WelcomHeritage Aims to Expand in South and North-Eastern Region
The WelcomHeritage group is on its expansion spree, expecting a double-digit growth in 2018, the company also eyes towards South and North-Eastern region.
ALREADY HAVING its stronghold in the Northern region, WelcomHeritage Group now plans to enhance its footprint in the states like Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab in the North, South Indian states and the North-eastern region. BW Hotelier spoke to Sanjeev K Nayar, General Manager, WelcomHeritage to more about his plans and thoughts towards the hospitality industry.
Focusing on Heritage Hotels, what are the new trends you are witnessing?
Nowadays, travellers are travelling to offbeat destinations, looking for an experience. Heritage Hotels are primarily for leisure purpose that maintains its old world charm along with providing its guest with modern amenities. With rising incomes, people are willing to spend on a higher-level and a different experience which Heritage hotels provide.
“Experience of royal pleasure in traditional ambience”, is what basically such travellers are looking forward to today which Heritage hotels have been able to provide them with. It also gives the travellers an insight into the local art, craft, culture and cuisine.
It is quite evident that this sector has grown substantially over the years, seeing the fact that Indian Heritage Hotels Association was formed with 14 members from Rajasthan and now has over 190 members across 16 states.
Can you tell us in details about your expansion plans?
As a strategic move, we aim to expand our horizon in South & North-eastern region of the country and as of now have six new properties for evaluation this year. These properties will help the brand expand its footprints all across India.
In the Southern region, we have two operational properties i.e. WelcomHeritage Ferrnhills Royale Palace in Ooty and WelcomHeritage Shivavilas Palace in Sandur, Karnataka. However, there are another three properties which are under project stage i.e. WelcomHeritage Rajendra Vilas in Mysore, WelcomHeritage Regency Vilas in Ooty and WelcomHeritage Ayatana Resort in Coorg. Further, we are also exploring opportunities in the state of Kerala, which continue to enthral visitors. We will be making these announcements soon.
Which region of India needs more attention, in terms of WelcomHeritage?
As a Brand, we would like to be present in all the states. Though we have a reasonably strong presence in the North, however, we would still like to enhance our footprint in the states like Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab in the North, South Indian states and the North-eastern region. There is a lot more to be explored like
Jammu & Kashmir is not just scenic beauty but the culture and heritage of that city is an experience on its own. Similarly, Northeastern states have architecture marvels beyond just greenery and mountains. Its food, unseen places are worth mentioning.
Educate us about your revenue forecast, how was the financial year 2017?
Domestic Tourist Visits (DTVs) grew by 15.5 percent y-o-y. India’s travel and tourism industry have huge growth potential. The tourism industry is also looking forward to the expansion of E-visa scheme which is expected to double the tourist inflow to India. Indian tourism industry, which has been growing year on year, has been one of the most prominent reasons for the growth of hotel industry.
2017 for WelcomHeritage it has been a rewarding year. We have, not only signed new properties under the aegis of the brand but also registered a growth of 18 percent over the last year.
We are expecting a double-digit growth in 2018 as well.
In your market space, how do plan to compete?
We believe in healthy competition and at the same time we are all geared up to face the same. We have an aggressive marketing and digital media plans in place as well to keep the customers updated about new developments at our end. Also, WelcomHeritage believes in matching the steps with changing times so we have also adopted the new age technologies and mediums to reach these globetrotters. We are there on social media; we have digital media activities in place to reach out to these new age travellers. We have a loyal customer base that prefers the brand WelcomHeritage and chooses us over the competitors. Another factor which works in our favour is that we have more than 35 properties on board and we are available in every region of the country thus giving the option to discerning travellers to choose our brand for unique heritage experience. We are the largest Heritage Hotel’s chain in India. Thus, make us a preferred choice; further our “Unique Experiences” offer, helps retaining guests.
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