Area Director, Haryana Lemon Tree Hotels
TARGETING THE WEDDING BUSINESS
Lemon Tree Hotels is primarily a chain of upscale and midscale business hotels. Today, customers have umpteen options and are spoiled for choice. Competition from leisure hotels is our greatest challenge. Also, from a product offering perspective, we are foraying into destination hotels and conventions.
There is a growing focus on MICE at Lemon Tree Hotels. The newly opened Lemon Tree Hotel and Red Fox Hotel at Sector 60, Gurugram, and its 20,000 sqft modern convention centre come across as a great option to host weddings. At present, we are also appointing catering sales specialists and are closely working with event management teams and wedding planners. Besides this, Lemon Tree Hotel, Tarudhan Valley, Haryana, presents an ideal option for destination weddings. Moreover, the Lemon Tree Hotel, East Delhi Mall, is another alternative to cater to MICE business including pre and post wedding functions.
Lemon Tree Hotels has welcomed the cashless move by the government. We are urging customers to choose from various cashless options to make bookings such as credit cards, wire transfers, and Lemon Tree Smiles points. Mobile or e-wallets will soon be accepted at our select hotels. The business at large has not been affected by the liquor ban as our hotels are more than 500 metres away from the highways.
A major influence that the film industry of India has had on the wedding market is the concept of destination weddings and fashion. We saw an increase in the number of pre and post wedding functions.
Functions like sangeet and mehendi are also increasingly being held with more guests getting invited, quite unlike how such functions were more of a private affair earlier. Hiring of celebrity choreographers for dance performances, skits, etc., is also becoming popular.
CHALLENGES OF AN INDIAN WEDDING
At Lemon Tree Hotels, the main planning of the wedding starts after the booking of the venue. The wedding segment is a sensitive one since people are emotionally connected to it, right from guests to the bride and groom. There is no space for an apology or compensation in case of any mistake or omission at our end.
Growth in this segment is huge because everyone just spends and does not think of returns. Three decades ago, people hardly thought about a lavish wedding function that has now become a trend and a general expectation. A person in India spends one-fifth of the wealth accumulated in a lifetime on a wedding ceremony. That means a tremendous opportunity for retailers to capitalise on.