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.

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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.”

Steve Bor­gia

Honorary Pres­i­dent ESOI

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