Jayakrishnan Sudhakaran, Cluster Director—Sales and Marketing, Chennai region, AccorHotels, shares what makes his region unique. Chennai witnesses the maximum number of business tourists.
Q. Tell us about the strong footprint of Accor in the region.
AccorHotels has a strong footprint in Southern India and more specifically in Chennai. In Chennai, AccorHotels opened their very first combo property recently- Novotel ibis Chennai OMR at Shollinganallur, on the arterial Old Mahabalipuram Road, OMR to its patrons (which houses several campuses of India’s IT giants including, TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant Technologies and a few others). This is after four years of Novotel Sipcot and ibis Sipcot launch in Sirisiri. In between, the ibis Chennai City Centre on Anna Salai, right in the centre of the business district of the city was also launched, which is now a landmark in the city. In other words, AccorHotels has a property relevant to the location with amenities appropriate and tariffs at different price points. With the opening of the Nandanam property, AccorHotels will have the largest room inventory among the global hospitality majors in Chennai. Apart from this, Kerala will also see AccorHotels’ footprints getting stronger. Thus, all four South Indian states have multiple hotels in their key cities.
Q. How has the hospitality industry evolved in South India?
Chennai witnesses the maximum number of tourists into India driven by business sector besides the leisure travellers and medical tourists. Traditionally, Chennai has been a globally recognised light engineering hub since the 1960s with automotive sector homing in on Chennai with the advent of Ford and Hyundai some 30 years ago. IT industry added a bigger boost to the business segment of travellers over the last 25 plus years. Medical tourism is a new frontier scaled for over 20 years, especially with globally renowned hospitals providing state-of-the-art healthcare services. Chennai witnesses the biggest music season anywhere in the world with over 10,000 concerts and performances happening over a 90-day period commencing from mid-October and ending mid-January. This period has led to the emergence of bed and breakfast options, homestays besides affordable hotels. This 90-day period is probably the best season for all hospitality players with almost the entire inventory of rooms being sold out.
Q. What are your strategies to be a leader in the market amidst competition from others?
AccorHotels offers very unique and engaging membership programmes Le Club & Accor Plus, launched more than 20 years ago. Members of this expansive travel, dining and lifestyle programmes enjoy access to over a 1000 restaurants, 700 hotels, resorts and holiday options in 18 countries in Asia Pacific Region and a total of 4,200 properties all over the world. Besides, amenities ensuring a comfortable stay, international levels of service and security, amazing culinary options support an attractive, multi-price point proposition.
Q. How unique is Chennai than the other South Indian states?
Chennai is the biggest gateway for inbound international travellers into India. Once the biggest city of South India and now facing strong challenges to this from Bengaluru, Chennai enjoys several challenges not witnessed in other parts of India. Traditionally, the hub for auto components, textiles and leather, Chennai emerged as the Detroit of India with several global auto majors homing in on Chennai. Information Technology was the next paradigm to help Chennai grow. A thriving and vibrant MSME sector is yet another plank to grow Chennai. In recent times, medical tourism is a new frontier with internationally acclaimed hospital chains extending globally recognised standards in healthcare.
MiCE at Accor
- Banquet facilities at various Accor properties can cater to a select group of 20 to a larger 250 plus group
- The hotel’s strategic locations, combo properties, attractive price points, offsite catering capabilities, indoor and outdoor options are significant advantages that few rivals can boast of