Strong outlook for Oberoi with new openings and enhanced team

Guest Writer

Indian hotel operator Oberoi Hotels & Resorts is looking forward to a period of prosperity with property openings in the pipeline, plus a new sales and marketing team now in place.President Liam Lambert conceded that the group had seen revenues drop 35% over the past 18 months due to two key factors - the economic crisis and the Mumbai terrorist attacks - but said he expected growth in both domestic and international leisure and business tourism to drive the firm’s recovery in 2010 into 2011.Kick-starting the firm’s good fortunes, he said, would be the re-opening of The Oberoi, Mumbai, on 24 April.The property has undergone extensive renovations with all rooms refurbished since terrorists bombed the premises during the terrorist attacks in 2008.New features include 15 new suites; Indian restaurant Ziya, which is under the direction of the Michelin-starred Chef Vineet Bhatia; a new all-day dining restaurant; a new bar; and a completely redesigned lounge. Lambert said that given the circumstances, re-opening festivities would be kept “low key” but stated the aim was for the Mumbai property to be “the finest hotel in India”.Oberoi is currently staging trade roadshows in key markets now that sales teams in two key source markets – London and New York - are now in place.”We are already getting hits from the leisure markets with some forward bookings and we are moving market share from our competitors once again,” said Lambert.Sales and marketing wise, GSAs in Germany, Russia and France were being signed and the next step, he revealed was to establish a stronger Middle East presence.This will be the mission of Vice President Sales & Marketing EMEA Mark Allvey when he visits Arabian Travel Market next month.On the Middle East property front, Lambert said he would be looking to find a GM for Oberoi’s Dubai property in around six months with a view to a late-2011 opening.In the meantime, Oberoi will be opening new properties in Gurgaon, Delhi, later this year, if possible in time for the Commonwealth Games, which take place in the city in October.Another Oberoi hotel project in Hyderabad is expected to open late 2011.

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