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Hotel & Tourism Newsletter - November 26 to November 30, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Sterling Holidays, India’s leading Vacation Ownership and Leisure Hospitality Company, announced the opening of its 19th resort, Dharamshala - The Sanctuary.

Top Stories     

Sahara acquires NY hotels - New York Plaza, Dream New York:reports

Subrata Roy-promoted Sahara Grouphas completed the acquisition of two iconic New York hotels—New York Plaza andDream New York-—both based near Manhattan's Central Park,  for around $800 mn (about Rs 44bn),accordingto reports.

Reports stated that the companymay be looking at picking up some other landmark properties in New York tobuild up a portfolio of luxury hotels.

Sahara has bought Dream Downtown,owned by celebrated New York hotelier Vikram Chatwal for $220 mn,report says.

Sterling Holidays opens 19th resort, Dharamshala - The Sanctuary

Sterling Holidays, India’s leading VacationOwnership and Leisure Hospitality Company, announced the opening of its 19thresort, Dharamshala - The Sanctuary.

The resort will welcome guestsfrom December 1st, 2012. With this addition, Sterling now offers its membersand guests a choice of 19 resorts across India’s most scenic holidaydestinations.

With a majestic view of the Dhauladharrange and the gurgling, perennial brooks of the Beas River, The Sanctuaryoffers the best of both worlds – cosy comfort within and a world of naturalbeauty outside. The full-service, modern resort has 26 elegantly furnishedrooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, bar, conference facilities and a range ofrecreational activities designed to engage members and guests in fun-filled,memorable holiday experiences.

Commenting on the opening, Mr.Ramesh Ramanathan, Managing Director, Sterling Holidays, said, “The addition ofDharamshala - The Sanctuary is yet another significant step forward in ourefforts to increase our resort network and offer our members and guestsholidays in scenic destinations. Over the next few months, we will be workingto bring to fruition our plans to offer more scenic getaways across India.

Visit Kerala…Take home up to 101 kg of Gold

Visit Kerala during thisChristmas-New Year season and you have the chance to return home with up to 101kg of gold!

God’s Own Country, which hasenticed the world with its priceless natural beauty, is all set to welcomevisitors now with a treasure trove of gold and gifts.

And shopping is the latestaddition to Kerala’s ever-growing list of niche tourism products ranging frombackwaters to beaches, from hill stations to shrines, with the Kerala Tourismpitching the forthcoming Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF) as the newestmarketing tool to position the State as an international shopping destination.

The sixth edition of GKSF,already billed as the biggest fiesta of the kind in Asia, will open on December15 with high-voltage campaigns, promotions, tantalizing discounts, incentivesfrom the government, and gifts and gold worth millions of rupees, transformingentire Kerala into ‘one single shopping mall’ for 48 days.

“Gifted with natural beauty,Kerala has emerged as a must-see destination for visitors from around theworld. But our effort has always been to evolve new niche tourism products.Through GKSF, we are trying to pitch the state as an international shoppingdestination, broaching a new idea on the marketing front,’’ Kerala TourismMinister Shri. A P Anil Kumar said.


‘3 StarHotels drive online bookings of hotels in India’ a report by Goibibo

Goibibo.com, India's fastest online travelsite has released its monthly travel report derived from live buyer data. Thelatest report covers insights on Hotel bookings on the internet in India. Basedon the observations, it has been found that 3 star hotels drive 50% bookings onlinein India within the tariff slab of Rs.1,500 -3,500. The affordable averageprice point and online availability are the key reasons for travellers optingfor this category of hotels.

The report also shares insights on averageprice points of various star rated hotels; break down of leisure versusbusiness hotels booked online; customer segments and top destinations forbusiness hotel bookings. While leisure hotels are found to comprise of 56.41%bookings, business hotels fall slightly back at 43.59%. Bangalore is found tobe the busiest business travel destination due to more online visibility ofhotels from this city followed by Mumbai and Hyderabad. SMEs and individualsclearly outrival corporates in terms of driving these bookings. This is becauseSMEs are the most price conscious segment and are seeing value in bookingonline. Also, they get transparent information and better value than theintermediary channels.

The report also captures qualitative aspectssuch as: Top factors that make people unhappy during their stay and also theimportant elements that travellers look forward to from a hotel. Extra beds,health forceps, kids' area and food preferences in terms of veg or non veg makeup the most common hotel requirements that guests demand. On the other hand,unhygienic bathrooms, uncomfortable bed mattresses and external noise factorsseem to distress guests most often.

As per industry reports, Hotels is a fastestgrowing vertical in the Online travel business. 3 star and below segment ofhotels have the largest and the most fragmented supply in India. It is thisfragmentation that creates huge opportunity for driving e-commerce betweenthousands of these hotels and travellers.

‘Saffron’ at Jaipur Marriott hosts HyderabadiFood Festiva

Celebrating the cuisine of the Nizams, JaipurMarriott is hosting a Hyderabadi Food Festival from November 23 – 30 atSaffron, its Indian specialty restaurant. Chef Qadir Khan, an Indian specialtychef whose skills and deep expertise lie in Hyderabadi cuisine has recentlyjoined the Jaipur Marriott team.

At the Food Festival, Chef Qadir will presenta range of his signature dishes echoing the rich history of Hyderabadi cuisinethat evolved in the kitchens of the Nizams.

Blending age old spices that characterize Hyderabadicuisine, the festival will showcase a wide spread of vegetarian andnon-vegetarian dishes. Featuring an array of mouth watering delicacies, thisrich and scrumptious feast includes a range of Shorbas (soups) and an array ofKebabs such as Subz Till ke Seekh, Palak Chane ki Shammi, Tarashey Kebab, amongothers.

Domestic News

Lalit Suri Hospitality Group launches 'The Lalit Chandigarh':reports

The  Lalit Suri Hospitality Group (enterprise of BharatHotels) has reportedly announced the launch of ‘The Lalit Chandigarh’.

Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson &Managing Director stated that ‘The Lalit Chandigarh’ will be a luxury propertyand will reflect the Group’s brand ethos of ‘Traditionally Modern, SubtlyLuxurious and Distinctly Lalit’, according to reports.

Reports said that the LalitChandigarh is located close to a new IT park development in Chandigarh.

Royal Orchid Fort Resort, Mussoorie offers exquisite New YearPackage

New Year is approaching and allof us are in a mood to celebrate the upcoming year with our friends and family.Royal Orchid Fort Resort, Mussoorie, one of the premiere destinations in theluxury segment is ready to make your New Year more beautiful and ecstatic byoffering an exciting and delightful “New Year Package” for 2 nights / 3 days.

Royal Orchid Fort Resort hasdesigned this special package for couples and families to celebrate their newyear at a beautiful place gifted with scintillating beauty of nature for 2Nights / 3 Days amongst a choice of room from Deluxe to Executive to Premium(with & without terrace) to Suite of this magnificent resort.

This unique “New YearCelebration” package begins at Rs.14, 000/- and goes upto Rs.34, 000/- on MAP +(Taxes: Service Tax-7.42 % + for luxury Tax 10 % extra) Depending on the choiceof room.  Also one has to pay compulsorysupplementary   extra charges amount ofjust Rs.3000/- + 13.5% for Extra Adult and Rs.2300 /-+ 13.5 %( 8 Years to 15Years) Per Child.  Valid upto 31st December2012.

Italian Food Fest at The Taj Mahal Palace

The Italian proverb “A tavola nonsi invecchia” meaning “at the table one never grows old” sums up the Italianview of food. Food in Italy is a wholesome experience, a time of celebrationand happiness along with the family. It is impossible for one to think of Italywithout the images of mouthwatering food. In Italy, sharing the meal withfamily and friends is an elated affair. Food and the kitchen form aninseparable part of an Italian’s life. Family and food are integral to Italianculture, as it is to India. Set at the perfect ambiance of Shamiana’s finedining décor, The Taj Mahal Palace gives you an opportunity to try authentic anItalian fare at Italian Food Festival commencing from Nov 23, 2012 to Dec 1,2012.

The Taj Mahal Palace has invitedcosmopolitan experienced Chefs Giampaolo Cosimo and Giuseppe Gullo from LunaHotel Baglioni, Venice Italy who have flown down to Mumbai to serve anassortment of local Italian cuisine such as Medaglioni di Tonno, Paccheri diGragnano, Carpaccio di branzino Canova, Crema di carciofi con gamberi, Classictraditional Italian Tiramisu etc.

Pradeep V appointed as Chief Sales Officer, Berggruen Hotels

Keys Hotels, Resorts andApartments, the hospitality brand of the New York headquartered private equityfund promoted Berggruen Hotels Pvt. Ltd has appointed Pradeep V. as their newChief Sales Officer bringing with him over 20 years of sales experience acrossvarious sectors.

Pradeep has a proven track recordin delivering first class results across corporate sectors in Telecom, IT andHospitality services. He has been associated with start-ups and enjoys theexcitement of building businesses.

Remaining sector agnostic hisexperience across varied sectors in the services industry will add to Keysmanagement strength. In this new role, Pradeep will be responsible for managingthe revenue growth and client acquisition for Keys Hotels.

A Graduate of Hotel Managementand having done his post graduation in Marketing and Sales Management, Pradeepbrings over 15 years of product, services & technology experience withcompanies such as NCR India, HCL Infosystems Ltd. AryaOmnitalk WirelessSolutions Pvt Ltd and 5 Years in managing hospitality operations, having workedwith Taj group of hotels early in his career.

“Now andWhen: Australian Urbanism” exhibition arrives in India

Experience a future world of floating cities, submergedmetropolises and new desert tracts with NOW and WHEN. The 3D exhibitionfeatures spectacular architectural visions of Australia’s potential urbanfuture in 2050 and beyond, by leading Australian architects, designers andurban planners.

“This extraordinary exhibition enables the viewer to experienceAustralia as it is today, and as it could be in 2050 through the use of newtechnology. It is an eye opening experience and a demonstration of Australianinnovation,” said Australian High Commissioner,Peter Varghese.

Opening in Mumbai in November, then touring to Bengaluru,Coimbatore and Gandhinagar,NOW and WHEN will conclude its five-city India tourin Delhi in January 2013.  Presented bythe Australian Institute of Architects for the Australian Pavilion at theVenice Architecture Biennale in 2010, the exhibition’s India tour is organisedin partnership with the India Design Forum as part of Oz Fest.

Lemon treeHotels wins National Award

Global News

SLH seesstrong Q3 growth amid online expansion

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has reported sustainedgrowth in the third quarter of 2012, with a notable focus on the online portionof the business. With revenue of nearly US$80mn YTD, a 6% growth when comparedto the same period in 2011, and a 6% increase in reservations it has been astrong quarter, undoubtedly boosted by the company’s online development.

“Summer business was buoyant for us, and I am confident that partof our success has been down to the importance we are placing on our website,social media and online business. Interestingly, the number of web visitorsaccessing the site through smart phones and iPads has doubled in 2012 YTD, from18% in 2012 compared with 9% in 2011 showing a growing trend that we in thetravel business must respond to.” comments Paul Kerr, Chief Executive Officer,SLH.

NewZealand: The real Middle-earth

When Sir Peter Jackson went looking for the ideal place to filmhis blockbuster adaptations of the classic books by J.R.R.Tolkien, he didn’thave to travel far from home - in fact the world-famous director reckons hiscountry, New Zealand, is the perfect Middle-earth.  Jackson shot the opening sequence for thefirst movie in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy just up the hill from theWellington peninsula where he lives and works. Now 12 years on and preparing torelease the first film in The Hobbit Trilogy - The Hobbit: An UnexpectedJourney - Jackson is still filming in the neighbourhood. So what is it abouthis home country that fits so perfectly with Jackson's imaginings ofMiddle-earth?

Even without the technical wizardry employed by Jackson and hisWeta team, the unique and diverse geography of New Zealand’s North and SouthIslands is naturally the nearest thing on earth to Middle-earth - the term usedto describe the "lands of men" or "mortal lands" depictedin The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies.

Since the first movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of TheRing, New Zealand has been dubbed Middle-earth and Rings fans, or Ringons,continue to travel to the country to experience the mountains, lakes, riversand plains that became the backdrops for the movies' famous scenes.  And, now that New Zealand scenery is about tohit the big screen again, there’s eager anticipation as to the new locationsthat will have a starring role in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

VisitFlorida selects Will Seccombe as New President & CEO

VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation– is proud to announce the selection of Will Seccombe as its new President andCEO.  Seccombe, VISIT FLORIDA’s ChiefMarketing Officer since 2008, has been serving as the Acting President and CEOsince Chris Thompson’s departure to head Brand USA.  Today’s unanimous vote by the VISIT FLORIDABoard of Directors to have Seccombe become Thompson’s permanent replacement isthe culmination of a deliberate process by a six-member  executive search committee in concert withthe national recruiting firm SearchWide. 

“With Will as our new President and CEO, VISIT FLORIDA’s future isin great hands,” said Glenn Hastings, Chairman of the VISIT FLORIDA Board ofDirectors and Executive Director of the St. Johns County Tourist DevelopmentCouncil. “In his four years as CMO, Will’s vision and drive to succeed haveelevated the state’s tourism marketing efforts to an unprecedented level andhave put VISIT FLORIDA in a very strong position to pursue our vision ofestablishing Florida as the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”




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