Category Archives: Hotels

OYO signs MoU with SBI & Bank of Baroda to offer financial fillip for small hotels

OYO Hotels has inked MoUs with the State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda for extending its support to budget hotels and creating jobs across levels. Signed under the aegis of the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna, the MoUs will enable financial support for OYO’s existing and potential hotel partners for fuelling transformation and standardisation at their properties. This will also allow OYO to spearhead the creation of thousands of jobs in Tier II and III cities by nurturing micro-entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector. Speaking on the development, Jayant Chauhan, SVP – Fintech, OYO, said, “We are thrilled to join hands with banking powerhouses – the State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda and achieve the mission of job creation in the country by enabling the youth to emerge as micro entrepreneurs and run their own successful businesses. These MoUs will help us in shortening the demand-supply gap of quality accommodation by offering hoteliers a platform to transform their property and enhance the business by creating beautiful living spaces.’’ As a step towards enabling convenient financing for its asset partners through banks and NBFCs, OYO has also established an in-house Fintech division. These loans will help individuals hailing from Tier II and III cities to be self-employed and run their own budget assets with OYO’s diverse brand portfolio.  

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Bjorn DeNiese to head Mayfair Hotels’ new ‘Business Development’ vertical

Bhubaneswar-based Mayfair Hotels & Resorts has appointed Bjorn DeNiese as Vice President, Business Development. In his new role, he will be responsible for spearheading the group’s future plans as it aims to deploy a new sub-brand into the market. The new vertical will initially keep the focus on the East and subsequently look to make headway to central and Northeast India. The new vertical will be responsible for the further development and expansion of the group which will establish itself through lease, management and franchise models under a yet to be named brand and aims to add on another 100 rooms to the current portfolio of 515 rooms by the end of this financial year and double the number of rooms within three years. Bjorn, who played a significant role in the group’s growth story post 2007, headed the sales, marketing and revenue for the group with key contributions in the setup of central reservations, the restructuring of the sales network and various other technological developments including the soon to be rolled out one touch virtual assistant app enabling bookings, a loyalty program for guests, corporates and agents and an integrated guest feedback system.  

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Hotel industry lauds Govt move to levy GST on invoiced room tariff

As GST applicable on room tariffs created much confusion for the hotel industry and its guests, trade associations had appealed for the rate categorisation for hotels to be done basis the transaction value or actual value rather than on the Declared tariff. The GST was mandated to be levied on the Published tariffs or the Declared tariffs on hotel rooms. However, hotels are known to offer discounts on room tariffs to patrons which alter the Declared rates and which could correspond to a different GST rate as per the prescribed rate slabs on room tariffs. Applying GST rate on Declared Tariff was incorrect and caused confusion for guests. For instance, if declared tariff on a room stay is Rs 8000 and the stay is charged at Rs 5000, hotels are required to levy a GST of 28 per cent instead of 18 per cent. This is unfair and it increases the tax burden drastically. 18 per cent GST is applicable for room tariffs ranging between Rs 2500 and Rs 7500 and tariffs of Rs 7500 and above attract 28 per cent GST.  

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Lords earmarks 30% of portfolio for pilgrimage segment

Lords Hotels & Resorts has broadened its portfolio of hotels to better accommodate the needs of the leisure tourist, the business traveller, the bag-packer as well as the pilgrimage tourist. It will now also target at becoming the fastest growing pilgrimage hotel chain in the country. “Our next big focus is to serve the pilgrimage tourist for whom today the stay options fall largely in the unorganised domain. Out of the 26 properties that we currently operate, 7 are in the heart of such pilgrimage destinations and we are aiming at maintaining at least 30 per cent of our portfolio for pilgrimage tourists. We have identified Katra, Mathura, Vrindavan and a couple others for our upcoming projects dedicated for pilgrimage tourists,” says Rishi Puri, Vice President, Lords Hotels & Resorts. “Our hotels across the country have registered room occupancies in the range of 70 – 75 per cent in the last Financial Year. While there was only a marginal rise in ARR, the RevPAR grew by almost 8-12 per cent. This is an indication of demand outpacing supply and the need for increasing room inventories,” says Mr P R Bansal, Chief Operating Officer, Lords Hotels & Resorts. In the current financial year, the hospitality chain has plans of establishing hotel properties in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar in the East, and in Hyderabad and Chennai in the South. “We have identified potential projects in the East where Lords Hotels & Resorts has not made a mark yet and also in the South where we see tremendous growth in the coming years,” adds Bansal.

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Ginger Hotels signs up new property in Noida

Ginger has announced the signing of a new hotel in Noida, New Delhi’s satellite city. It will be the third Ginger in Noida. Deepika Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ginger said, “Noida is a commercial hub with presence of some of the world’s largest international companies. We are delighted to partner with Admired Height Projects and expand our presence in Noida.” The new Ginger hotel is a Greenfield project slated to open in 2021. With 119 rooms, an all-day diner, a meeting room and a fitness centre, the hotel will be housed in Paras One 33, a one-stop mixed-use destination on Noida Expressway in Sector 133. It is located a short drive from Greater Noida, Akshardham Temple and with close proximity to major IT hubs. With two existing hotels in Sector 63 and the addition of this new hotel in Sector 133 (Noida Expressway), Ginger will have a combined inventory of about 300 keys in Noida. This takes the count to 15 hotels in the IHCL portfolio in the National Capital Region.  

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276-room Renaissance debuts in Bengaluru

Renaissance Hotels, part of Marriott International, has announced the opening of Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel, the brand’s first hotel in South India and the fourth in line to join the Renaissance Hotels India portfolio. Reinforcing the brand’s global commitment to design, the hotel features horse-inspired design motifs given its locale; setting the stage for guests to experience unconventional travel. “The hospitality sector is moving forward at a very fast pace and India is a strategic growth market for us right now. Bengaluru as a market is witnessing phenomenal growth, its booming tech scene makes it one of the country’s most dynamic cities with exceptional economic growth and strong business activity,” said Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President – South Asia, Marriott International. “With the debut of the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel, guests can experience a global, lifestyle hospitality brand that seeks to inspire, and encourages spontaneous discovery when travelling, be it for business or pleasure,” he said. With 276 modern and artfully designed rooms, the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel offers an unsurpassed view of the Bangalore Turf Club. “With a distinct effort to present local experiences in an unusual manner, the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel will always have that unexpected surprise waiting for its guests.” said Firoz Jangaria, General Manager, Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel.

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Lemon Tree eyes Sri Lanka and Dubai for expansion

Displaying an aggressive growth over the last few months, Lemon Tree is now on an expansion spree. Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, says, “As far as our expansion is concerned, we will go where a larger section of Indians tend to go. In both Sri Lanka and Dubai, the largest inbound is from India. We are focussing on these two locations because we know here the brand strength will create the guests for us, without having to work much hard.” Keswani reveals that the brand is chasing a few pieces in both these places. “Our strength is our loyalty programme and depth in the Indian customers. About 90 odd per cent of our customers are Indians. So, that’s our focus but we have not scored any goals that I can talk about at this moment.”  

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Yas Experiences appoints VFS Global as India representative

Yas Experiences, Yas Island’s recently launched trade arm, has signed an agreement with VFS Global, appointing them as the company’s representative in the Indian market. The appointment will see the new partner work closely with the Yas Experiences’ business development team in Abu Dhabi to promote the leisure and entertainment destination and provide package solutions for trade partners across India. As part of the agreement, VFS Global will set up three sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to cater to travel partners in Central, North and South India respectively. The sales rep office headquartered in Mumbai will support Yas Experience’ sales & marketing efforts to further promote Yas Island to Indian travellers. The two parties will work together to explore approaches to target Indian holidaymakers, and with a strong network presence across India, both are confident of the results this strategic partnership will reap. “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the India representative for Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Yas Island is a unique destination renowned for its assortment of experiences. We are confident that we will be able to further establish the island as a premier destination for discerning Indian travellers,” said Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – China, Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global. Around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, according to the latest figures from Colliers International.  

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Gokulam Grand Hotel partners with Preferred Hotels for global presence

Gokulam Grand Hotel & Spa Bangalore has been accepted as a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand that represents more than 700 hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries as the newest experience available within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection. Baiju Gopalan, Executive Director, says “As we step into one of India’s most dynamic and competitive hospitality/travel markets, we understand that we need strategic partnerships to leverage international travel markets, distribution systems and loyalty programmes. Preferred Hotels and Resorts was the ideal choice for us to go global.” Akash Gupta, General Manager, says, “We are excited to be in Bangalore to take the erstwhile MSR Hotel and Spa with its existing service and brand standards and market recall to newer heights. The hotel has grown from strength to strength, and with the new management team coming in, a new growth phase for the hotel is being charted out. In keeping with the international brand presence the hotel once enjoyed, we have judiciously decided to partner with Preferred Hotels and Resorts to connect with the overseas market. This strategic alliance is the first step for us to initiate and strengthen our brand presence globally, and benefit from the global sales, marketing and distribution network of Preferred Hotels and Resorts.” Gokulam Grand Hotel & Spa has 182 rooms and suites with three F&B outlets, a pool, Sohum Spa and a gym.

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Indian hotel market to grow to around $13 bn by 2020

The Indian hotel market is projected to grow to around USD 13 bn by 2020, according to FICCI-Yes Bank Knowledge Paper titled ‘Tourism Infrastructure Investments: Leveraging Partnerships for Exponential Growth’. Further, as per World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2018 report, the industry contribution to capital investment in India was Rs 2706.1 bn in 2017 and is projected to grow 6.7 per cent per annum in next 10 years to Rs 5546.3 bn by 2028, higher than the global average of 4.5 per cent. Despite increase in private sector investment, the Indian hotel industry observed a decline in average room rate and room occupancy in 2016-17 which is largely attributed to lower participation of hotels in the five-star deluxe and five-star categories in India.

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