Thursday, 05/05/2022 08:52

Hotels in Hà Nội ready for SEA Games, although staff shortages remain

Lê Hương & Minh Phương

As the capital city gets set for the region's biggest sporting event, all sectors are gearing up their preparations for the event, including hospitality. Most hotels are ready, though many are facing staff shortages, due to fluctuations of the pandemic over the past two years.

Various prestigious hotels have been chosen to host delegations of officials and athletes from ASEAN members, including InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72, Daewoo Hanoi Hotel, Melia Hotel and Novotel Hanoi Thái Hà in Hà Nội, Mường Thanh Luxury Hanam Hotel in Hà Nam and Ninh Bình Legend Hotel in Ninh Bình Province.

According to Patrick Verove, General Manager of InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72, the hotel has been preparing for this event for the last 12 months.

A staff at InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 preparing a prayer room for Muslim guests. — Photo courtesy of the hotel

“We have done a lot of training, skill training, for our employees, as well as preparing the guestrooms and preventive maintenance in detail to ensure all the guestrooms and the experience they'll get is in the top class,” he told Việt Nam News.

Regarding Muslim guests, the hotel has done a lot of research via their sister branches in Muslim countries and also has a Muslim chef who is preparing a special halal menu.

“We have also prepared and dedicated specific rooms for prayers, so they can pray throughout the day,” he added.

Verove judges the event as extremely important.

“We have a very inquisitive faith in tourism, not only during the games but also after the games. We believe that it will put Hà Nội and Việt Nam on the map long after the games,” he said. 

“I track investors normally during and after the games. It will have a positive effect on the tourism sector, and also financially as well, I mean very beneficial for Việt Nam.”

A waiter at InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 serves a guest. — Photo courtesy of the hotel

Sharing the same opinion, Christophe Pairaud, Cluster General Manager of Novotel Hanoi Thai Ha and Novotel Suites Hà Nội, said it is a great opportunity for all the hospitality world to bounce back after so long of being in a stop-and-go situation.

“It's a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase Việt Nam in the region and to bring back the level of hospitality that we used to have before the crisis. It's a perfect time for us and all the players, not only the hotels but also the travel agency for the tour and all the people working around the hospitality industry,” he said.

He appreciated efforts by agencies to make this happen.

“As usual, Việt Nam is a very safe and secure country,” he said. “So I think during the SEA Games, every different business entity is really excited to be part of this beautiful event.”

However, Pairaud stressed that the hotel’s biggest problem now is human resources, as many employees had to switch to other jobs during the pandemic. Most of them are yet to return.

Hotels will apply strict pandemic prevention measurements.  — VNS Photo Lê Hương

“We need to think differently, we need to train our people differently. They have to be multi-tasking. They have to be flexible, available, they have to be in a very positive mood so that they can connect well with the international community,” he said.

“The first big challenge for us was to hire back our employees, and of course, to train our people to be fully compliant for safety and security,” he added. 

“Of course, we have to use different tools that Accor is providing to all the hotels all over Việt Nam and Asia for welcoming official delegations. We have a lot of lists that we will follow, especially focusing on safety measures announced for welcoming international guests that will be coming to Việt Nam.”

Many hotels are struggling with a lack of human resources, caused by the pandemic. — Photo courtesy of Novotel Hanoi Thai Ha

Lê Văn Ninh, executive chef of Novotel Hanoi cluster, confirmed that the food and beverage sector is ready for the event.

“We have trained staff on cultures and cuisines of ASEAN nations to serve food to both sports officials and athletes from ASEAN countries,” he said. “We have prepared various menus for different countries and healthy dishes providing calories for athletes. We care a lot about food safety according to the health ministry’s and Accor group’s regulations.” VNS

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