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Hotel & Tourism Newsletter - December 03 to December 07, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Accor, the largest international hotel operator in Asia-Pacific, today commemorates its 30th anniversary in the region. The milestone comes as the French hotelier celebrates a year of record-breaking expansion, opening 110 new properties, ranging from luxury to budget, which will bring Accor’s network in the region to 550 hotels by the end of the year.

Top Stories     


India emerges as 4th most vacation deprived nation


Expedia.com, the world's largest online travel agency, today released the results of the 2012 Vacation Deprivation study, an annual analysis of vacation habits across multiple countries and continents. Per the vacation deprivation survey, India has climbed up one position to be 4th most vacation deprived nation from 5th position last year, while Japan keeps its No 1 position. The poll was carried out online amongst 8,687 employed people across 22 countries.


Spokesperson Quote: "Vacations play an important role in relaxing and re-energizing the employees while enhancing their motivation & productivity. Expedia strongly believes that vacations are an essential part of a healthy work life." said Mr. Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia India. "In India, while the bosses have softened their stance on leaves from last year, the median numbers of leaves given have dropped significantly from 25 in 2011 to 20 this year. Indians still rank second globally in the number of people logging in during vacation with 47% checking regularly and 39% checking sometimes. These trends indicate the increasing levels of stress and further highlight the importance of a good break."


Appended are the detailed findings of the survey:


Work-life disparity widens further for Indians, while Europe leads the world in vacation days


Most Europeans have 25-30 days (median) of vacation each year


Asia has the least vacation days, lead by Korea and Taiwan employees with 10 days (median) a year

The median no of vacation days for Indians dropped by 5 days to 20 this year


The US employee lost two more days compared with 2011 - down to 12 days (median) - while Japan gained 2


A significant portion of employees across continents receive NO vacation days: US, 18%; Japan, 17%; Canada, 16%; Australia, 16%


Japan tops the list with max- 62% unused vacation days followed by Korea (30%) while India is tied for 4th position (Australia) with 25% vacation days unused


Taiwanese employees also receive a lower number of days (10 median), but that doesn't stand in the way of them taking 2 additional vacation days, than allotted


Why are Indians vacation deprived? Coordination & planning


37% Indians prefer the option to accumulate days; 31% Indians are not able to coordinate and 23% are vacation deprived due to lack of planning


As in 2011, Indian employees are most likely to fear important decisions will occur in their absence which is the highest globally at 22%


Most employees in Italy, Taiwan, Korea & Japan don't receive positive affirmation from their boss

Can't afford to take holidays? 28% US citizens, 28% Koreans, 20% Japanese and 20% British


So you have a last minute assignment at work? Would that mean cancelling or postponing your planned vacation? Yes


Taiwan tops the list with 72% cancellations followed by Korea (67%), India (60%), and Brazil (59%)

Least amount of cancellations due to work seen in Netherlands and UK at 23% & 22% respectively

Work has "interfered" with 50% or more of employees in most Asia and Latin America surveyed

More than 7 in 10 Taiwanese employees have cancelled or postponed vacation for work reasons. (This may partially explain why they take 2 more days than given!)


Does your boss approve of your vacation? Yes!


Supportive bosses are a universal trend with highest in Brazil at 83% followed by India at 76%, Ireland & Spain at 75%, US & UK at 73%; bosses in Italy are the least supportive at 33%


In India the percentage of bosses supporting the employee's vacation has moved up from 72% last year to 76% in 2012


In countries with a higher percentage of vacation postponement due to work, the lack of positive affirmation from their managers is also higher


In Brazil and India bosses could be more supportive of vacation as these countries have higher number of employees regularly/sometimes logging-in for work even during their vacations


Can Indians truly let go during their vacations? No


Brazilian employees (66%) jump to the unfortunate first position - regularly checking-in while on vacation, followed by Indians at 55%, France at 53%, Mexico at 52%, Italy at 50% and Japan at 49%


India has one of the highest numbers of people checking in during vacations with 55% checking in regularly and 39% sometimes. Japan has a similar percentage, only the split is 49% to 51%


In US , 32% never check in, 34% regularly do while in European countries , employees completely let go, hardly ever checking in, with the exception of France


Majority of employees are able to leave work behind only after they have reached their vacation destination


On the other hand, more than 50% of German, English and Danish vacationers have no such problem - they never check in!


So what would be your holiday preference? Beach, romantic or outdoor? Summer/winter/fall or spring?

Indians prefer a balance of both Beaches (32%) and Romantic destinations (33%) for their vacations

Beaches remain clearly the most preferred across US, Latin America and Europe


Koreans appear to be the most romantic at 45% followed by India (33%), Taiwan (25%) and Japan (20%) while Singapore remains balanced in their choices


Taiwanese employees (28%) prefer the great outdoors to any other vacation, and a city holiday appeals more to those from Singapore (22%), Malaysia (19%) and Taiwan (19%)


Koreans, on the other hand, continue to shun the city holiday - just as they did in 2011


Summers were universally voted as the most preferred season for vacation except Singapore, which saw more than 31% people preferring to holiday in winters.


Fall seemed fairly popular in US and South Korea while Winter in Singapore and India

48% Indians holiday in summers and 31% in winters while 27% from Singapore prefer travelling in Spring.


Hotel Leelaventure plans to raise Rs25bn: reports


Hotel Leelaventure has reportedly said that it is planning to raise Rs25bn over the next two years.


The company may raise funds either through divestments or by way of rights or bond issue or qualified institutional placement (QIP), according to reports.


Reports said that the company is going through  debt restructuring exercise and in process of selling its non-core assets.


Mast Kalandar raises US $6 mn in third round of funding


In consonance with the growing market opportunity for the QSR (quick service restaurants) business in India, Mast Kalandar, the leading North Indian Vegetarian food chain has raised USD 6 million from Helion Venture Partners and Footprint Ventures, in its third round of funding. Established in 2005, Mast Kalandar is a brand owned by Spring Leaf Retail, the entrepreneurial venture of Gaurav Jain and Pallavi Gupta. The previous two funding rounds saw the participation of Helion and Footprint Ventures, alongside angel investors, the Salarpuria group. The current tranche of funds, will be used to address key growth factors and scaling up to 100 outlets across 8 cities in the next 18 months.




Accor celebrates 30 years in Asia-Pacific with record-breaking growth


Accor, the largest international hotel operator in Asia-Pacific, today commemorates its 30th anniversary in the region. The milestone comes as the French hotelier celebrates a year of record-breaking expansion, opening 110 new properties, ranging from luxury to budget, which will bring Accor’s network in the region to 550 hotels by the end of the year.


As part of the celebrations, Denis Hennequin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Accor S.A and Michael Issenberg, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Accor Asia-Pacific, announced the Group’s 100th new hotel contract – Novotel Goa Shrem Resort – signed in the region this year, boosting the Group’s ambition to operate 700 Asia-Pacific hotels by 2015. The announcement of the 150-room Novotel marks Accor’s first property in this key market in India.


Three decades of building market leadership

Accor’s story in the region began in 1982, when the Group launched the Novotel Orchid Singapore. In the 1980s, Accor laid its foundations, opening its first hotels in Thailand, Greater China and South Korea. As the 1990s began, the Group’s Asia-Pacific network comprised just 13 hotels, but by the end of the decade the portfolio had grown to 180 hotels across the whole region and in all market sectors.In the following 12 years, the Group’s regional network has more than tripled to 550 hotels in 16 countries.


Today, Accor is market leader in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Looking forward, the Group has ambitious plans with the aim of expanding from 18 hotels to 90 hotels in India, from 126 hotels to over 200 hotels in Greater China, and to nearly double its network of 52 hotels in Indonesia. By 2015, Accor expects to operate 700 hotels in the region. And the Group continues to set its sights on new markets in Asia-Pacific: earlier this month, Accor announced that it will enter its 17th market in the region – Bangladesh – with two Novotel hotels in Dhaka and Chittagong.


Domestic News


Nirmal Lifestyle signs contracts with Accor: reports


Accor, a French hotel group, also the largest operator in Europe is planning to develop properties in Mulund, according to reports.


While Nirmal Lifestyle Group reported that it is planning to investRs 15bn in developing the said properties.


The company has signed contracts with Accor for managing five properties, including four hotels, in the mid-scale to luxury segment, report said.


Mahindra Holidays installs RateTiger to automate and streamline its revenue management


Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd., the leader in the Vacation Ownership space with over 147,000 members, has installed RateTiger to automate and streamline its revenue management and online distribution process across its multiple sales channels.  Twenty-three Club Mahindra resorts have increased occupancy in the last six months as a result of increasing online exposure through third parties.


As a pioneer at implementing revenue management principles in the Vacation Ownership model, Club Mahindra sought to optimise occupancy and revenue by introducing rate parity across all booking channels whilst reducing the impact it had on the employees’ time. The company has utilized RateTiger to connect to OTAs for room and rate updates, and is now successfully selling across five online sales channels. As a result, they have experienced average 87% occupancy across all its properties in the last six months; in some properties it was around 90 – 95%.


Two key projects of Hyatt hotel group on hold: DB Hospitality


DB Hospitality has reportedly said that two key projects of the Hyatt hotel group, in Mumbai and Pune, have been put on hold.


The construction is yet to begin on the Park Hyatt in Mumbai, report said.


"The developer is handling its economic situation and financial restructuring, " said Ratnesh Verma, senior vice-president, real estate and development, Hyatt Hotels.


Aamby Valley City launches nine week sky diving event


Adventure has a new address. Independent India’s first planned hill city, Aamby Valley City announced the launch of its nine week sky diving event. Versatile actor Farhan Akhtar and renowned producer Ritesh Sidhwani who were present at the press conference to support the activity jumped off the plane to launch the daring sport of Sky diving at Aamby Valley City. The project will give adventure enthusiasts the exclusive opportunity to sky dive with the internationally acclaimed Sky Diving Art of Extreme crew from Spain including Wolfgang Rausch and Barbara Holzer who trained the cast of “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.”


The two month long skydiving project will offer adventure seekers an experience of a full skydive without prior training while being securely attached to the front of a Tandem Master. Participants can enjoy the thrill from flying up, freefalling, parachute ride to landing.


Thomas Cook India chosen as “Specialist Tour Operator”


Thomas Cook (India) Limited, India’s largest integrated travel and travel related financial services company, was chosen as the “Specialist Tour Operator" at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards 2012, for the second consecutive year.


The Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards, recognized internationally as a benchmark for excellence in travel and tourism, is widely acknowledged as the most prestigious awards in the travel industry. Its discerning and well travelled audience was asked to determine the finest that India has to offer, and Thomas Cook (India) Ltd was voted number one, again.


Souk at The Taj Mahal Palace celebrates 10th anniversary on Dec 6, 2012


Set in the luxurious ambiance of The Taj Mahal Palace’s rooftop and overlooking the Gateway of India, Souk has made place in the heart of all those who have dined at the restaurant. This Mediterranean restaurant has always delighted its guests with the flavorsome Middle Eastern platter leaving them with a memorable experience. This year on December 6, Souk celebrates its 10th anniversary. For the occasion, guests can enjoy a special dinner which includes the entire Souk menu at the special price of Rs. 10,000/- (+taxes) per couple.


Govt promotes religious tourism in North East States

Global News

Emirates Holidays unveils attractive packages for Dubai Shopping Festival

To celebrate the 17th year of its association with the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), Emirates Holidays, the tour-operating arm of Emirates airline, is offering attractive return packages to Indian travellers starting at INR 26,208 per person on twin sharing from Chennai. The fares are available for purchase till 3rd January, 2012. The 17th annual DSF kicks off from 3rd January 2013, and will run till 3rd February 2013.

Launched in 1996, the month-long Festival attracts visitors from around the world and has been supported by Emirates Holidays since its inception. This year, Emirates Holidays is offering a variety of packages that include three nights’ accommodation with buffet breakfast, return Economy Class airfare on Emirates airline; meet-and-assist upon arrival; and return airport transfers by private car. Customers have a choice of accommodation in a variety of selected properties to suit all budgets. The offer does not include visa fees, fuel surcharge and airport departure taxes.

Air Arabia organizes experiential trip to Jordan for key partners

Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa in association with Grand Hyatt, Amman and Al Thurraya, Jordan’s leading destination management company organized an experiential visit to the exquisite lands of Jordan for some of their key business partners in India.

The FAM trip covered Amman, Petra, Jerash, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum and Mount Nebo. Jordan is known for its history, culture and sightseeing attractions. The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost other-worldly beauty. The salt and minerals from The Dead Sea are considered to be magical ingredients used for cosmetics and beauty treatments worldwide.

Avari Dubai Hotel introduces special New Year Package!

New Year is just around the corner. Dubai stands out as a mesmerizing destination to bring in the New Year with friends, family and loved ones. Avari Dubai Hotel offers an exciting New Year package.  Enjoy the real grandeur and beauty of Dubai with an atmosphere that’s just perfect to unwind and relax, not forgetting the incredible entertainment, mouth watering foods and myriad of cultures in this modern City.

Avari Dubai Hotel will make special arrangements of a Dhow Cruise Dinner or Desert Safari with dinner at attractive discounts (subject to availability).  The package also includes 15% Discount on all telephone calls, faxes, emails (whether domestic or international).

Spree Hotels launches RezNext

RezNext, the recently launched real-time online distribution solution for hotel rooms, signs on its first clients, Spree Hotels & Resorts Pvt. Ltd. RezNext is an initiative of the 25 year hospitality technology provider IDS NEXT, and was launched to offer hotels across size and market segment a simplified way of leveraging technology to increase their online visibility, reach guests faster and thus grow hotel revenue.

The solution offers a host of services which include Rate & Channel Manager, Revenue Management, Reputation Management, Competitor Rate Management, Mobile platform, Central Reservation System, Property Management System (PMS) two-way connect, Loyalty & Feedback Management Solution, GDS Interface, Website Designing and Web Booking Engine, and Facebook Web Booking Engine. These services are accessible through a dynamic, user-friendly control panel called 'Rex'. The panel allows hotel's to access offerings at affordable rates and significantly reduces both human intervention and error.




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