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More hotel chains are teaming up with top developers in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru to launch high-end homes and branded residences.

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Marriott International has announced the launch of its apartment-style accommodations with Marriott Executive Apartments, Navi Mumbai in the western state of Maharashtra. This is the brand’s second such serviced apartments with upscale residential extended-stay units in the city after Lakeside Chalet. Located within 45 minutes from the Mumbai airport, the 129 modern apartments include standard rooms, studios, junior suites, one-bedroom apartments and a presidential suite. “We are pleased to announce the opening of our second Marriott Executive Apartments in Mumbai, catering to the new segment of ‘bleisure’ travelers looking to mix business and leisure travel by creating a ‘home from home’ feeling for their longer stays,” said Ranju Alex, area vice president of South Asia at Marriott International. Marriott International CEO Anthony Capuano, who visited India last month, said the country is witnessing strong traction for branded residential properties. Earlier this year, Marriott International launched its Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy — a curated collection of home rentals — in the country for which the brand is in talks with professional management companies and is looking to launch about 500 units in 2023. “The launch of Homes & Villas, allowed us to keep our customers within the Bonvoy ecosystem and it’s not coincidental that we saw our volume of listings grow more than 20-fold over the two years of the pandemic,” Capuano said, adding that 2020 and 2021 were the two strongest years in the history of Marriott’s branded residential business.

The upcoming Noida International Airport in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has signed an agreement with travel technology firm Amadeus for the provision of a world-class passenger processing system including common use check-in kiosks, boarding, automated bag drops, and DigiYatra-enabled biometric capabilities. These facilities will be fully integrated and communicated in real-time with airline departure control systems and other stakeholders to facilitate a frictionless experience for travelers. Under the agreement, Amadeus will design, supply, commission, operate, and maintain the cloud-hosted end-to-end passenger processing system for the airport.  

A recent Schengen Visa Statistics 2022 data has revealed that Indian travelers have one of the highest rejection rates in the world when it comes to Schengen visas. Indians filed over 6 lakh Schengen visa applications in 2022 — the third highest in the world — but also faced a steep rejection rate of 18 percent, according to an Indian media reports. Estonia, Malta and Slovenia rejected the most number of Schengen visa applications from India, while Germany, Italy and Hungary accepted the most. Estonia rejected the highest share of visas from India in 2022 — 56 percent of 1,986 applications. Malta had a 45 percent rejection rate, while Slovenia rejected 44.5 percent of 2,732 visas. On the other hand, Germany had the lowest rejection rate for Indians. 

The Indian government will soon launch a Trusted Traveler program for faster immigration clearance of pre-verified travelers to reduce congestion at airport checkpoints. The initiative will help Indian passport holders to use e-gates across international airports in India and help them avoid the hassle of standing in queues. The program will be started on a pilot basis at Delhi and Mumbai airports this year. Later it will be expanded to 15 more international airports by 2027 and all airports by 2032, according to Indian media reports. For the implementation of the program at Delhi airport, three electronic gates — two for arrival and one for departure — have already been established at the airport. However, authorities are yet to begin trials of the program.

Reporting its progress under Ahvaan 2025 — a long-term strategy to drive responsible profitable growth — Tata Group-owned Indian Hotels Company has achieved an all-time high profit after tax of over $122 million and maintained zero net debt status. “In the last 12 months, IHCL expanded its portfolio to 263 hotels and attained a portfolio mix of 50:50 between owned or leased hotels and managed properties,” said Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and CEO of the hotels company. Last year, the company announced its plans to build a portfolio of 300 hotels, and clock a 33 percent earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) margin with 35 percent EBITDA share contribution from new businesses and management fees by the financial year 2025-26. Scaling up its re-imagined businesses, mid-scale brand Ginger reached a portfolio of 85 hotels and reported a profit before tax of $5.8 million turning profitable for the first time. 

Business-to-business online travel agency Travepic has partnered with New Zealand-based global hospitality solutions provider STAAH to boost revenue by improving its visibility to travel agents and business travelers worldwide. Through the STAAH channel manager, accommodation providers of all types can integrate their property management system directly with their selected distribution channels to enable a two-way flow of room rates, availability and inventory in real-time. The continuous flow of information eliminates the need for manual entry of data to generate higher revenue and profits for accommodation providers, while also lowering their costs of guest acquisition. “Technology is core to our advancement and enables easy access of our partner properties to business travelers,” said Bijoy Nag, director of Travepic. 

IPO-bound hospitality and travel technology company Oyo has announced up to 60 percent discount for Indian tourists planning to visit Southeast Asia and Middle East for summer holidays. They can avail the discounted prices while making the booking in Oyo hotels and homes in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines in Southeast Asia and United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain in the Middle East. The scheme is valid until June 30, and hotel bookings can be made until September 30. “Most of the travelers prefer to travel to these regions since it offers a diverse range of attractions including beautiful beaches and tropical islands, rich cultural heritage sites and vibrant cities. This diversity appeals to a wide range of Indian tourists, including families, adventure-seekers and cultural enthusiasts,” said Ankit Tandon, global CEO of Southeast Asia and Middle East at Oyo. 


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Tags: amadeus, india, Indian Hotels Company, marriott bonvoy, Marriott International, oyo, schengen, skift india report, visas

Photo credit: Marriott Executive Apartments Navi Mumbai is the brand’s second such property in the city after Lakeside Chalet. Source: Marriott Executive Apartments Navi Mumbai Navi Mumbai - Marriott Executive Apartments Gallery / Lobby Front Desk

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