Raffles International Limited has signed a strategic marketing alliance with Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, an entity of Indian Hotels Company Limited, India’s largest group of hotels. This alliance enables the two hotel groups to harness each other’s strengths in their respective stronghold markets.The geographical distribution of both companies’ hotel portfolios is complementary. Raffles International has a global footprint of 37 luxury and deluxe hotels spread throughout 32 destinations across Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America while Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has a strong domestic network in India and in select international primary destinations. The Taj Group has about 70 hotels at 48 places in India and abroad.
The marketing alliance will be implemented under two phases. The focus of phase one will be to develop cross marketing programmes for the luxury brand hotels of the two companies; namely Raffles Hotels and Resorts and Taj Luxury Hotels.
Raffles Hotels and Resorts is a collection of 12 luxury hotels, each a landmark in its respective city. The collection includes Raffles Hotel and Raffles The Plaza in Singapore; Raffles L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, California, United States; Raffles Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Hamburg, Germany; Raffles Le Montreux Palace, Montreux, Switzerland; and Raffles Resort Canouan Island, The Grenadines.
There are 14 hotels under the Taj Luxury Hotels portfolio, with 11 in India and three abroad. They include The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai, Rambagh Palace in Jaipur and Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. The hotels outside India are located in the Maldives, Mauritius and London.
The portfolio of hotels under both Raffles Hotels and Resorts and Taj Luxury Hotels are treasured historic landmarks and destinations unto themselves. They share a mutual philosophy, which places a premium on offering high-quality service while maintaining the unique appeal of each hotel. The Raffles-Taj partnership will provide guests with a total of 26 hotels offering not only comparable service and quality, but also distinct experiences in unique destinations to choose from.
One unique experience by Raffles Hotels and Resorts is a “Journey of a Lifetime”, which incorporates the Breaking of Dawn at Angkor, presented by Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor. Taj Luxury Hotels offers spectacular wedding packages, celebrated in a true regal style at the fairytale Taj Lake Palace Udaipur, set in the midst of a magical lake in Rajasthan.
Raffles Hotels and Resorts and Taj Luxury Hotels intend to undertake joint sales events at travel and trade fairs, implement sales information exchanges and cross-promote their hotels. In addition, joint food and beverage promotions and client benefits will be offered to preferred guests of Raffles and Taj Luxury Hotels.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Raymond Bickson, Managing Director, The Indian Hotels Company Limited, said, “This is certainly a win-win alliance for both companies. It will give us the opportunity to work with the Raffles International network to create greater awareness of the Taj brand in key markets across Asia-Pacific, Europe & America. This alliance will bring in a synergistic approach to the marketing efforts of two of Asia’s finest hospitality brands. Most importantly it will benefit our valuable guests and clients to enjoy recognition and the highest level of service.”
Ms Jennie Chua, Chairman and CEO of Raffles International said, “The alliance comes at the most opportune time when India’s tourist industry is booming due to a rush of foreign tourists into the country and increased travel by Indian residents to places within India and to overseas destinations. By creating an alliance with an India-based hotel company with properties that have similar brand positioning and quality of customer service to our own, we offer our guests reciprocal privileges and benefits.”
According to India’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture, about three million tourists visited India in 2003, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. For the first half of 2004, tourist arrivals had increased nearly 20 percent. At the same time, the number of Indians travelling abroad in 2003 increased by 30 percent to 4.5 million.
The second phase of the marketing alliance will involve Swiss™tel Hotels and Resorts and Taj Business and Leisure Hotels and will be implemented at a later date.