kolkata offering world-class training in the field of aviation, tourism, and hospitality management, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, make sure that our students stand out based on their experiential knowledge, dexterity, and dedication to excel and succeed. So, if you want to see yourself making a mark in this dynamic field, let Avlon be the wind beneath your wings.

How is the Digital Era Aiding in the Evolution of the Hospitality Industry?

Digitalization has left no industries untouched with its miraculous advancements, and one of the sectors that have experienced a whole new level of digital advancement is none other but the hospitality sector. In this article today, we will delve into the varied ways in which the digital era has aided in the evolution of the hospitality industry.

30-second summary:

  • Service automation to bring an extra edge to customer interactions and leading to efficient workforce management
  • Location-based services to aid the efforts at personalizing and customizing guest experiences
  • Social media serves the twofold purpose of digital marketing and customer services
  • An increase in the use of apps and chatbots for facilities like loyalty programs

With the evolution of new technologies and the market disruptors reaching their zenith, the need for a core transformation is noticed in every industry, and the hospitality sector is no exception. As such, the sector has long identified the value of digitalization as the catalyst to offer not only excellent guest experiences but also to reduce several operational inefficiencies. Thus, it comes as no surprise that more than 50% of hotels have planned to increase the IT investments in the years to come, while over 40% have decided to keep their current investments unchanged.

So, how far has this wave of digitalization transformed the hospitality industry? Surely, the way we book hotels or check-in has improved immensely in the last five years, and even our methods to find the right places to head to have undergone a sea change. But, is that all to the digital evolution of the sector? In this article today, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, one among the leading travel and tourism management colleges in Kolkata, will give answers to all such questions by outlining the impact of the digital era on the hospitality industry.

Enhancing guest experiences through service automation

Service automation refers to a vast area that includes everything from using facial recognition and automatic check-in through apps to automatically offering the amenities as per guests’ preferences, such as booking spa appointments or giving extra towels. Automation has led to a transformation of both customer-centric and customer-facing activities, thereby making more staff free to focus on other crucial areas dealing with further improvement in guest experiences.

We, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, a renowned hospitality management college in Kolkata, in our years of experience in grooming efficient professionals for the hospitality industry, have seen that in this era of competitiveness, a business that goes the extra distance for the customers is the one that has more of the recall factor. Thus, a combination of service automation and the dedicated efforts of the hotel employees is levied to add to the guest experience in order to make it more memorable and ensure repeat stays at the accommodation.

Letting mobile apps and chatbots take center stage

For a long time, loyalty programs have been a crucial element in the marketing efforts of a hospitality location as it ensures increased engagement and interaction with the guests.

With the apps coming to the forefront with technologies driving these loyalty programs, the rate of engagement is only going to rise in the years to come. After all, nearly 56% millennials and 50% of Gen X guests have opined that they would much rather use a loyalty app, rather than carry around a loyalty card.

Now, the next-gen of mobile apps and chatbots will be used as one-stop destinations, offering access to a variety of facilities, right from controlling the room lighting to ordering movies for the night.

Reforming the humble desktop phone in guest rooms

So, what is the least advanced technology found in most hotels? It’s probably the humble desktop phone kept in the guest rooms!

But, not anymore, as the digital era has made it possible for guests to pair the in-room phone system with the apps on their mobile phones. This enables guests to switch between the devices to receive calls anywhere, along with adjusting the room temperature or ordering room service from any place, regardless of whether it’s outside their room or even outside the property.

Businesses are using this connected technology to inform guests about their upcoming gym or spa sessions, provide recommendations about local events, and the likes.

Leveraging social media for customer services and marketing

At present, there is hardly any business in the hospitality sector that does not have a social media presence, regardless of its scale of operations. Social media has lately emerged as a powerful tool taking the hospitality industry a lot closer to its target audiences across the globe.

Irrespective of whether it’s a halt for the night or weeks, the guests turn to social media for pictures, reviews, and more of an establishment before they check-in. Moreover, they post their own reviews on their pages about their experience of staying at the hotels.

Thus, those curated social media profiles of hotels and restaurants that we notice on these platforms, serve the twofold purpose of fueling the digital marketing initiatives and improving the customer services.

Location-based services focused at personalization

Keeping the guests comfortable and happy during their entire stay: isn’t that one of the main tenets of the hospitality industry? Well, this is exactly what the advancing hospitality technology attempts to ensure as well, and making use of the location-based services is one of the ways it is done.

Knowing the location of the guests enables the hotels to push out special offers when they are more likely to act on them. For instance, giving them a special coupon when they’re passing by the hotel gift shop or sending a glass of orange juice to their room right after their morning run. It even lets the hotels know the whereabouts of their staff, so that they can be sent to the right place at the right time.

Thus, it’s evident that technology has turned out to be a critical component in revolutionizing the present and future of the hospitality industry. However, another fact is that regardless of all the automation, guests have always craved human interaction in this service-based industry. And, this is where expertise and skills of the hospitality management professionals come into the picture. At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, we are putting in dedicated efforts to provide our students with real-world based training that makes them capable of managing the actual complexities that might arise anytime in the industry. Our aim at Avlon, being the most highly trusted hospitality management institute in Kolkata, is to not only make our budding professionals adept at keeping pace with the evolving digital tech in the industry, but also to groom them to become proficient enough in bringing that much-needed humane touch to the proceedings.

An Overview of the Key Segments of the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is a vast arena comprising of a number of elements that work cohesively under the banner of hospitality. In this article, we will discuss the key segments of the hospitality industry and their roles in customer satisfaction.

30-second summary:

  • The hospitality industry has four key segments, namely, lodging and accommodation, food and beverages, travel and tourism, and entertainment and recreation.
  • Each of the segments involves varied job opportunities with varying degrees of direct customer interaction.
  • Customer satisfaction is the main aim for all sectors of the hospitality industry.
  • Lucrative career prospects exist in every segment of the hospitality industry.

The hospitality industry represents a bustling, multibillion-dollar industrial sector with a myriad of categories. And, the focus towards delivering the finest customer service is the unifying factor of all these segments. In any case, the coming together of these varied sectors of the industry is what ensures that the needs of the guests or travelers are catered to in a holistic manner.

At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, the leading hospitality management institute in Kolkata, we believe that the hospitality industry is a well-oiled machinery with each segment acting as a cog that keeps the system running smoothly for years. Thus, as you plan to foray into any of the categories of the industry in future, we believe that it’s crucial for you to have an understanding of the roles and responsibilities that comes with each segment. After all, each category can work only as well as the people who are a part of managing and running it. Keeping that in mind, today, we have brought to you an overview of the key segments of the hospitality industry.

The four key segments defining the hospitality industry

The hospitality industry consists, by and large, of four key segments, namely:

  • Lodging and accommodation
  • Food and beverages
  • Travel and tourism
  • Entertainment and recreation

As mentioned above, each of these segments has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the industry thrives and maintains its profitable stature. Let’s take a closer look at all of these segments one at a time.

Lodging and Accommodation

This segment covers a wide expanse which involves all kinds of facilities that provide lodging services, right from luxurious resorts, lavish hotels, bed & breakfast establishments, to campgrounds. Though we can’t deny that world-class amenities and comfort are at the heart of great accommodation, it’s also true that efficient customer service is indispensable to any hotel or resort. And, this is where your skilled expertise will come into place.

If you are entrusted with a role in managing the lodging and accommodation section of an establishment, you can have a variety of responsibilities. For instance, you can work as a front office associate or a concierge. In both these job roles, you will be handling a considerable amount of direct customer interaction.

According to reports, there is expected to be a 6% and 9% increase in the demand for lodging manager and front office associate jobs, respectively, within the year 2026.

Food and Beverages

The food and beverages segment covers everything from a simple bistro to a high-end restaurant and all other catering establishments in between. This segment is further divided into three key categories:

  • Quick-service restaurants: These establishments mainly focus on garnering quick meals, drinks, and snacks (For example – Pizza Hut or KFC).
  • Full-service restaurants: It refers to a typical eatery that features course meals, drinks menu, and other food services. Fine dining to themed restaurants are all full-service establishments.
  • Catering businesses: This category mainly offers services for special occasions, like birthday parties and weddings.

At Avlon, we have often seen that people have a misplaced notion that being a chef is the only major role in this segment. However, the truth is that you can have a really lucrative and fulfilling career here, working as a part of the restaurant or food management team.

Travel and Tourism

There’s another commonly mistaken idea that we have noted, and that is considering tourism as something synonymous with hospitality, instead of counting it as a segment. In fact, it is one of the most important elements of the hospitality industry because, as you can guess, the other segments largely depend on it. The travel and tourism sector mainly involves the responsibility of moving people from one destination to another. Thus, without adequate development of travel and tourism in any region, the growth of the hospitality industry would also be stunted.

If you are a part of this particular segment of the hospitality industry, you’ll be probably working as crew members in the airlines, cruise ships, and the likes. As such, your focus areas to excel in the sector would be customer satisfaction, relationship management, and other integrated marketing and management skills that are necessary for smooth running and expansion of the business.

Entertainment and Recreation

The fourth segment of the hospitality industry is the entertainment sector, which is, in fact, also increasingly coming up as one of the significant aspects of traveling. At the end of the day, wouldn’t you want your traveling experience to be filled with all the fun and adventure to make it even more memorable? Keeping that in mind, activities like golf, casino games, nightclubs, bars, and private cruises have also been included as an integral part of the industry at present.

As an entry-level professional working under this segment, you can be a part of the team handling event management, meeting and convention planning, meeting coordinator, and so on. The earning potential and career scope are pretty good, and you can expect to keep rising higher and higher as you gain experience in the domain.

We, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, being in the domain of hospitality management education for several years and recognized as a renowned hospitality management college in Kolkata, know what it takes to thrive and flourish in the various segments of the hospitality industry. We prepare our students to foray into these varied sectors of the hospitality industry through extensive skill training and experiential learning. At Avlon, we believe you can excel at any job role that you choose once your foundation of knowledge and expertise are set right. And this is exactly what we do at Avlon. We lay a firm foundation for our pupils to enable them to soar high in the skies of professional success. Our alumni have always been making us proud by finding their place in some of the top-notch companies operating on national and international levels. And, we are sure that our present and future students will keep bringing us similar glories by making their mark in the various segments of the hospitality industry.

What All You Need to Know to Crack the GD-PI for Hotel Management Admissions

GD-PI forms a crucial part of the interviews for hotel management admissions. This article will outline the strategies that you can follow to crack the GD-PI rounds, and be better prepared to join us for the next academic session at Avlon Shiksha Niketan.

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30-second summary:

  • GD-PI is one of the key hurdles you need to cross to join the top hotel management courses in the country.
  • The communication skills, thinking and decision-making abilities, and leadership qualities are judged in the GD-PI round.
  • It is important to have a strong awareness about the current occurrences in the country and beyond to ace the rounds.
  • The genuineness and sincerity of candidates can earn them more points than the memorized answers.

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The hospitality industry has been among the key drivers of growth in the service sector of India for the past few years. The major share has been contributed by the hotel management sector, which has not only secured its place among the top employment generating domains but is also significantly contributing to the nation’s economy. Hotel management is one of those professional domains that offer a plethora of opportunities for career development, fast growth, and lucrative salary potential to its pursuers. If you have the drive to take up challenges at work, can effectively handle public relations, and can skillfully manage multiple duties, the domain of hotel management can be the best fit for you.

However, in order to inch closer to your dream career, you need to get aptly trained in the varied aspects of the hotel management sector from a reputed institution. And, any top institution in the country will require you to appear for a GD-PI (Group Discussion-Personal Interview) round in the admission process.

With that in mind, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, regarded as the best institute for hotel management in Siliguri, have decided to give you today a couple of tips on how to ace the GD-PI round of your hotel management admissions.

Understanding the Demands of the GD-PI Round

Before we take you through more details of the varied ways in which you can prepare yourself for the interview, let us first brief the factors on which you will be tested on in the GD-PI sessions.

So, for the group discussion round, you can expect to get topics from recent events such as politics, different cultures, cuisines, latest news, and more alike to discuss. For this round, you will be tested on your level of confidence, communication skills, and leadership qualities in comparison with other candidates in the room. Moreover, you will also be judged based on your ability to get your points across while respecting the opinions of your opponents.

Coming to the personal interview round, you will face a panel of interviewers here who will ask you a number of questions. Their aim would be to assess your knowledge, communication skills, and quick thinking abilities. Furthermore, in both the GD and PI rounds, you will also be evaluated based on your personal grooming and body language.

Most Common Questions Asked in the Personal Interview Round

Though we cannot outline the exact questions or the number of questions that will be asked to you during the personal interview round, it is something that’s completely dependent on the interviewers’ judgment and the answers of the candidate. However, in any case, the interviewers try to assess the knowledge and point-of-view of the candidates.

Having said that, the following questions and answering tips will give you a sense of the personal interview proceedings.

  • Tell us a bit about yourself.

A: The interviewers usually start with this question. Your job here is to keep the language and speech clear, and talk about your academic background, extracurricular achievements, interests, and hobbies.

  • Why did you choose hotel management as your career?

A: You can outline your inspirations, talk about your role models in the industry, and even share any anecdotes that led you to choose hotel management as your career. Keep in mind that it’s important to show your passion for the field, but that should be done without going overboard.

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

A: Now, this one is a tricky question! Your answer should be focused on your strengths, without making it sound like you are boasting. It is also important to mention your weaknesses in the end while talking about the steps you are taking to overcome those weaknesses.

  • Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?

You will have to outline what you hope to learn and achieve, along with your career goals and milestones. There is no need to go into details about any position that you want to achieve, but there is no harm in mentioning that, as well.

  • What do you hope to learn from this hotel management course?

For this question, you can talk about the roles and responsibilities in hotel management that inspire you the most, and the way in which this course will help you make your name there. You can mention the details about the course to show that you are well-informed about the institution.

How to Prepare Yourself for the GD-PI for Hotel Management Admissions?

So, now that we have given you an inkling of what the GD-PI rounds are all about, let us take you closer towards attaining success by highlighting the ways to prepare yourself for the admissions. Given below are a few elements that you must give due consideration to for cracking the GD-PI admission rounds.

  • Keep sound awareness about the current topics

It is important to be well-aware about current happenings, covering national politics, social issues, population trends, and the likes. Make sure to listen to the questions and the ongoing discussion attentively before answering.

  • Show your conviction and confidence during the PI round

You need to be confident in the way you deliver your ideas and thoughts to leave a positive impression on the interviewer. After all, your research and knowledge will be for nothing if you don’t speak with conviction.

  • Master the art of presenting yourself

Presenting yourself the right way, including crisp deliverance of ideas, the right tone and voice, and smart body language will help you earn brownie points with the panel.

  • Be sincere and genuine in your approach

The experts have been interviewing candidates and sitting through GDs for years now, and they can sense when you’re not being true to your words.

At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, we believe that if you have the zeal to make it big in the hotel management sector, it will surely shine through in your GD-PI rounds. Just keep hold of your dedication towards the profession, and keep honing your knowledge and skills, and you will definitely get through the admission process to join our prestigious institution. We, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, the leading hotel management college in Siliguri, will be more than happy to be your guiding light towards a better and brighter future.