A survey confirmed that women today have become tech-savvy, with 43 per cent booking their hotels online and 76 per cent agreeing they only read reviews to make their final choice. Women prefer hotels that incorporate features that are women centric. And with the growing concerns of safety of single women travellers, the hospitality industry in India is seen to be doing their bit to cater to the 'ladies' demand and ensure their security.
As per industry experts, 10-18 per cent of their guest comprise of single women travellers. Indian hotels have begun to understand that the single women traveller is a fast growing, niche market and has tremendous potential in India. Today, women are as big spenders as men have been and are willing to pay the money as long as they can see the value. Reaching out to them and satisfying their needs is an important factor in translating marketing into sales for hotels. There are specially designed single lady programmes being set up by hotels, which are being well received by the single women travelers.
JW Marriott has a separate/ quite section on a particular floor in the hotel dedicated to single women travellers. Single women amenities/gifts are also given to single women staying with them. The list of the single women travellers is shared with their Loss Prevention team on a regular basis to ensure there is better patrolling and security. Also, they screen the calls which are made or received by all single lady travellers to ensure more safety. Additionally, they also have the facility of a lady doctor on call. Facilities like in-room check in and call before servicing in the room in cases where a 'Do Not Disturb' button is activated in the room. All services including in room dining and housekeeping are carried out by lady associates.
The single lady traveler segment was gaining prominence with a steady increase in the number of travellers year-on-year, giving rise to the concept of EVA, over a decade ago, at ITC Hotels.
EVA is designed to cater to the specific needs of the single lady traveler. However, the option of staying in an EVA room is at the discretion of the lady traveler. Sustained research on the preference of this segment of travellers enabled us to arrive at the amenities and services to cater to their needs. These are reviewed periodically in keeping with current trends and demands. EVA is available at all ITC super premium luxury hotels in India with dedicated floors/wings for single lady guests and exclusive access to the floor and wing. Lady security guards and lady butlers form part of the team that enables the EVA experience.
Whether it is providing airport assistance on arrival, to lady butlers, packing and unpacking, guidance whilst travelling within the city, aid with hiring of safe and reliable transportation, draping a sari, announcing of calls after 10 pm, a video phone in the room, all form part of EVA concept. A lady butler could even get a sari and blouse stitched for a guest in case of a sudden social event. We also have a ‘Dial a Chef’ programme where a lady guest can ask for a meal, according to her dietary preferences.
Hotels in India have now begun taking the Single Lady Traveler concept seriously and have introduced amenities to make their stay safe and comfortable like offering them rooms next to or near the elevator or stairway. With all the requisites in place for ensuring safety of women, Indian hotels are progressing in providing better women safety measures compared to hotels abroad. The general consensus among the industry is that as all hotels are getting increasingly aware of this fact, and in the future there will be a positive stride in this direction.