Westin com­bats over­sup­ply in Pune

Star­wood Ho­tels is op­ti­mistic about the Pune hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor over­com­ing the hur­dle of ex­cess room sup­ply and less de­mand, bet­ting on higher ARRs ahead.

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Star­wood Ho­tels & Re­sorts' five-star branded prop­erty - Westin Pune, this year, is mov­ing away from the tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing con­cepts. With Pune hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try fac­ing the lower ARRs chal­lenge, the prop­erty is look­ing at unique ways to en­gage their guests. Ac­cord­ing to Su­jeet Kumar, GM, Westin Pune; the brand re­ally mat­ters for the ho­tel to at­tract cus­tomers and

The Westin Pune Kore­gaon Park tar­gets the pre­ferred busi­ness cus­tomer seg­ments

build in trust for longer re­la­tion­ship. It is drift­ing away from the usual mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties which con­cen­trate on an over­all as­pect of the ho­tel. Kumar in­formed that the prop­erty is work­ing on 'one venue at a time' con­cept wherein with va­ri­ety of F&B of­fer­ings in­clud­ing In­dian, Ori­en­tal and In­ter­na­tional Cui­sine, it will fo­cus on qual­ity of food and en­hanc­ing the over­all guest ex­pe­ri­ence. He said, “Our ob­jec­tives are clear and bud­get have been al­lo­cated re­spec­tively. Keep­ing guest en­gage­ment as our pri­or­ity, our ac­tiv­i­ties will now fo­cus and trig­ger our guest re­la­tions and def­i­nitely es­ca­late our cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Elab­o­rat­ing for a need to ditch the usual mar­ket­ing con­cepts, Kumar said, “Pune has been grow­ing as a in­dus­trial hin­ter­land, with IT, au­to­mo­tive com­pa­nies and bank­ing sec­tor set­ting up cor­po­rate houses in the dis­trict. Wherein I feel with in­creas­ing num­ber of ho­tels in Pune, the in­dus­try holds a huge po­ten­tial to grow in this mar­ket." He in­formed that in last five years, the city's ho­tel sup­ply has wit­nessed a steep growth of over 4,645 rooms with an aver­age in­crease of 10 per cent in oc­cu­pancy lev­els. “It is here where our brand plays a sig­nif­i­cant role. The Westin Pune Kore­goan Park tar­gets the pre­ferred busi­ness cus­tomer seg­ments,” said Kumar. The over­all growth in Pune hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor was pri­mar­ily led by the MICE seg­ment as the city is a per­fect al­ter­na­tive to Mum­bai for host­ing large scale events. Kumar said, “The aver­age rates recorded the high­est de­cline (- 11.3 per cent) among all the mar- kets tracked re­cently in In­dia. De­spite the de­clin­ing aver­age rates, Grow­ing projects, busi­nesses, and new ac­qui­si­tions has trans­lated in in­creas­ing ARR ( Aver­age Room Rate) and shows that Pune is back on its re­cov­ery path.” The prop­erty works with ten on­line travel agents and have vis­i­bil­ity for many of­fers which in­cludes ad­vance pur­chases, last minute deals, pack­ages and var­i­ous pro­mo­tions. “We work to­wards main­tain­ing best rate guar­an­tee wherein the guest would find the same rate across all chan­nels,” Kumar said.

Su­jeet Kumar

Gen­eral Man­ager Westin Pune

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