Mohit Rathod – Mumbai
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is planning expansion in the India market. The hotel group recently opened its 29th Radisson Blu property in India, in Karjat – Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Karjat. Targeted at weekend leisure travellers, including families and independent travellers, the resort also plans to tap the weddings segment. Atanu Dey, general manager, Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Karjat, said, “We are working on the premise of being able to target two segments in particular – MICE and weekend leisure travellers. We have kept families in mind and made sure that we have something for every member of a family.” Elaborating on the weddings segment, Raj Rana, CEO – South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, commented, “Today Goa is the No 1 destination for weddings in India, but we want to develop Karjat as a wedding destination too. We have learned that any destination which is a couple of hours away, will be ahead; and Karjat, in the future, is going to be the way it is today.”
Carlson Rezidor’s goal is to have 170 hotels in India by 2020, of which the group aims to have 120 operational. As part of expansion in the India market, Carlson Rezidor is also looking looking at Tier II cities, particularly for its brands Country Inn & Suites by Carlson, Park Inn by Radisson and Radisson Red. Additionally, the hotel group is considering religious destinations, particularly in South India; North East India; and outer rings of urban cities. A Radisson Red property is under construction in Mohali, Chandigarh and is slated to open in Q1 2018. Rana stated, “There are many other prospects for Radisson Red, which is more of a lifestyle brand and caters well to the millenials.”
Out of all the Carlson Rezidor hotels in in India, 75 per cent are managed and 25 per cent are franchised. Rana mentioned, “Our business model is asset light, so we don’t own the properties; we do invest, but not in real estate. India has potential for expansion, as there is not only robust hotel pipeline but also talent pipeline.”
Quorvus Collection, the luxury brand of Carlson Rezidor, is not present in the India as of now. However, Rana indicated its entry in the India market. He suggested, “We are in very early talks on that and I think we should be able to see Quorvus in India in the next two years.” Quorvus is expected to launch at a palace destination such as Rajasthan or a beach destination like Goa, through conversion of an existing property in these destinations.