Growing resort portfolio
Lemon Tree Hotels (LTH) management arm Carnation Hotels is now operating a 70-room Silverglades resort in Manesar called the Lemon Tree Hotel, Tarudhan Valley.
Amemorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and the Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) to propagate the cause of responsible and sustainable tourism to the next level. The two bodies previously formulated and published the Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) and plan to put these practices to the forefront through the MoU.
Vinod Zutshi, Secretary - Tourism, said, "ESOI works towards promoting sustainable and responsible tourism practices so we have joined hands with them since our agendas are the same. ESOI will partner with us and assist in sensitising the travel trade first, and then the general public."
It was also announced that a 10-year road map for advocacy and certification under the Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India will be chart- ed. Imparting details, Steve Borgia, Honorary President, ESOI, said, "This MoU is going to set a plan of action for the next 10 years for sustainable and responsible tourism. The planning needs to be aggressive. Regional workshops will also be organised at various cities all over India with different guidelines for each destination."
ESOI, through stakeholder consultations will formulate criteria and classification guidelines for certification for the accommodation and tour/travel operators within the STCI guidelines and later develop standards for destinations which will also be in sync with the internationally accepted Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.
"The main idea is to evoke the spirit of responsibility amongst the industry and the traveller," says Mandeep Singh Soin, Founding President, ESOI. "We want to tap that innate sense of responsibility among the travel trade as well as travellers, and bring it to the forefront."
Talking about the USP of the resort, Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director – The Lemon Tree Hotel Company & ChairmanCarnation Hotels, said, “It’s got an array of spaces for the social functions and weddings as it is a little separated from the main hotel block. So you can have all the fun that you want, without being cognizant or careful of the fact that you might be disturbing some other guest.”
Taking about their commitment about operating resorts, he said, “We have been going in the direction of adding resorts for a long time. We started off with a resort in Goa, we started with a resort in Alleppey, and we are building a resort in Udaipur, as we speak. We have one in Sikkim, which is more a management piece. Our whole thrust for the next 10 years is to grow our resort portfolio.”
Talking about the right marketing strategy for today’s hotelier, he said, “Every marketing strategy has to straddle every segment, because each segment drives business. A smart marketer would be the one who can sit on top of each of these mixes but drive the best dollar or rupee value return from that segment by the creativity that you put into your experiences. Will we prefer one to the other? I think the answer is no; everybody has a role to play, whether it is Air BnB, OTAs or a travel agent. They are all providers of a customer that we would like to focus our attention on.”
Anubhav Jain, Director – Group, Silverglades, talking about the hospitality business said, “Hospitality is a long term proposition, for the right kind of location, for the right kind of property; a hospitality venture does still make sense. In a 75 acre property, having a 70-key hotel brings in a lot of life into the whole complex. During weekends, we have a lot of guests coming in and during weekdays, we have a lot of corporates coming in to do their off sites.”
Honorary President ESOI