An internationally renowned Spanish hotel chain, the Palladium Hotel Group, has a strong presence around the globe and is keen to establish its mark and nurture its growth further in India. They are working with Mumbai-based Global Destinations to achieve this goal. Sandra Polo Canudas, Asia & ME Commercial Director, Palladium Hotel Group shares more about the Group, as they look forward to promoting and establishing their luxury chain of hotels across FITs, Honeymooners, Wedding & MICE groups from India.
– Prashant Nayak
Q. Can you please brief us about the Palladium Hotel Group’s global portfolio?
With 50 properties in six countries, our portfolio consists of music-themed, city and beachfront hotels in prime destinations worldwide: Ushuaïa Unexpected Hotels, BLESS Collection Hotels, TRS Hotels, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts, Palladium Hotels, Fiesta Hotels & Resorts, Only You Hotels, Palladium Boutique Hotels, Ayre Hotels and our two Hard Rock Hotels, both franchises of the HR International brand, operated by Palladium Hotel Group. Throughout its history, our company has been truly committed to international expansion, originality, and development, integrating design, state-of-the-art technology and lifestyle innovations.
Q. Spain is open for Indian travellers. Tell us about the current tourism and hospitality scenario in Spain?
The scenario is such that the hospitality sector has implemented protocols given by the respective country’s government authorities as well as the local community and its government measures. In our case, such measures and protocols are being implemented in collaboration with SGS, which is a company that certificates all our health and safety procedures, and all hotels have to show a seal that proves that the hotel is certified. All brands and hotels then adequate all procedures accordingly and all information related to COVID measures and new operational procedures is what we have been continuously transmitting to the trade. This is to keep them informed about how we have been evolving resiliently all the time to keep the safety of our clients, as well as our hotels and workers.
One of our main targets all this time has been, and it will be to protect, keep safe and confident both workers and clients. Spain now is in the process of recovery, trying to live with COVID in the safest way possible, implementing all workable procedures. As of now, the result has been successful, and we expect it to be the same as well in 2022.
Q. Tell us about your hotels in Spain, and what are the USPs of these properties?
Our commitment and USP is to offer great guest experiences going beyond expectations and turn clients into our fans. One good example in the India market would be the Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel, the unexpected experience!
Since 2008, we have worked on positioning Palladium Hotel Group to achieve well-defined product differentiation within our portfolio of 4-star, 5-star, Boutique Hotels, Premium and Luxury Hotels in cities as well as beach destinations. Each brand has its strong identity to deliver a personalised experience.
Palladium Hotel Group is a name that is synonymous with hospitality, originality, amazing destinations, entertainment beyond expectations, innovative F&B with Michelin Star Chefs cuisine concepts and exclusive options.
Q. Before the pandemic, which were the destinations in Spain that were trending with the Indians, and according to you, what attracts Indians to Spain?
The top trending destinations within Indians have been always Barcelona and Madrid. During the last pre-COVID years, some other destinations have started picking up depending on the segment of clients, like Ibiza for instance.
I think what most attracts Indians to Spain is the local festivities that we have, the friendly environment, our music and local dances, the differences from North to South and East to West going through the Balearic and Canary Islands as well. Spain is small but a country with many experiences to discover which would be translated as well into India, which is also very different from North to South, East to West.
Q. What is your expectation from the India market post-COVID and what kind of customer mix are you targeting?
We have seen arrivals from Indian clientele in our Hotels in Ibiza in August and Sept in Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, Bless Hotel Ibiza and even our properties in Mexico. We have not seen any relevant demands different from the usual. We do not really know how the demand is going to be by 2022 because it will depend on the evolution of the pandemic. Our expectation is the India market to enter a continued recovery process surpassing 2021 and be on the path of what it was in 2019.
We have different brands experiences that would be dedicated to a different segment of clients who are searching for premium and luxury properties. That would gather either: adults only, families, honeymooners, groups of friends, and even weddings.
Q. With Global Destinations as your representation partner in India, what are your combined marketing, sales and promotion strategies to leverage your hotels?
Thanks to the collaboration with our Reps, Global Destinations, we have continuously maintained our contact with the trade. We have strived to maintain our visibility and communication to the India market since the pandemic started in 2020, as we considered it important to maintain and keep the trade informed about what was happening in Palladium Hotel Group, especially in terms of health and security measures.
We are planning activities according to the circumstances. There are some actions that are already planned for next year to reconnect physically with the market, but still, it needs to be seen when all this will take place according to the evolution of the pandemic.
Spain is active in MICE offerings with plenty of venues. Are you focusing on business and weddings from India in the near future? Also, which other segments of tourism are you banking on?
In Spain, we are focusing on small groups, either business or leisure, that would like to enjoy quality and premium out-of-the-pocket experiences. Regarding weddings, we are focusing on two destinations where we are already holding Indian weddings: Mexico and Jamaica. We have a team who specialise in Indian weddings. We are focusing also on premium and luxury leisure for either adults only and for family friendly segments.
Q. Tell us more about the group’s expansion plans and the roadmap beyond 2021?
We have maintained our expansion plans during 2021 besides the pandemic. We opened two hotels in Sicily: Grand Palladium Garden Beach Resort & Spa and Grand Palladium Sicilia Resort & Spa located in Campofelice di Rocela, next to Cefalú. Two 5* family-oriented Hotels, beachfront and with our INFINITE INDULGENCE®, Its All Included (Drinks, breakfast, lunch and dinner, Xtra Time Sports Bar open 24h, Snacks, homemade ice cream and a la carte restaurants for dinners as well as room service, minibar, hammocks and parking). In Spain, we opened in June, our Palladium hotel Menorca, in the Balearic Islands. A 4-star property located in a crystal-clear beach area with unique local cuisine, magnificent beaches and cultural heritage. A perfect getaway for relaxation and quietness for couples, friends or families. Last, but not least, we opened an Only You Boutique Hotel in Valencia, a former Ayre Hotel and we are now about to open an Only You Boutique Hotel in Málaga and soon another Only you in Seville.
In 2022, we are to open TRS Ibiza in the Balearic Islands. Our luxury resorts are tailor-made exclusively for adults with a wide range of premium services. A brand landing in Europe after our successful result in Latin America (Mexico & Dominican Republic). We come now into 50 hotels across the globe and with expectations to keep growing.
Q. How do you see the global hospitality industry evolve in a post-COVID world?
The industry will come out more digitalised and evolved in security and healthy measures prevention. I must point out that the hospitality sector has proven itself to be successfully resilient to the evolving circumstances and was very quick on implementation of necessary measures as it has been a challenging time for the hospitality sector as everything, including rules and regulations were changing quickly. I believe in most countries, the hospitality situation has been the same.