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Friday, 01 March, 2019, 12 : 19 PM [IST]

‘India is an important market for us and we will give enough attention here’

ONYX Group, a leading hospitality asset management company recently hosted their maiden roadshow event in India, catering to their partners. Asmita Mukherjee was present at the event and spoke with Debrah Pascoe, Executive Vice President, Commercial, Onyx Hospitality Group to understand more about the group’s strategy, growth aspirations, and focus on India.
Q What is the reason behind organising this roadshow?
Onyx group is a 50 years old company, which offers a wide portfolio of hospitality brands. We wanted to showcase our brands, including the market-leading Amari brand of hotels and resorts, Shama serviced apartments and the midscale OZO hotels. This roadshow event is an opportunity for us to update our key partners on the progress and future offerings of our company.

This is the first roadshow that we have organised in India on a large scale. We used to organise small workshops in India before this event. The roadshow is starting in Mumbai, continuing on to Bengaluru and Delhi, finally concluding in Chandigarh. We have invited our 50 key partners for participating at the event.

Q Why did you decide upon India as the roadshow venue?
The Indian market is very important for us, as we have very strong partnerships here. We wanted to host the event for our Indian partners as a token of appreciation.This event is organised for the travel agents, tour operators, and corporate buyers from India.

Q How many properties or brands do you have within your portfolio?
We have 50 hotels under our portfolio, another 15 in the pipeline. Amari, which is one of our brands is focused on the mid to upscale hotel sector in urban and resort destinations.

Onyx started its operations with the Amari brand. Then there is Ozo, another of our brands, which is focused on midscale properties. Shama is our boutique serviced apartment brand. Mosaic Collection is a brand of ours, where the property owners retain their original brand, but hand over the operations management of the property to Onyx, owing to our skills and experience.

So we have a few collection of hotels which carry their own brand name, for us they are all having unique characteristic.

Q Can you explain your business model?
ONYX Hospitality as a group manages 40 hotels, and also owns 10 properties. So we have a total 50 numbers of hotels under our umbrella.

Q Which properties of your attract the most inflow from India?
It is changing year by year as we grow. If I look at Thailand, Nova Platinum in Pattya, is one of our hotspots. Also, I want to mention about the hotels under the Amari brand - Amari Phuket, Amari Watergate, and Amari Pattaya in Thailand, all of which have a very strong inflow of Free Independent Travellers or Tourists (FIT) coming from India. In 2018, we took over a property in Bangkok as a part of our Shama brand. Japanese travellers also visit it in large numbers. It is also heavily occupied by Indian travellers. So, most of our hotels in Thailand are doing pretty well.

We also have a presence in Colombo, Sri Lanka, through our property, Amari Galle, which has been open for year and a half now, and has been witnessing strong growth.

Amari Dhaka, in Bangladesh, also witnesses large influx of Indian travellers.

Q Are you planning for a property in India?
Yes, we have been planning for a property in India since the last few years. We have a development team who are working on it. India is a part of our plan, but it also depends on the correct time and place.

Q What are the various types of clientele that ONYX caters to?
All of our properties host different types of clients. Our property Amari Galle in Sri Lanka hosts destination wedding parties, as well as, FITs. Amari Watergate Bangkok, and Amari Pattaya in Thailand also cater to MICE tourists, and are in demand during the wedding season. Shama Asoka gets a steady flow of corporate guests, who stay in the service apartments.

Q What are the key Commercial and Marketing strategies being adopted by ONYX?
We are focussed on working with partners, who follow the latest trends. Also, as nowadays, customer experience is everything, hence, our partners also have to be really customer centric. We are engaging in harvesting human connections, by increasing our brand presence, through online channels.

Q Tell us about your expansion plans.
This year we are re-launching one of our hotspot Amari Pattaya. We are coming up with Ozo Phuket, along with this we will be introducing our first hotel in Melbourne, Australia.
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