Banyan Group eyes tier II, Iii cities

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, now rebranded Banyan Group, has been witnessing a lot of interest coming for its hotels in India, especially in tier II and III cities like Raipur. While honeymooners and families are top visitors to the group’s properties, weddings and M!CE events offer huge potential in terms of numbers.

Hazel Jain

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts recently announced its rebranding to Banyan Group on its 30th anniversary. To celebrate this occasion in India, the hotel group hosted an exclusive evening event for a few wedding planners and travel agents in Mumbai. Leading the delegation was Benjawan
Meksakul, Regional Director, Sales & Marketing (Thailand, Laos, Maldives & Indonesia), Banyan Group, who also visited Delhi and Bengaluru to meet select luxury agents. Representatives of hotels in Thailand and Indonesia were also present.

Meksakul says, “India has always been one of the top five markets for us. While our brand Banyan Tree has always been a favourite with Indian visitors, Angsana Laguna Phuket hotel is also popular here, not just for FITs but also for M!CE and weddings. And now, with good air connectivity between India and Bali, we feel our hotels in other destinations will also work here, such as Indonesia, where we have three hotels in Bintan and one in Bali.” With a change in its corporate identity from Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts to Banyan Group, it has gone from a single luxury brand of Banyan Tree to doubling its portfolio from five to 10 brands that can cater to the diverse needs of Indian customers. Banyan Group has lifestyle hotel brands ranging from mid-scale, upper mid-scale to luxury. “The other brand that could interest the Indian market is Cassia – its brand ethos really matches with the personality of Indian travellers,” Meksakul adds.

Commenting on the traveller segment that book the most with them, she says, “We get a mix right now depending on the destination. For instance, Bangkok gets a lot of couples, honeymooners and families. Wedding is one of the key target segments for us, especially since Banyan Group has a lot of resorts. Our hotels are keen to take big groups so buy-outs are possible. We also know about Indian and vegetarian food, as we have Indian chefs at many of our hotels. Angsana Laguna Phuket is perfect for an Indian wedding.”

Speaking about the potential of Indian cities, Tekla Maira, Regional Director, Sales & Marketing – India, Banyan Group, says that she sees tier II and III cities of India growing by leaps and bounds today. “Raipur has shown a lot of interest in our hotels and Bengaluru luxury agents are also engaged with us. M!CE is always big, particularly incentives. They are looking for new experiences. So, the hotels are creating them. We believe our brand Cassia will work well,” she adds.



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