Indore hospitality market is witnessing steady demand from corporate travellers, mostly domestic, thanks to its expanding air-connectivity with key Indian cities, besides emerging industrial sectors such as IT driving footfalls. We take a look at churning in the Indore market to understand what is trending in the cleanest Indian city.
Swacch Indore: A favourable positioning
Indore has done it again! It has been ranked as the cleanest city in the county for the consecutive second year. In the third edition of government’s Swachh Survekshan survey, 4,203 cities and towns were assessed, and Indore topped the chart. Incidentally, Bhopal, another city in Madhya Pradesh, grabbed the second spot. Indore’s recent found zeal for cleanliness has had a positive impact on travel and tourism, but Devesh Rawat, General Manager, Indore Marriott Hotel suggested that good weather, ample food offerings and a vibrant local community were equally important in positioning Indore as a desirable destination. “Also, apart from the local police and politicians, the local municipal body is very strong, that is why are seeing these results,” he shared. He added that municipal representatives were constantly in touch with industry stakeholders and discussing ways of better waste segregation and management.
Business driving tourism
Giving an overview of the tourist profile, Devesh Rawat shared that as much as 85-90 percent of their guests were from the domestic segment category. He noted that since the city was in close proximity to industrial hubs such as Mau and “the Detroit of India” – Pithampur, Indore received significant footfalls from stakeholders representing pharmaceutical and automobile sector. “Many major construction companies have their offices here,” he said. He also added that the IT sector was “one of the big upcoming sectors” and the state government was “very supportive and progressive.” He suggested that major companies such as Infosys were going to create employment opportunity for over 25,000 people, boosting MICE segment traffic in the city. “It will take 2-3 years to materialize but a big influx will happen soon,” he asserted.
How connectivity is panning out
In a major development, the GoI has decided to privatise Indore airport. While the process of privatisation unfolds to ramp up existing air-networks and infra, robust air-connectivity to key Indian cities, and a dense network of roads is already aiding Indore’s positioning as a MICE destination. The city is connected to Raipur, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Kolkata, among others, with regular flights, and “it is turning Indore into a very sought-after MICE destination.” “Indore is well-connected. It has got a big convention facility and has hotels to hold that many number of room nights, along with the fact that the city has a comparatively less expensive cost of living,” he reasoned, mentioning that MICE was gaining traction and the city was being preferred over Ahmedabad and Mumbai. He shared that as many as 12 new flights had been started in the past few months and Jet Airways was shortly going to commence two more flights from the city.
In terms of MICE inventory, Brilliant Convention Centre – city’s leading convention and exhibition centre – offers 1,00,000 sq. ft. of space, indoor and outdoors. Add to that, other hotels, including Indore Marriott Hotel offer sufficient room inventory and convention infrastructure to host relatively large conventions and corporate gatherings. “We have the largest inventory with 218 rooms. Radisson Blu Hotel Indore has 200 rooms, Sayaji Hotel Indore has 213 rooms. Then there are local brands like The Grand Bhagwati Palace – which is a good hotel. There is Lemon Tree Hotel and Country Inn & Suites By Radisson – Indore,” he said, stressing that the city offered a wide-range of accommodation options, ranging from 2-star to a 4-star deluxe category.
Overview of the Indore Marriott Hotel
The hotel has 218 keys and offers 55,000 sq. ft. of banqueting space. “We have a 5000 sq. ft. ballroom and three other smaller ballrooms, ranging from 2800 to 4000 sq.ft.,” he shared. He added that a nightclub and two speciality restaurants, one of the them being a roof-top restaurant, were going to be added by the end of the year.
The hotel has laid special emphasis on curating a top-notch culinary experience for the visitors, keeping in mind that “Indore is a foody city”, we were told. He also noted that the hotel was going to be a “destination hotel” when all facilities were thrown open.
Speaking on the wedding segment, Devesh Rawat credited the ‘Shaadi by Marriott’ program in helping the hotel launch the wedding concept in the city. He further shared that a “lot of homework” was done before entering the Indore market, and “wedding and restaurant space” were the two segments that Indore Marriott Hotel was keen on focusing. “We have done many residential weddings. Till date, if I have to give you a count, I think we have done 42 residential and non-residential weddings,” he added.