Hospitality Breaking News

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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Lemon Tree Hotels signs a hotel in Dubai

Mr. Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director - Lemon Tree Hotels and Dir...

Lemon Tree Hotels, through its management subsidiary Carnation Hotels has announced its latest signing for the first Lemon Tree Hotel in Dubai. Lemon Tree Hotels Limited is India’s largest hotel chain in the mid-priced hotel sector, and the third largest overall, on the basis of controlling interest in owned and leased rooms, as of June 30, 2017, according to the Horwath Report. The hotel, owned by Al Waleed Real Estate LLC, is expected to launch in the third quarter of the coming year. Located on Al Wasl Road, this will be the first midscale hotel in the area. The hotel will feature 114 well-appointed rooms and suites, complemented by a multi-cuisine restaurant, Citrus Café, with a beautiful al fresco extension, a conference room, Tangerine, a swimming pool, a well-equipped fitness center and more. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director – Lemon Tree Hotels and Director – Carnation Hotels, said, “We are delighted to enter Dubai with our partners Al Waleed Real Estate. This is our first hotel in the UAE, and we feel that it holds immense business potential. We have a locational advantage, with the hotel strategically situated in proximity to famous destinations like Burj Al Arab, Kite beach and the Mall of Emirates, and equidistant from Business Bay and JLT, the two major business districts of Dubai. The addition of this hotel opens a new location for the brand, thereby increasing our appeal to our existing and potential customers.” Al Waleed Real Estate LLC, a multi-disciplinary real estate development and investment company, has proven itself to be a dynamic and progressive enterprise, positioning itself as one of the leading privately-owned real estate companies in …

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Courtyard by Marriott Madurai opens with 86 rooms

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Marriott International has announced the opening of Courtyard by Marriott Madurai, making it the first Marriott International property in Madurai. “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,” said Neeraj Govil – Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International Inc. “The Courtyard brand has been evolving to meet the needs of business and leisure travelers 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 for guests to maintain their fitness schedules, whilst on the road. Guests also have the opportunity to enjoy three tempting dining options at the hotel. Madurai Kitchen is a welcoming all day dining restaurant which offers both à la carte options as well as the largest buffet spread in Madurai, with a selection of dishes that range from traditional local specialties to favorites from around the globe. Balcony, is a stylish bar that offers a classic selection of hot and cold drinks …

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Marriott to open 13 hotels in 2019 in India: Shampa Dhali

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Marriott Market place 2018 concluded in Delhi recently. Shampa Dhali, Area Director, National Sales, Marriott India, says, “Marriott Marketplace has a lot of importance to us in a way it’s a platform for our hotels to showcase their offerings, new destinations. With 16 brands, we have a huge pipeline. This year, we have opened more than 15 and we are scheduled to open another 13 next year.”

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