Indians understand luxury: Welk

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 5 October 2017

“We are exploring opportunities to bring Waldorf Astoria to India, which would do great in markets like Mumbai or Delhi. Indian travellers understand luxury and opulence which this brand offers,” he stated. 

PUNE: Vice President, Operations, Luxury, Asia Pacific, Hilton Group, Daniel Welk said that Indian travellers understand luxury and opulence and that has prompted the company to look for partners to expand their luxury portfolio in the country. 

One-and-a-half years after launching the first Conrad of the country in Pune, the company is set to launch the second Conrad in Bengaluru at the end of this year. 

Welk added that they are also in conversation with several property owners with a view of launching Hilton Group’s Waldorf Astoria in India. 

“We are exploring opportunities to bring Waldorf Astoria to India, which would do great in markets like Mumbai or Delhi. Indian travellers understand luxury and opulence which this brand offers,” he stated. 

He stated that as people understand luxury, there are a lot more markets in the country that are ready for luxury hotels and that Hilton Group is in conversation. 

Speaking about Conrad Pune, he said, “The Conrad is performing very well and there is a nice and steady trajectory here. Corporate business is leading the way for this property, followed by leisure and group bookings on weekends. A lot of foreign business travellers stay here for seven days, 14 days, 21 days and so on. However, we don’t define ourselves as a business hotel or a special occasions hotel.” 

Adding about the upcoming property at Bengaluru, he said, “The Bengaluru property is quite similar to the Pune Conrad in size. Conrad Pune has 310 rooms, while Bengaluru will have 285 rooms. There are six Food and Beverages outlets in Pune, there will be five in Bengaluru. Likewise, there is a 20,000 sq ft worth meeting space here, while there will be an 18,000 sq ft meeting space in Bengaluru.” 

Speaking about the hotel business in general, Welk stated that the hotel business has grown exponentially in India in the last two years. “Rise in domestic travel, coupled with increasing international travellers and e-Visa, the hotel industry is witnessing growth, and more opportunities will present themselves. The cycle has completely changed and demand is constantly out-pacing the new supply. Demand is moving stably, providing optimism for the industry,” he explained.

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