Shuvendu Banerjee, GM, Crowne Plaza Kochi, believes that owing to the strategic location of the property, the hotel can cater to both leisure and business events, clubbed with offering great MICE facilities and experiences for tourists.
Crowne Plaza Kochi has been in existence for five years now, and according to Shuvendu Banerjee, they have been doing well, especially in terms of business travellers. “There are a lot of business and corporate travellers that come from around the country and abroad. We have inbound travellers as well and we do a lot of MICE events in the hotel as our focus has really been the corporate clientele,” he said.
He asserted that their location plays a strong part in attracting the business they get. “We are very close to Willingdon Island as well as to the national highway. Thus, we are only 15 minutes from the IT park and the Cochin Shipyard at Willingdon Island, where the navy and other industries are also located, which is a big advantage to the hotel,” added Banerjee.
In terms of leisure, they get a lot of inbound clientele because they are just next to the backwaters, he informed. “We have one of the best spas in the city and five restaurants within the property. We are one of the closest hotels when one wants to go towards Alleppey. Thus, people come and stay here overnight, either going to or coming from Alleppey or Munnar,” he said. For such travellers, they have quite a few experiences within the hotel, including a boat jetty within the premises, complimentary early morning and evening yoga sessions. “We also have a gymnasium, which is open 24 hours, as well as speciality restaurants. We keep doing F&B promotions, which works very well for our local clientele,” he added.
In terms of occupancy, Banerjee is only seeing yearon-year growth. “Inbound to Kerala has shown significant growth and we have done many MICE and business events. Last year, occupancy grew by around 7 per cent, and this year, we are expecting to touch 4-4.5 per cent growth as compared to last year, he revealed. As MICE remains their primary focus, the hotel has multiple venues for hosting different kind of events and even weddings.”
Banerjee insisted that they work very closely with the trade partners and keep meeting them regularly. “IHG also did a roadshow recently, where all the travel trade partners were invited, and discussed opportunities with us. We keep meeting them in trade fairs and events. Apart from that, a lot of FTOs and tour operators come and experience the property, which makes a lot of difference. We keep engaging with local associations as well as associations of Arab agents, as the Arab market is very strong in Kerala. We organise their events and we have Arab staff in the hotel, which makes us unique,” he said.