Hospitality Breaking News

Hilton and Kalyani Group to develop 183-room DoubleTree in Bengaluru

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Hilton has announced the signing of a management agreement with Kalyani Hospitality to develop a DoubleTree by Hilton in Bangalore. Scheduled to open in Q1 2021, DoubleTree by Hilton will be located at the commercial micro-market of the city – Whitefield. The hotel currently under construction will have 183 rooms and suites and offer guests world class Double Tree by Hilton Hospitality to cater to the needs of both business and leisure travelers, including multiple meeting and banquet spaces, fitness amenities, outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, a bar and a roof-top lounge. Commenting on this signing, Navjit Ahluwalia, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Hilton India, said “We are happy to mark our presence in Whitefield, which is an important commercial hub of the city. Our partnership with Kalyani Group reinforces our promise to expand our portfolio in India and offer Hilton guests more opportunities to experience the warmth of Hilton hospitality across multiple locations.” Announcing the project, Chairman and Managing Director of Kalyani Group, A Mohan Raju said, “We are delighted to partner with Hilton to provide world-renowned hospitality within a business‐friendly environment. Owing to its location within the fastest growing commercial micro market in Bengaluru, the hotel will become a preferred choice of travelers with diverse requirements. We have strong plans to replicate our success in the commercial office segment into the hospitality sector.” “The signing of this agreement reiterates our long-term commitment to India as a strategically important market” said Guy Phillips, Senior Vice President, Development, Asia and Australasia, Hilton. “DoubleTree by Hilton is rapidly scaling its presence across the APAC region and we are delighted to partner with Kalyani Group to continue with this momentum in India.” …

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AccorHotels and Varun Group join hands for a new hotel and a convention centre in Amravati

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AccorHotels will be expanding aggressively in the Indian market. Recently, an expression of interest was exchanged between AccorHotels and the Varun Group for the development of a Convention Centre and a hotel in Amaravati, the people’s capital of Andhra Pradesh, at the inaugural ceremony of Novotel Vijayawada Varun, the 20th Novotel in India and first in Vijayawada.

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Shravanthi Sarovar Portico, Bengaluru, to open in mid 2019

Mr. Ajay Bakaya, MD, Sarovar Hotels at the launch of Singhania Sarovar Portico Raipur

Further expanding its presence in South India, Sarovar Hotels has announced the signing of its latest hotel in Bengaluru. This will be Sarovar’s sixth hotel after La Marvella Sarovar Premiere, Davanam Sarovar Portico Suites, RBD Sarovar Portico, Radha Hometel and Radisson Blu. The total inventory of Sarovar in the city will cross 700 rooms with the addition of Shravanthi Sarovar Portico to its portfolio. Shravanthi Sarovar Portico is a mid-scale hotel located in JP Nagar, one of India’s oldest planned suburbs. The hotel have easy access to the city CBD and electronic city. It offers 80 newly renovated guest rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, club bar, fitness centre and conferencing facilities. The newly redecorated lobby is spacious and comprises of a coffee lounge, just the perfect setting for relaxation or business networking. Shravanthi Sarovar Portico is special by way of decorative themes that run through each of the four floors of the property. From Scandinavian to Spanish country to Manhattan to the Royal highness, the hotel’s theme floors and rooms leave the traveller with a signature experience akin to none. Commenting on the development, Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels says, “After covering the IT and commercial hubs of Koramangala, ORR, Whitefield and Jayanagar, we are delighted to sign our next hotel in the heart of JP Nagar. The Shravanthi Sarovar Portico is well connected and centrally located and will appeal to the business as well as leisure traveller.”

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FHRAI puts MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice

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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. The 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, the demand for exorbitant commissions and the hosting of illegal and unlicensed Bed & 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 cannibalization,” 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 FHRAI has also pointed out to the illegal and unlicensed Bed & Breakfast (B&B), motels or accommodations hosted by the OTAs on their platforms. The Federation has alleged that such OTAs …

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Yatra partners with Agoda to offer Indian hotels to International travellers

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Yatra.com has entered into a strategic partnership with Agoda to offer its Indian hotel rooms to Agoda’s global travellers. Under this agreement, Agoda, will now have access to Yatra.com’s inventory of more than 100,000 accommodation options in over 1300+ Indian cities and towns. The addition of Yatra’s inventory with real-time pricing on Agoda.com and the Agoda app will provide international travelers access to a larger selection of ideal and relevant accommodation, to suit their travel needs. The partnership will improve accessibility to the Indian accommodation market worldwide, leveraging Yatra’s strong hotels technology platform and its relationship with accommodation providers. “Agoda is one of the largest global accommodation booking platforms with excellent reach among travelers across the world and in Asia Pacific in particular, and we are delighted to join forces with them. There is a strong interest from global travellers in visiting India, and providing a wide choice of real time hotel inventory helps ensure a seamless travel booking experience. We believe this alliance will not only prove beneficial for Agoda’s customers, but will also be valuable for our hotel partners, by providing them incremental global traveler demand.” – Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder, CEO, Yatra.com “We are always seeking partnerships that improve our customers’ travel experience through technology, and by providing them access to the widest accommodation choices around the world – at the best price. This partnership with Yatra will further enhance our hotel inventory offer in the fast growing Indian travel market. We look forward to making this partnership a success.”- John Brown, CEO, Agoda. The hotel inventory provided by Yatra will include the over 6000 ‘Yatra Smart’ hotels. With benefits such as 100% free cancellation, cash-back service guarantees, …

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HVS Anarock is different from the previous venture: Mandeep Lamba

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Mandeep Lamba has taken over as the President of HVS ANAROCK South Asia. In a recent one-on-one interview, he says, “In terms of the structure, the new partnership is a JV, but of course, both the partners are extremely strong. ANAROCK is a substantial real estate consulting company and HVS is a global leader. So, with the two companies coming together, there couldn’t be a better merger of opportunities in the real estate and the hospitality sector and that’s why it’s going to be different from the previous venture. The strength of the two companies merged together is going to be substantial. The earlier joint venture was between HVS and an individual in his own capacity. This one from that perspective makes it look very different because both the companies are extremely solid in their own space.”

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Radisson to conclude 2018 with 93 hotels, expected to add two more by year’s end

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Radisson Hotel Group has shown robust growth in the Indian market in 2018. In a recent conversation with Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer – South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group, he says, “Radisson will be adding two more hotels to its pipeline for 2018. The brand will finish the year with 95 properties. Next year, we will have 100 hotels in operation. In our pipeline, we have 143-145 hotels as we speak. In the next five years or so, to hit the target of 200 hotels. I am very happy with the progress the group is making.

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Hilton unveils an innovative programme, Namaste, for its Indian groups

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Hilton has unveiled an innovative programme for its Indian groups. Recognising that modern India is looking for unique, personalised experiences, Hilton has launched ‘Namaste’, an exclusive guest offering programme designed to deliver a truly tailored experience for groups travelling from India to Europe. “Huge population, rising incomes, 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,” said Fiona Robson, Senior Director of Sales Operations Europe. She further added, “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 our “Namaste” programme, our uniquely designed programme for group travel Indians are now inclined to explore offbeat destinations and therefore Hilton is looking to cater to Indian groups opting to travel to destinations like Malta, Budapest, Cologne, Baku, besides frequent destinations like Vienna, Prague, London and others. Hilton Properties are excited to welcome groups from India, being equipped with the best in class services, to ensure they have a memorable stay experience. “Indian companies are interested in bringing their Incentive trips to Barcelona because of the possibility to combine their interest to explore culture and business together. Barcelonais known to be a hub for cruises, and the release of Bollywood movie “Zindagi Na MilegiDobara”, which was partially shot in Barcelona and Costa Brava, massively increased the interest of clients travelling to Barcelona. The weddingof Shristi Mittal in 2013 reinforced the interest in country making it an ideal destination …

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ITHC-UET Conference underway in Palermo, Italy

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The Indian Tourism and Hospitality Congress, along with The European University for Tourism (UET Italia) kick-started its 11th international tourism conference in Palermo today. With earlier editions of the conference being held in Thailand, UAE, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the four-day event with its theme – Innovations and Opportunities in Global Tourism – aims to highlight the importance of the tourism and hospitality sector. The event will also talk about the need for a specialised workforce in these sectors and hence the requirement of a formal education to impart lessons on tourism and hospitality management. Sustainability in tourism is another pertinent topic that will be discussed at length in the conference.

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Ramada Encore by Wyndham gets a facelift

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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has unveiled an exciting new direction for the Ramada Encore by Wyndham brand globally. Recognising that today’s traveller has more choice than ever before, at the heart of this new identity is a brand promise to be “Refreshingly Different”, which is underpinned by the brand’s core attributes of being fresh, approachable and vibrant. This new identity includes a redesigned and re imagined logo, created by London-based marketing agency Octopus Group, and prototype designs for guest rooms and common spaces designed by hospitality architecture firm Harrison. Ramada Encore by Wyndham is a portfolio of 54 hotels in 20 countries around the world. The brand was created in the late 1990s as a limited service midscale hotel brand designed for business and leisure travellers who were looking for great value in a simple and smart hotel. At the time of its launch, the brand introduced revolutionary new concepts, including guest rooms with all wood flooring and an open plan, multi-purpose common area that serves as a reception, lobby, casual dining and networking space. Core to the new creative identity for the brand is a logo re-design, aimed at modernising the visual representation of the brand and appealing to a new generation of traveller. The multi-coloured “E” mark was designed to reflect continual movement through the rotation of the letter, symbolising “to return” – the definition of the word encore. In addition, the brand has received an all new colour palette, which reflects its vibrancy, energy and approachability. Beyond the visual identity and logo, new prototype designs for public areas and guestrooms are also being introduced. These evoke a spirit of the modern traveller, with well-designed accommodation, fused with …

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