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Oyo's foray into the lucrative premium hotel segment, which is largely dominated by legacy players, is not without its challenges.

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Budget hotel operator and aggregator Oyo has forayed into the premium resorts and hotels category with the launch of its new brand, Palette. Oyo plans to have a total of 50 properties by the second quarter of 2024.

The company has started 10 Palette resorts as a pilot in Jaipur, Hyderabad, Digha, Mumbai, Chennai, Manesar and Bengaluru, Oyo said in a statement.

“The expansion will encompass destinations like Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Amritsar, Shimla, Goa, Udaipur, Pune, Mussoorie, Srinagar and Kochi,” it added.

“Today, travelers are seeking more than just a place to stay; they are craving unique and memorable experiences. This paradigm shift, fueled by rising disposable incomes, has prompted us to diversify our portfolio and introduce the Palette brand,” said Anuj Tejpal, chief merchant officer of Oyo. 

Oyo aims to increase its premium hotel footprint under brands such as Townhouse Oak, Oyo Townhouse, Collection O and Capital O in 2023. The company plans to add 1,800 new properties as part of its premiumization by the end of 2023.

Last month, the company said it will add over 1,000 hotels to support over 100 first-generation hoteliers’ growth by December as part of its accelerator program. Oyo said to cater to the growing demand, it is now focusing on hoteliers planning to expand their business in top leisure travel destinations such as Shimla, Udaipur, Goa, Mysore, among others. 

Air India-Vistara Merger to Be Approved By April 2024

Vistara’s merger with Tata Group-owned Air India is on track and the airline expects to receive all regulatory approvals by April 2024, CEO Vinod Kannan said.

Last November, Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines announced the merger of Vistara with Air India to drive synergies and grab market share in a fast-growing domestic market. The transaction is under the scrutiny of antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India over competition concerns in the aviation sector. The watchdog has issued a show-cause notice to Air India to explain its position and asked the company for clarification on why the merger should not be investigated. 

Vistara is a joint venture between Tata and Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines will own 25.1% of Air India after the merger. 

IHG Hotels & Resorts Opens Holiday Inn Lucknow Airport

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened a 192-room Holiday Inn Lucknow Airport in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Last month, the company opened a 98-room Holiday Inn Katra Vaishno Devi in Jammu & Kashmir and signed a management agreement with AHG Hotels & Resorts to develop a 300-room Holiday Inn Resort Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh.

The hospitality major plans to add more hotels in India, especially in the luxury segment. IHG signed two properties under the voco brand in the leisure destinations of Jim Corbett and Gurugram, both expected to open in 2024. Under the Six Senses brand, the company has two properties in India currently.

Alliance Air Upgrades Chennai-Jaffna Frequency to Daily Service

Alliance Air has started daily flights between Chennai and Jaffna city in Sri Lanka, increasing the frequency from four-times-a-week. 

“Alliance Air will initially operate with their ATR72 aircraft, which can comfortably carry 70 passengers,” a press release by Sri Lanka’s Airport and Aviation Services said. It added that the flights are designed to ensure convenient travel options for passengers, with arrivals at 11:30 am and departures to Chennai at 12:30 pm.

Alliance Air, earlier part of Tata-owned Air India, is now owned by AI Assets Holding Limited, a special-purpose vehicle formed by the central government. The airline operates around 130 flights daily.

Meghalaya Gets $79 Million Grant to Fund Tourism Projects

In a major boost to its tourism infrastructure, the Meghalaya government secured a grant of $79.05 million from the New Development Bank, which is established by the BRICS group of nations. 

The funds will be utilized to support the construction and upgradation of tourism/eco-tourism attractions, development of high-value and rural accommodation at strategic locations to increase tourists’ length of stay, construction of connecting infrastructure to improve access to the tourist attraction points, the Shillong Peak ropeway project and institutional capacity building and project management.

The objective is to elevate the tourism industry in the northeastern state and generate substantial revenue to bolster Meghalaya’s reputation as a premier travel destination.

Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts And Fortune Hotels Unveil New Properties in Amritsar

Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts has opened a 147-room Le Méridien Amritsar in the north Indian state of Punjab, marking the brand’s 11th property in India. 

“This opening marks the third Marriott property in the city and underlines our commitment to growing our portfolio of brands in the emerging markets of India,” said Ranju Alex, area vice president of South Asia at Marriott International

Additionally, Indian hospitality company ITC Hotel Group’s Fortune Hotels has opened Fortune Ranjit Vihar Amritsar. Just last month, the company launched Fortune Inn Heritage Walk in the city.

“With the opening of Fortune Ranjit Vihar, we now have a 200+ room inventory in Punjab itself,” said Samir MC, managing director of Fortune Hotels. 

Singapore Airlines to Temporarily Increase Seat Capacity From Kolkata 

Singapore Airlines said it will enhance seat capacity from Kolkata during the annual festival of Durga Puja by flying a bigger aircraft daily. The four-day festival, which starts on October 20 this year, is celebrated most notably amongst the Bengali diaspora in Kolkata in the eastern state of West Bengal.

“Singapore Airlines is pleased to announce a temporary upgauge of its Boeing 737-8 services to Airbus A350-900 services from October 17-20, and again on October 26 and 27, 2023. Subject to regulatory approvals, this change of aircraft type from a narrow-body to a wide-body over the Durga Puja period will help meet the surge in demand for travel during the festival,” a statement from the airline said.

The airline currently flies daily between Kolkata and Singapore, operating its 154-seat B737-8 aircraft from Tuesday to Friday and 303-seat A350-900 aircraft on Monday, Saturday and Sunday.

Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels Opens Property in Mumbai 

Indian hotel chain Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels has launched its 68- room boutique property, Regenta Place The Emerald in Juhu in Mumbai. The brand manages a portfolio of over 90+ properties across the country. 

“While we already have a presence in Navi Mumbai, the launch of Regenta Place The Emerald in Juhu, at the heart of Mumbai marks an exciting beginning for the brand,” said Philip Logan, chief operating officer of Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels.

Last month, the company launched Regenta Arie Lagoon in Negombo, Sri Lanka and is also planning on further foreign launches, particularly in the Maldives, Nepal, the UAE and Thailand.  


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Tags: air india, ihg, india, itc hotels, le meridien, oyo, singapore airlines, skift india report, sri lanka, vistara

Photo credit: Oyo plans to add 1,800 new properties to its premium portfolio by the end of 2023. Oyo

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