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Wednesday, 19 April, 2017, 16 : 07 PM [IST]

‘Pune receives travellers from diverse segments’

The traveller trend in Pune city has changed in the recent past, and not restricted to guests belonging to manufacturing companies and educational institutions. Today, the city attracts a good number of tourists pertaining to segments like religious and medical tourism. With an inventory of 217 rooms & serviced apartments and situated in close proximity to the business districts, Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Pune has been witnessing a 10% to 15% y-o-y growth, says GM Vijayan Gangadharan in an interaction with Prasenjit Chakraborty.

Q. What does Four Points By Sheraton Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Pune, bring to the hospitality landscape of Pune?
A. It is the best location for independent business travellers as we are 3 km away from the airport and also conveniently connected to commercial hubs. Besides this, our proximity to some of the best business districts makes us an ideal upscale business hotel of choice for work or pleasure. We are also positioned near the rightly called entertainment district of Pune - Koregaon Park which offers a variety of clubbing and dining options. Even Phoenix Market City is also a stone’s throw away from our property.

Q. What is the demand for hotel rooms in the city and how does Four Points By Sheraton Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Pune, supplement this?
A. With important sectors like IT, manufacturing, automotive, banking and finance coming into the picture which ultimately resulted in many new projects and expansions increasingly being developed in Pune. The city has seen demand growth of 7% to 10% year-on-year. With our room inventory of 217 rooms & serviced apartments and close proximity to the business districts, there has been a 10% to 15% growth in business for Four Points By Sheraton Pune year-on-year.

Q. Which are the traveller segments you cater to?
A. Four Points By Sheraton Pune’s strategic location facilitates in attracting all types of travellers. We receive guests in the category of independent business travellers, as we are conveniently connected to major business hubs. We also get guests who fall in the long stay bracket as we have our residences (serviced apartments). Apart from this, leisure travellers mainly from Mumbai who want to have a short getaway for the weekend also visit our property. Tourists who visit destinations like Lonavla, Khandala and Shirdi also stay in our hotel as we are nearer to these tourist destinations. We also cater to MICE segment and can accommodate up to 350 people. Proximity to educational institutes like Symbiosis help us to get guests who visit Pune for educational purposes.

Q. How a mixed used property with components of hotels and service apartments make sense in a location like Pune? How is your service designed to complement each other?
A. We are one and only five-star hotel in Pune which caters to both, short and long stay travellers alike, as we have deluxe rooms as well as apartments housed in the same complex. We are a one stop solution as we provide a lot of ancillary services like gym, spa and pool which provides a wholesome stay experience. Unlike other traditional apartment operations, we provide daily housekeeping services which is our biggest differentiator. Besides, we have multiple restaurants which offer multi-cuisine food options that can cater to a varied palate.

Q. Considering Pune as business and manufacturing hub, what are your product offerings in terms of meeting and events as well as F&B?
A. Our product offerings are rightly named after the cultural heritage that the city of Pune offers, called the Grand Maratha and Grand Peshwa ballroom. Our boardrooms can accommodate anywhere between 7 to 15 people. We also have a 24 hour coffee shop called The Eatery, a pan-Asian restaurant Panash and a lounge bar called Best Brews.

Q. What are the traveller trends in Pune and its surrounding areas?
A. The traveller trend in Pune is diverse. Earlier Pune was known for its manufacturing companies and as an education hub, but slowly we see a rise in business companies, and lot of tourists pertaining to religious and medical tourism segments have started visiting Pune. Interestingly, Pune is also a hot favourite for weddings and is known as a popular wedding destination and weekend getaway spot.

Q. How important are conventional channels of distribution like OTAs and offline agents for hotels?
A. OTAs & offline agents are extremely important for hotel business. With many new small and large scale set-ups coming to the Pune market, the city is seeing a lot of new travellers for various purposes. Today’s traveller is smart and well read, and as OTAs have a huge market coverage it offers an open platform for travellers across the world to make informed decisions as they have an option to compare different properties on one single portal. The OTAs hence help us reach those travellers who are beyond our reach.
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