‘India has always been a priority market for Palladium Hotel Group’
With resumption in travel and new hotel openings lined up for 2022, Palladium Hotel Group is gearing to welcome diverse travellers from India. Sandra Polo Canudas, Asia & ME Commercial Director Palladium Hotel Group, in an conversation with Disha Shah Ghosh talks about their presence in India, and range of trade activities.
Q. After a gap of two long years, what is your sentiment from the Indian market?
India has always been a priority market for Palladium Hotel Group. We have been extremely active in the Indian market even during the pandemic via our representatives Global Destinations. We continually kept the travel trade updated on the safety and hygiene measures implemented at our hotels, new procedures, changed policies and requirements, etc. through newsletters and multiple agent engagement activities. One of our main focus areas all this time has been, and it will continue to be to protect, keep safe and imbibe a sense of brand confidence in our clients. Spain now is in the process of recovery, adapting to live with COVID in the safest way possible, implementing all workable procedures. With travel starting to resume, we already see a huge surge in demand for Spain as a destination and our hotels as well. We are looking forward to a great season ahead of us from the Indian market.
Q. Are you looking at unveiling any online training programme for travel agents?
We have a booking system in place on our website wherein the travel agents can register and make reservations online. This platform also enables them access to an image gallery hosting innumerable high resolution images & videos, hotel factsheets as well as our brochures. Currently, we do not have an online training programme for our agents; however this is something we would consider developing in the near future.
Q. There is a growing sentiment about uptick in travel behaviour with resumption of international flights. To begin the recovery process, which hotels are you expecting to see greater footfall from the Indian market?
We see India as a perfect source market as it offers opportunities that cater to the diverse product range under the Palladium Hotel Group portfolio. The group currently operates 44 hotels and over 13,500 rooms, distributed amongst six countries: Spain, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Italy and Brazil and manages nine brands: TRS Hotels, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts, Palladium Hotels, Palladium Boutique Hotels, Fiesta Hotels & Resorts, Ushuaïa Unexpected Hotels, Only YOU Hotels, BLESS Collection Hotels and the Hard Rock Hotels Brand under licence with three hotels in Ibiza Tenerife and Marbella. We are expecting a great footfall at all of our hotels, especially the ones in Spain and Mexico like Ushuaia, Hard Rock hotel Ibiza and the Grand Palladium Palace Ibiza Resort & Spa.
Q. Enlist some hotel openings that are in the pipeline.
With our expansion plans well in place, in 2022 we are to welcome our first TRS Ibiza in the Balearic Islands, which is due to open soon this month. This is our luxury resort brand tailor-made exclusively for adults with a wide range of premium services. It is a brand landing in Europe after our successful result in Latin America (Mexico & Dominican Republic). Another hotel that we wait in much anticipation for is our Hard rock hotel Marbella which is opening in July’22.
Q. Which traveller segments are you targeting currently?
Palladium Hotel Group is a name that is synonymous with hospitality, originality, amazing destinations, entertainment beyond expectations, innovative F&B with Michelin Star Chefs cuisine concepts and exclusive options. We have different brands experiences that would be dedicated to a different segment of clients who are searching for premium and luxury properties. These would gather the like of: adults only, families, honeymooners, groups of friends, and even weddings. In India we see diverse demographics of travellers, and above listed are all the segments we are looking to target from this Market.
Q. Are you considering new hotel acquisitions or openings in India in the near future?
At the moment we do not have plans of any new hotel acquisitions or openings in India.
Q. In terms of trade engagement, which activities have been chalked out?
Thanks to the collaboration with our Representative in India, Global Destinations, we have continuously strived to maintain our visibility and communication with the India market since the pandemic started in 2020, as we considered it important to maintain and keep the trade informed about what was happening in Palladium Hotel Group, especially in terms of health and security measures. Now with travel beginning to resume, we aim to focus our energies on regular engagement activities with the trade through sales calls, product updates, educational training/ webinars, different contests or reward programmes for the year 2022-2023, keeping the trade abreast with latest information and protocols. In addition to this we are looking to organise trade and media famil trips to our hotels to build confidence and exposure for our brands in India.