Preferred Hotels eyes 50% increase in India members by 2018

Introducing in India its recently announced global re- branding initiative, Preferred Hotels & Resorts said it has moved from a multi-brand portfolio to one master brand.

New Delhi: US-based Preferred Hotels & Resorts, a global portfolio of independent luxury hotels, is looking at increasing the number of its member hotels in India to 45 by the end of 2018.

Introducing in India its recently announced global re- branding initiative, Preferred Hotels & Resorts said it has moved from a multi-brand portfolio to one master brand.

"We are looking at a 50 per cent growth in number of our member hotels in India by end of 2018. We currently have 30 member hotels here and will take it to 45," Preferred Hotels & Resorts South Asia and Middle East Area Managing Director Saurabh Rai told PTI.

Most of these hotels will be in midscale and upscale segment, he added.

Rai was speaking on the sidelines of an event to announce the rebranding exercise here by the firm that is owned by Ueberroth family.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts currently represents more than 650 hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries.

"Our new branding empowers today's dynamic travellers to determine exactly what will make each trip feel luxurious, expanding the definition of luxury travel beyond the confines of traditional perceptions such as white gloves or stars," Preferred Hotels & Resorts President & CEO Lindsey Ueberroth told reporters.

Each property within the new brand portfolio has been aligned with one of five collections -- Legend, LVX, Lifestyle, Connect and Preferred Residences, she added.

When asked about the benefits that Preferred Hotels & Resorts membership provides to its member hotels, Rai said: "As the independent hotels can not compete with global chains on their own, we provide them global sales and marketing infrastructure."

The growth in India will be powered by emerging business centres like Ahmedabad, Indore, Chandigarh and Visakhapatnam among others and by emerging tourist destinations in J&K, Himachal Pradesh and cities like Hampi in Karnataka, he added.

"We are also looking for member hotels in east and north east," Rai said.

Rai said the partnership business model company follows has a fixed cost component but, "our business revenues are mainly based on the business we generate for our partners".

Preferred Hotels & Resorts began its operations in India in 2002, with the signing of its first member hotel 'The Imperial' in New Delhi. It currently has 30 member hotels and has relationships with brands such as The Leela Group, ITC Hotels, and Dusit Bird Hotels among others.

It is present in destinations such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Goa, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jaisalmer, Kerala, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Noida and Udaipur among others.