The WTCE team spoke with Hari Ghotra, Senior Food and Beverage Manager for Virgin Atlantic ahead of her Taste of Travel session at this year’s event.
Hari Ghotra is responsible for developing the global inflight food proposition for VAA, working with over twenty catering facilities across the world developing the most amazing airline menus for each cabin. She is also a chef, author and creator of the biggest Indian food platform in the UK – HariGhotra.com
This year, at WTCE’s Taste of Travel Theatre, she joined a panel discussing Bringing the Fun Back to Air Travel.
Please introduce the topic that you’re speaking about in your Taste of Travel session and why it’s so important.
“I will be discussing with the rest of the panel how we are bringing the fun back into air travel. At this moment in time after COVID and everything that’s happened, I think it’s really important to bring that flair of fun and intrigue and excitement back. So, it’s quite a topical discussion.”
What aspects of bringing the fun back to air travel will you be covering?
“We’ll be covering all kinds of aspects from all the different panel members. We’re all looking at it slightly differently, from things like looking at product-on-board to how we can add a little bit of theatre.
From improving choice and the quality of products that we have on board. And one of the big things is children and how we improve the service on board for children. So, we’ll be discussing that too. We’ll also cover things that we’ve done over the last year to 18 months; how we’ve come back from the pandemic and what we’ve introduced over the over.”
Who is the session relevant for and who do you think will find it helpful?
“I think the session it is relevant to anyone who’s interested in air travel is because it has a direct impact on the services that you will receive. But also, if you are interested in innovation, if you’re interested in thinking about new and exciting suppliers, I’m sure there’ll be a few of those mentioned.
And if you’re interested in how things are evolving and developing as we as we move forwards, then this session will be useful for you.”
What are the key session takeaways. What do you think people will learn?
“I think this session is about fun and how we’re bringing that fun back. I think key takeaways will be some exciting new product developments. From myself in particular, you can expect discussion on what’s on board with certain routes that we’re flying. I think people will learn that things are moving; that there is innovation happening in the industry.
“The Taste of Travel theatre is where we share ideas. It’s about innovation. It’s about being creative.“
Hari Ghotra, Senior Food and Beverage Manager, Virgin Atlantic
The key session takeaways are all about how we improve the customer experience. it’s about making people relaxed and having a great time at each touch point that we can make things start again.”
What do you think the future of mental health in the industry will look like and how do you hope it will change in the next few years?
“I think mental health has always been something that’s not really been discussed in this industry. Over the last few years, things have really been changing in that things are bringing have been brought up to the surface and people are having more discussions about it.
There are various charities that are starting to formulate around it. People are opening up that discussion and talking about it more. Hopefully we are all moving in the right direction. It’s not something that’s shrouded anymore. The more we bring it to light, the better it will get. So hopefully over the next few years, we will see a big change. Charities like The Burnt Chef and things like that are really making an impact in that area.”
Why is the taste of travel theatre so important to the industry?
“The Taste of Travel theatre is where we share ideas. It’s about innovation. It’s about being creative. And if we talk about what we’ve done, it’s only going to help us mould and develop and grow and make the industry even more exciting!”
To learn more about WTCE’s Taste of Travel Theatre click the button below.