In lack of adequate marketing, Noida’s excellent road connectivity to Agra has not been commercially tapped. With a focussed promotion on its unique positioning by hotels, Noida can emerge as a new leisure getaway, believes Ramendra Pratap Singh, General Manager, Park Plaza Noida.
Noida’s ascent as a hot-spot of service industry, particularly IT and IT enabled industries, has made it a busy destination for corporate and MICE travellers. With diversification of industries, a number of commercial activities like banking, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing now register their robust presence here. Dozens of MNC’s have outsourced their businesses helping it steadily get placed on the world map. It is reflected in the fact that almost all the major hotels have corporate and MICE inbound as their key clientele. “There are many IT companies here and with a number of new projects initiated off late, which are underway, is triggering healthy domestic and international movement into Noida,” says Ramendra while overseeing the seventh anniversary celebrations of his hotel. “We are primarily a business hotel and almost 95 percent of our clientele are from corporate and MICE segment,” he shares. Apart from domestic inbound which is evenly spread across four metros and tier-1 cities, Noida has also developed a considerable international inbound – especially from countries involved in major projects here. “Noida is getting a decent number of global travellers who here stay on for a long period of time, in fact FIT’s are a crucial component of Noida’s inbound, and we get a fair share of them coming to our hotel,” divulges Ramendra.
However, it is also true that Noida has not lifted-off as it was expected too. Its growth has been slower compared to other important pockets like the Aerocity and Gurgaon, in the NCR. But, Ramendra argues that that his hotel had clocked an impressive year-on-year growth for seven consecutive years. “So, business is fine, says GM” But it is true that the pace of its growth is not the same as it used to be in the initial years,” he says indicating that Noida has lost some of its steam.
Constant revamp and addition of products are crucial to the success of any destination. Noida boasts of probably India’s best road network connecting it to Agra – which perennially remains a huge tourist draw. Noida could do well to market this unique connectivity asset and develop itself as a leisure getaway while continuing to add teeth to its corporate offering, feels Ramendra. “As a destination is concerned, there lies a great opportunity for us to develop it as a leisure getaway. Because if you look at travelling from Noida to Agra it hardly takes a two and a half hours via the Taj expressway,” he says.
He shares that it was a growing trend among his clientele to take a day trip to Agra. “A lot of our clients who stay with us take a day trip to Agra and come back by the night. So in that leisure space Noida has not grown as it should have. Hotels here have not been able to market this aspect adequately,” reflects Ramendra. “There could be various reasons, but the fact that it is connected by excellent road network to Agra is a huge angle that remains untapped,” he says.
As reflected by various media reports, Noida has seen a spurt in activities with increased international commercial undertakings in the recent past. But, to ensure multi-dimensionality of its profile and bolster its tourism offering, it would be a welcome measure to position Noida as a leisure getaway. It will help Noida acquire new clientèle and tap into leisure segment with a better offering.
Its success will not only help augment its tourist footfalls but validate the fact that constant innovation and assimilating new products are crucial to any destination’s long-term success.