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Radisson eyes religious destinations in India

With a portfolio of 90 operational hotels in India, Radisson Hotel Group aims to reach 200 properties by 2020 in this market. Earlier this year, the hospitality group got rebranded to Radisson Hotel Group from the earlier Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Presently, the group aims to be one of the top three operators globally in the next five years.

Speaking about the development Katerina Giannouka, President, Asia Pacific, Radisson Hotel Group said, “Earlier we had two companies, Carlson and Rezidor, with this new brand we have realigned both the companies. We are now one integrated global company. The strategy was to bring in the name of our most powerful brand into the corporate name which signals that we will be able to drive better value for our owners. Our vision is to be one of the top three operators in the next five years.”

In the India market, the group currently has a total of 140 hotels with 90 operational. This year, the group is also set to launch the first Radisson Red property in India and recently introduced Radisson Collection in India. The group also sees potential in the religious destinations for growth.

Sharing India expansion plan, Raj Rana, CEO, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group said, “The 200 hotels will be in the next five years including those under development. So, around 130 will be operational and 70 will be in the pipeline. We have a Joint Venture (JV) with Bestech for building and operating 49 Park Inn by Radisson and Radisson Red hotels in North and Central India.  The JV is progressing very well. As part of the JV, we will be opening our first Radisson Red in Mohali, Chandigarh later this year. One of our core strategies is to grow in religious destinations. We are finding these destinations stable for us, such as Haridwar, Varanasi, Katra, Tirupati and we will plan in more destinations.”

As per the five year strategy, in the Asia Pacific region the group aims to double its existing keys and also employees. The group is also investing in the technology segment to launch a new platform. “Asia Pacific is one of the most energetic regions in the world. India within Asia Pacific is one of our most important markets. India is one of our largest markets currently in Asia Pacific and we have about 18000 hotel rooms across this region and we look to double that in the next five years. In terms of employees, we have close to 25000 employees across the region and we will be doubling these figures in the next five years. Technology is a key focus and we are investing a lot into it. We are building a new platform which will give more value to our owners and make it easier to book a hotel,” Giannouka said.

She further said that there is a huge scope in the India market for the midscale brands. “We see most of our growth in upscale and the mid segment brands. We have launched the Radisson Collection brand in India in affordable luxury segment. As the market matures in India, we will look to open more brands here. At the entry level, we have a brand called Prizeotel an economy product with a very strong design. Currently, this brand is in Europe and possibly this could be a brand which we will look to open in India. Our next five year strategy is to finely sharpen our brand architecture. We are looking more at the lifestyle segment, Radisson Red will be that brand,” Giannouka added.

In India the expansion of the group is based on the hub and spoke model. “We follow the Hub and Spoke strategy in India. This plays into expanding our portfolio reach into all markets within two to three hours drive to the major markets. As the highways are improving in India, opening hotels along the highways is a key part of our strategy in the India market,” Rana said.

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