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Oberoi Group's CEO wants to introduce more luxurious, boutique-style hotels in India, and he disclosed the company is working on a concept for new hotels that are close to nature.

Oberoi Group — known for its luxury hotel brands Oberoi and Trident — is quietly developing new hotels close to nature, the company’s top boss revealed on Wednesday.

“Some of those hotels will be … in beautiful locations with a strong sense of place,” said Vikram Oberoi, managing director and CEO. “These will be much smaller hotels.”

The project to develop the hotels close to nature is known internally and temporarily as “Oberoi Nature,” Mr. Oberoi said. He disclosed the project when speaking on-stage at the Skift India Summit 2024 in Delhi-NCR.

The new concept could help support the group’s push to double its overall room count by 2030 — a plan disclosed in November.

The Growing Pricing Power of India’s Hotels

Mr. Oberoi’s plan to add an even more luxurious brand to the group’s portfolio fits with his broader view that hotels in India generally don’t take full advantage of the pricing power that they can command.

“If you compare us [India as a whole], our rates offer fantastic value for money,” Oberoi said. “We can catch up with the rest of the world on rates.”

For India’s branded and organized hotels, rates average at about $90 a night, according to Hotelviate’s 2023 Indian Hospitality Trends & Opportunities report.

Oberoi said that Indian travelers visiting Oberoi’s leisure and urban properties generally show a demonstrated willingness to pay a higher rate than inbound international guests — a reversal of historical patterns for India as the country becomes an emerging economic powerhouse.

Oberoi Group’s Growth Plan

In the past decade, Oberoi Group barely expanded its pipeline, while rival players like IHCL (Indian Hotels Company), Aman Group, and Rosewood have enjoyed growth spurts. However, Oberoi Group announced in November it planned to scale up.

“We want 50 new hotels by 2030,” Oberoi said on Wednesday.

While Oberoi has a growth plan, Mr. Oberoi said it wouldn’t come at the cost of quality.

“Our focus is not to be the biggest,” Oberoi said on Wednesday. “That’s not our playing field. Our focus is to be the very best. Our belief is that guests appreciate that and will pay a premium for that. We invest huge amounts — relative to our size — to learning and development for staff.”

“We are far from perfect but we’re striving for perfection.”

Correction: This article has been updated. The original version incorrectly reported that Oberoi Group is developing a new hotel brand. In fact, it’s developing a new concept involving nature-themed hotels— but they are not part of a new brand. 

Accommodations Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of hotels and short-term rental sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets, including international and regional hotel brands, hotel REITs, hotel management companies, alternative accommodations, and timeshares.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more hotels and short-term rental financial sector performance.

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Tags: future of lodging, hospitality news, hotel brands, hotel news, oberoi, sis2024, skiftlive

Photo credit: Vikram Oberoi, managing director and CEO of Oberoi Group, on stage at Skift India Summit in Delhi-NCR on March, 20, 2024, talking with Skift's Sean O'Neill. Source: Skift. Skift

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