Category Archives: Hotels

FHRAI puts MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice to protect the interest of stakeholders

In response to grievances expressed by its members, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has put Online Travel Aggregators (OTA), MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice. A number of its members had brought to the association’s notice that the OTAs’ business practices which were exploitative, unethical and divisive led to predatory pricing and other market distortions that had the potential to harm both hoteliers and consumers in the long term. FHRAI has written a letter to the OTAs outlining the most critical concerns of the hotel industry which includes the issue of distortion of market price, demand for exorbitant commissions and hosting of illegal and unlicensed bed and breakfast accommodations. “One of the biggest concerns is that after securing discounted rates from a hotel, the OTAs further discount it on their online platforms without the hotel’s consent. This damages the hotel’s reputation, and also simultaneously distorts the market scenario. Ironically, the OTAs have a clause in their agreement that forbids hotels from discounting their own rates but are themselves free to do so. This disparity is not just unfair but is clearly intentional and is done with the objective of market cannibalisation,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President – FHRAI & President – Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI). Hotels have alleged that the OTAs charge commission that range anywhere between 18 and 40 per cent. The exorbitant commissions have been adversely impacting revenues, business and the livelihood of hoteliers. The Federation has written to MMT and Goibibo in the hope that they will understand the ground level situation of hotels. However, based on the previous experience of hoteliers whose attempts at negotiations were neglected …

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The Suryaa New Delhi organises Christmas cake-mixing ceremony

The Suryaa New Delhi recently organised a Christmas cake-mixing ceremony, along with novelist Advaita Kala. The fun and frolic evening began with the invitees mingling with each other and marking the welcome of the festive season. Later, the invitees donned their aprons and gloves and began to pour in the large decanters of authentic ingredients into the big bowls, hence experiencing the fruitful fantasy marking the beginning of traditional cake-mixing ceremony. Everyone enjoyed mixing dried fruits from one end to the other end of the table and ran their fingers through it to ensure that the fruits were ready to be preserved for baking the Christmas cake.

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Sarovar Hotels announces Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere, Lusaka in Africa

Sarovar Hotels announces the opening of its first hotel in Zambia – Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere, Lusaka. With three operating hotels in Tanzania and Kenya, this will be their fourth in the African continent. Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere is an all-suite upscale development in the vibrant Manda Hill area of Lusaka. It offers a splendid guest experience with 82 all-suite, an all-day-dining restaurant, poolside grill, bar, lobby cafe, fitness centre and spa. The hotel has large banquet and conferencing facilities to accommodate up to 600 people. All suites in the hotel are equipped with best-in-class modern amenities and supported by Sarovar’s distinct service standards. Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, says, “I am delighted to welcome guests to Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere in Lusaka. For us, marking our presence in the capital city of Zambia is in line with our long-term focus on our growth plans for Africa. The elegantly-appointed interiors, along with our prompt personalised services, will ensure our guests have a memorable stay in Lusaka.”

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IHG strengthens footprint in Chennai with Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the opening of Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam. This marks the opening of the third Holiday Inn Express hotel in India this year, adding to the brand’s accelerated growth in the country. Strategically set amidst the city’s commercial hub, Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam is located along the Old Mahabalipuram Road, within 3-5 kms distance from major technology parks and dedicated Special Economic Zones. Featuring 149 keys, Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam offers well designed, contemporary rooms with a range of in-room amenities and a great service culture, promising unparalleled comfort, and convenience to the guests. For an enhanced experience, the hotel is equipped with complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access in all rooms, hot breakfast with a wide offering (included in the rate), an on-site self-laundry facility and a meeting room for business requirements. Commenting on the announcement, Vivek Bhalla, Regional Vice President, SWA, IHG said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam under our partnership with SAMHI. Chennai is one of the leading business and leisure hubs in Southern India and therefore an important market for us. We have a strong presence in Chennai across our brands, and this latest addition to our portfolio will further strengthen our offering to the travellers visiting the city.” Ashish Jakhanwala, MD and CEO, SAMHI added, “With its excellent location, design, and a great service culture that the brand is known for, we are confident that Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam will emerge as a popular choice amongst the business and leisure travellers alike.”    

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Hilton launches ‘Namaste’ programme for Indian MiCE

Hilton has unveiled an exclusive  programme ‘Namaste’ for its Indian groups designed to deliver a tailored experience for those travelling from India to Europe. The programme caters to three major segments—destination weddings, meetings and incentives, and film shoots giving guests the confidence that Hilton will meet all their needs and expectations every time, no matter the occasion or destination. Fiona Robson, Senior Director— Sales Operations Europe, Hilton, said, “Huge population, rising incomes and improving infrastructure, among others offer a strong growth opportunity. India is one of the biggest growth markets, with Indians now preferring luxury and overseas stays with their improving financial status. Exceptional quality, impeccable service and always the warmest of welcomes, no one knows hospitality like Hilton. We pride ourselves in understanding the needs of our Indian guests and ensuring that we deliver a truly memorable stay; this precisely is the thinking behind ‘Namaste’, our uniquely designed programme for group travel.”

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Kempinski Hotels focuses on Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai markets

Kempinski Hotels completed its four-city roadshow in Delhi after conducting them in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai. Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group, which represents the brand in India said, “Kempinski is by far the most luxurious chains in the world and I am happy that six of the properties under the brand are in India to showcase their offerings to the travel trade fraternity. We conducted the roadshows in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi. We have got excellent response as luxury is very important in India and I think we received an overwhelming response from our travel partners in all the cities. We have seen a huge growth for Kempinski Hotels this year. In fact, this is the reason why there is another roadshow after having one in February this year. They believe in India and our efforts done since many years.”  

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Courtyard by Marriott Madurai opens with 86 rooms

Marriott International has announced the opening of Courtyard by Marriott Madurai, making it the first Marriott International property in Madurai. Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President- South Asia, Marriott International, said, “Marriott International is elated to debut in the heritage city of Madurai with the Courtyard by Marriott brand. The addition of Courtyard by Marriott Madurai brings the brand’s footprint in India to 16 hotels. Being the third largest city in Tamil Nadu, Madurai promises a lot of potential for travel and tourism sectors with its increased air, road and rail connectivity.” He further added, “The Courtyard brand has been evolving to meet the needs of business and leisure travellers since it was founded 35 years ago. This new hotel in Southern India will be a showcase of the brand’s passion in supporting our guests with both their professional and personal pursuits.” This smart, modern hotel features 86 guestrooms including four exquisite suites that are designed to perfectly balance form and function. Every guestroom features high-speed wireless internet, an LED TV, and a well-appointed work area with comfort lighting and a snug corner that’s suitable for both working and relaxing. The property also houses a fully-equipped fitness center, which allows guests to maintain their fitness schedules, whilst on the road. Guests also have the opportunity to enjoy three tempting dining options at the hotel, along with several other amenities.

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Minor Hotels announces strategic investment in Global Hotel Alliance

Minor Hotels has announced its stake in the Global Hotel Alliance, (GHA). Following this shareholder announcement, Dillip Rajakarier, CEO, Minor Hotels, will now join the GHA Board of Directors. The investment is worth a total of $3.2million, representing a 10 per cent share of the Global Hotel Alliance. First entering with the Anantara brand, Minor Hotels have been longstanding members of the GHA since 2007. As the GHA will enter its 15th year in 2019, Minor Hotels took the opportunity to support the alliance which is currently investing in new CRM and shared technology to build on the success of the Discovery loyalty programme. Dillip Rajakarier, CEO, Minor, commented, “Since joining the GHA in 2007, we have grown and developed our own brands and continue to acquire new ones, and membership of GHA fits well with our multi-brand strategy. GHA has consistently demonstrated the value of global customer reach and a strong CRM and loyalty programme for our hotels, and so we are delighted to be able to take our place as a shareholder in the business, with the opportunity to help guide its growth over the coming years.” He added, “The 13 million Discovery members will produce US$1.7 billion in room revenues in 2018, of which around US$125 million is from customers moving between our member brands. We plan to double those numbers in the next few years, as independent brands look to collaborate with each other to share the common challenge of competing with the ever-consolidating major brands and third party distribution providers.

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The Gaurs Sarovar Portico Greater Noida West to open doors in mid-2019

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts expands its portfolio in the Delhi-NCR region with the signing of The Gaurs Sarovar Portico Greater Noida West owned and developed by Gaursons, one of the most eminent real estate brands in North India. The hotel is part of an 18-acre Sports Club and adjoins a sports stadium, giving it a unique locational advantage. Upon completion in mid-2019, The Gaurs Sarovar Portico will offer its guests 72 rooms with all upscale amenities, a specialty restaurant and bar, and a banquet hall and party lawns with a capacity of over 10,000 people. For the wellness enthusiast, the project has a spa, indoor activity area and access to an international fitness centre. Commenting on the development, Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, said “We are extremely happy to extend our presence further into Delhi NCR. The opening of Sarovar Portico in Greater Noida West seeks to complement the demand for quality accommodation, keeping up with the increasing number of families calling Greater Noida their home. The hotel’s outstanding banquet and conferencing facilities will surely appeal to the corporates in the vicinity.”

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Tourism likely to contribute 3.5 per cent to India’s GDP by 2027

The direct contribution of travel and tourism sector — which reflects the net value of output generated by hotels, airlines, travel agents, other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services), and restaurants and leisure industries directly supported by tourists — was expected to rise 6.9 per cent YoY in 2017, suggests a FICCI-KPMG report. This accounts for 3.3 per cent of the country’s GDP, and is expected to form 3.5 per cent of it by 2027. In accordance with its GDP contribution, the sector contributes significantly to job creation. The sector directly accounts for 5.8 per cent of the total employment in India. Further, the Indian travel and tourism sector is expected to have attracted capital investment of Rs 2,387.7 billion (USD35.2 billion) in 2017 — accounting for 5.7 per cent of the total national investment.

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