More Fairmonts in India
As the Canada-based hotel chain explores options to expand its footprint to other Indian cities, Jennifer Fox, President, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts talks about the group’s game plan in India.
The hotel industry is going through an interesting phase in India. International hotel chains are influenced by the growing economic setting and demand for more hotel rooms across categories. Fairmont Hotel and Resorts remains optimistic on the long-term growth story of the Indian hospitality industry. This is further reinforced by the India-centric growth strategy of several global hotel players, feels Fox. With the sector allowing 100 per cent FDI, India is fully poised to seize the opportunity.
Canadian luxury hospitality chain Fairmont entered the Indian market last year
with a 255-room hotel in Jaipur. According to Fox, the group is looking at developing city centre hotels in urban areas such as Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai, while destinations such as Goa will serve as attractive locations to grow the resorts portfolio. “We would like to be in the key cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, and also resort locations. We have signed a letter of intent for a resort in Goa, and also for a property in Mumbai. Both should start construction in the next few months. We
want to have 12 hotels in the next five to 10 years,” she points out.
With the launch of a hotel in Jaipur, the Indian market has also become an important arm in the chain’s global growth strategy. Talking about the importance of the India market, Fox says, “We see significant opportunity for outbound travel from India to key Fairmont markets, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, in addition to locations in Canada, US, Europe and Africa. With the launch of the Fairmont Jaipur, it will definitely assist us in introducing Indian travellers to our brand.”
The hotel has received a positive response since their launch in August 2012. “Jaipur is part of the famous Golden Triangle (Delhi-AgraJaipur) which is an advantage for us. Most of the international tourists usually make a point to visit it. Moreover, the city offers great connectivity. We had a good response from both wedding and MICE segments; the former being the driving element in the months of August and September last year. Additionally, the Fairmont loyal customer’s online booking has fairly been strong,” she adds.
Jennifer Fox President Fairmont Hotels & Resorts