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‘Indian customers spend more now for experiences’

Palladium Hotel Group will strengthen its efforts and dedication to the Indian market in the upcoming months. The company is dedicated to fostering this market in tandem with its Global Destinations team. Each endeavour it pursues within this market will be closely coordinated with them (Global Destinations), says Sandra Polo Canudas, Commercial Director, Asia & MEA in an exclusive interview with Prasenjit Chakraborty.

Q.What sets Palladium Hotel Group properties apart from other hotels, and what unique selling points (USPs) do they offer guests?

As you aware, Palladium Hotel Group is a renowned Spanish hotel chain boasting over 40 establishments worldwide with continuous expansion efforts. Among our latest additions is the 45 Times Square Hotel located in New York, USA, enriching our diverse portfolio that currently features 94 distinct brands.

Our stand-out feature lies in entertainment, offering guests an immersive and experiential stay unlike any other.

For those seeking summer getaways, our Hotels in Balearic Islands stand as prime destinations, particularly ideal for visits from March to October. Additionally, our year-round properties cater to diverse interests, be it urban exploration, cultural immersion, or engaging activities. For all these, guests can visit to our properties viz- Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife & Hard Rock Hotel Marbella

Q.What was the performance of Palladium Hotel Group in 2023?

In comparison to 2022, we experienced a significant improvement in 2023. Although we faced challenges with visas, but thankfully everything was managed. Despite competition in the market, our properties worldwide continue to attract a substantial number of guests. Indian guests particularly appreciate our offerings, and we’ve observed a positive upward trend in their satisfaction. I am confident that 2024 will surpass our expectations.

Many Indian weddings are taking place at our properties in Mexico, for instance, Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa hosting such events on a monthly basis. Our properties in Sicily are also increasingly becoming popular among the Indian guests.

Q.3.Could you elaborate on the sales strategy employed by the hotel group and discuss any challenges faced in driving sales, particularly in the current market landscape?

From the perspective of hotel operations, we do not encounter any significant challenges. However, the real hurdle arises with last-minute requests. Fortunately, due to our extensive experience in the market, we are adept at handling such situations.

Internally, we are undergoing various changes, and soon I will be overseeing additional markets, making it impractical to visit India three times a year. Nevertheless, I want to emphasize our heightened focus on the Indian market in the coming months. We are committed to nurturing this market along with our Global Destinations team. Every initiative we undertake in this market will be in close collaboration with them (Global Destinations). Our dedication to this market stems from the promising outcomes we have observed.

Q.Which Indian cities are currently under your focus?

Presently, our attention is directed towards Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata. The response from these markets has been notably positive. Therefore, we will maintain our focus on these markets for the time being.

Q.What upcoming plans does the Palladium Hotel Group have in store for its properties, including new amenities, expansions, or other developments?

We’re expanding our global footprint as Ushuaïa Unexpected Hotels & Residences makes its debut in the Middle East. We intend to open a hotel and luxury residences on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah within the next 2 years. one of the region’s premier tourist and investment destinations, and will comprise a sophisticated beach club, exquisite restaurant and captivating infinity pool, all situated adjacent to the Wynn Resort Island and overlooking the picturesque Arabian Gulf. With a budget of over 100 million dollars, this major project will be carried out alongside Marjan, one of the leading developers of freehold properties in Ras Al Khaimah, and Almal Real Estate Development, a luxury property developer based in the region. A total of 442 hotel rooms and residences, complemented by “a stylish beach club and restaurant”, will open in the country from 2026, marking the group’s debut in the Middle East.

Our forthcoming strategy involves expansion into markets such as the US, Mexico, and the Mediterranean region. When I refer to expansion, it entails the establishment of new hotels. We aim to broaden our presence in fifty countries as part of our plans.

Q.What changes have you observed in terms of Indian customers’ behaviour, especially after Covid?

I’ve noticed that Indian customers are increasingly willing to spend more in experiences while prioritizing safety and security. Furthermore, the tendency to explore new destinations has increased significantly.

Q.Can you outline the sustainability initiatives undertaken by the Palladium Hotel Group and how they align with the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility?

In 2023, we launched the “Palladium Cares” program, which organizes the group’s CSR initiatives under three pillars- Our People, Our Community, and Our Planet. Our first centre was opened in the US. To date, the program has facilitated 56 activities in collaboration with 30 NGOs, engaging over 300 volunteers.

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