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NEW DELHI : Radisson Hotel Group has announced the launch of Radisson RED brand in India to target the country’s growing population of younger business and leisure customers.

The US hospitality company, which runs brands such as Park Inn, Radisson Blu, Country Inn & Suites, as well as the flagship upscale brand Radisson in India, will launch its latest brand with an 154-room property in Mohali by December.

Radisson RED is a young, lifestyle-oriented millennial brand catering to younger travellers, said Radisson Hotel Group’s managing director and vice-president, operations, South Asia, Zubin Saxena.

“It will change the way this segment, the lifestyle segment, operates and we see the addition of at least 10 more Radisson REDs in three to five years," Saxena said.

Several other hospitality firms have also launched millennial-friendly brands over the years. Marriott’s W Hotel and Hotel Indigo, a lifestyle brand by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), fall in the category. MOXY is yet another brand by Marriott targeted at the more cost-conscious millennial traveller.

The company also aims to bring Radisson Collection, its luxury brand, to India.

It is in discussions with potential owners to look at setting up either large city hotels, which are convention driven, or properties at locations such as Goa or Rajasthan where it will aim to convert some palaces into luxury hotels.

Radisson is present in 60 locations in India with more than 100 managed properties.

It plans to have 250-300 hotels by 2027 driving penetration in tier-III, -IV and -V markets. “These are untouched markets completely. Growth will lie in these markets," Saxena said.

Last year, it opened ‘Radisson Individuals’ in India, an affiliation brand that works with independent hotels that use the company’s distribution system to sell their room inventory.

In October 2019, the industry average of hotel occupancies was north of 65%. That number for October was 61-62% across categories in India, said Saxena citing analysts.

“In terms of demand, recovery has seen a robust comeback. It is pretty strong, especially given that we have had two (covid) waves in the interim," he said. Almost 100% of this demand is coming from domestic travellers, he said.

Saxena expects demand for domestic travel to continue for the next three-four years even as a segment of high paying, well-travelled customers return to offshore locations.

The supply of organized rooms in India has grown by 3.3% in 2020-21 over the previous fiscal, according to a report by Gurugram-based hospitality consultancy Hotelivate. There are about 144,000 branded rooms in the country, including 4,093 rooms that opened during the year.

The majority of this inventory came up in the major metros such as Delhi, which continued to have the largest branded room inventory base in India (15,181 rooms).

It grew by 1% over the last fiscal. Mumbai (including Navi Mumbai) and Bengaluru had the second and third largest inventories with 14,330 rooms and 13,901 rooms, respectively.

Marriott, IHCL, and Radisson Hotel Group were the three largest hotel companies in India, followed by French hospitality firm Accor, Hotelivate said in the 2021 Indian Hospitality Trends & Opportunities report.

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