Global hospitality major Radisson Hotel Group on Monday said it will be adding 10 more hotels across India by the end of this year as part of its robust expansion plans in the country.
The company recently touched a milestone of 100 operating hotels in India with the opening of Radisson Bhopal earlier this month.
"We will be opening 10 more hotels in India by the end of 2021, and have already launched 6 hotels, including 3 resorts this year. We have a robust pipeline for the future and will continue our growth trajectory with 12-15 hotel signings and 10-12 hotel openings every year," Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia, Managing Director and VP Operations, Zubin Saxena told PTI.
The six hotels that have already been launched this year are -- Radisson Bareilly, Classic Grande Imphal, Radisson Blu Resort Dharamshala, Radisson Blu Resort Visakhapatnam, Radisson Resort and Spa Lonavala, and Radisson Bhopal, he added.
The company will soon be announcing Radisson RED with the first hotel as Radisson RED Chandigarh, Mohali. The brand will support Radisson Hotel Group's repositioning efforts and usher in a new culture of unconventional, bold, and unique hospitality, Saxena said.
When asked about the business model, Saxena said, "We are a hotel management company and pursue an asset-light model with a significant portion of our portfolio being managed directly by us. We have a robust operations strategy as a part of our India Unification Plan (IUP), but we remain open for selective franchising." The India Unification Plan is the company's operational architecture to derive excellence and create value for every stakeholder, he added.
"We introduced 20 initiatives across operations, guest experience, F&B, people and procurement and the swift implementation of this plan has worked very strongly in our favour during the pandemic," Saxena said.
On being asked about the investments the company will be making for the expansion, he said Radisson Hotel Group will continue to invest in technology and talent.
"India, and South Asia remain a key part of Radisson Hotel Group's global strategy, and we intend to invest across all parts of our operations. Our next phase of growth would be driven by expansion in tier IV and tier V cities of India," Saxena said.
When asked about the business prospects for the hospitality industry and the company in the country, he said, "As we move towards the last quarter of this year, we are hopeful that travel trends which picked up post easing of the lockdown will continue to show dominance. Leisure and domestic travel will continue to lead the industry towards recovery and travel will be more personalised as guests are now looking beyond just taking trips."
The industry may utilise the next three to four years to get back to where it was pre-COVID-19, as multiple variables affect the trajectory of this recovery - the threat of the third wave, vaccination coverage pan-India, regulatory decisions, and the long-term economic impact, he added.
"Overall, we believe that the fundamentals of the industry and its leadership are robust, and we are well on our way to bullish growth in the coming months," Saxena said.
The company believes hospitality will be a sunrise industry in India, and the next five to 10 years will see a significant number of new destinations emerging, especially in tier III, IV, V cities and leisure markets, he added.
"We see exponential demand for high-quality lodging accommodation in India, driven by the vast infrastructural development planned across the country and young, discerning travelers looking for unique experiences. At Radisson Hotel Group, we are fully prepared with our strategies to take on this exciting future growth opportunity that India has to offer," Saxena said.
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