Leisure Hotels Group To Enter Into Asset-Light Model
For the other hotels that the company does not own, it is expanding through the management route by taking third-party properties on management contracts.
BEING INTO the hospitality business for more than 30 years, Leisure Hotels Group is now trying for an “asset right” model. For the other hotels that the company does not own, it is expanding through the management route by taking third party properties on management contracts. This hybrid strategy is currently helping the company with its expansion plans. “We have had robust growth in ARR’s in most of our markets except for the Corbett Park Area due to a lot of supply in inventory recently. In the last few years, the company has focused on creating an independent Revenue Management Team that is able to work with the only trade channels to monetize the same for dynamic inventory and rate management,” says Vibhas Prasad, Director, Leisure Hotels Group, in a conversation with BW Hotelier.
The group currently operates 26 boutique properties with around 700 rooms across the country. Besides, Leisure Hotels Group is looking to invest around Rs 100 crore to add eight properties by the end of 2020 and come up with seven more hotels that will be managed by the company.
Some upcoming projects targeted include:
•Hostel with Budget Hotel
•Laxman Jhula in Rishikesh by October 2018
•Midscale business hotel, Pari Chowk, Greater Noida by October 2018
•Wildlife Resort – Jamun Corbett Park by October 2019
•Luxury Heritage Haveli, Haridwar by April 2020
•Luxury Resort, Bhimtal by October 2021
Speaking about some of the travel trends, Prasad has been witnessing, he comments, “Alternative accommodation also known as Vacation Rental/Homestays/B&B’s are also growing in huge numbers and the growth of Airbnb globally is a known testament for the same Technology has helped the hospitality & Tourism Industry with greater connectivity across the travel ecosystem.”
Travel generates an enormous amount of data across all touch points, and in past, the group was not able to leverage this data to the extent of generating potential revenues. Focused investments are being made now in intelligence and machine learning to harness this data and create actionable insights that drive revenue for the group. “This also makes us uniquely positioned to create the technology platform that will deliver solutions that is in sync with Eco/ Responsible Tourism,” Prasad adds.
With travel and accommodation being searched the most online, the group is also creating a great user experience through the desktop website as well as mobile website and increasing their reach by SEO, PPC and Content marketing.
Most of the property of Leisure Hotels are located in Uttrakhand making summer an essential season for them. “We have seen a growth of 10 percent in occupancy for our hotels in the hills leading to a revenue growth of 20 percent,” Prasad told us.
Speaking of the impact of recent regulatory measures, including GST, the group is happy that there is a level playing field across levying of taxes across all states. According to Prasad, 28 percent GST slab for rooms priced more than Rs 7500 is hurting the top line for luxury hotels as other international destinations have become more attractive for inbound travellers. “For the domestic traveler who is price sensitive, he might choose a budget / midscale brand to avoid paying a higher tax. Even outbound options are now more attractive with similarly priced destinations offering more choices for the Indian wallet,” he adds.
Improved infrastructure and accessibility through better rail, roads & air connectivity are few of the factors on which Prasad is closely working upon with the help of Government.
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