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‘New Luxury Wing will make Radisson Blu Agra sought after destination for weddings’

Friday, November 10, 2017, 14:04 Hrs  [IST]

Radisson Blu Agra has added a new luxury wing to its inventory recently. The luxury wing titled ‘XYZ’ boasts of 97 luxurious rooms spread across three floors, one of the largest banquet halls for MICE events, an Infiniti pool facing the Taj Mahal and all-day dining restaurants. With added room inventory and a pillar-less banquet hall to host 2,500 guests, the hotel company is eyeing burgeoning destination wedding business in the region. Paritosh Ladhani, Executive Director, Radisson Blu Agra in an interview with Hospitality Biz throws light on the various aspects of the new luxury wing and how it would drive additional MICE and banquet business into the city.

Q How the new luxury wing, XYZ, will be a game changer for your hotel as well as for Agra’s hospitality offering?
In order to stay ahead of the curve and increase our market share, we thought of tapping the new fad of destination wedding and big MICE events to our property. With the added room inventory and a pillar-less banquet hall to host a gathering of 2500 guests, we are aiming to be the number one wedding destination and double the turnover in next two years’ time. We are also optimistic that the occupancy levels will surge and the banqueting business will see a three-fold increase.

Q While adding a luxury wing with the largest MICE space in the city, what kind of vacuum are you trying to fill in terms of the destination’s product offering, and what kind of additional market opportunities and incremental revenues do you expect to accrue?
Off late, as we all know, there has been an increase in inventory in the Agra market. Almost all the inventory which has been added in the Agra market is in the midscale to an upscale market. Now when it comes to luxury there is definitely a requirement in Agra to fill that gap and this is where we come in and we are trying to come up with rooms which will be catering to affordable luxury, which is a space where we are trying to fit in.

Q What are the key design elements that you feel will make XYZ a destination for MICE in the city?
The sheer size of Mansion, which is 14.5 thousand sq. ft. pillar-less ball room itself speaks volume about the space. Apart from this, the hall also has mood setting lighting facility which can be manouvered as per the theme or set up of any event. Not only that, its huge pre-function area can accommodate 1,000 people at a time. Beautiful live kitchen is another important feature, hence making the property an idle destination for MICE. This is the only hall in Agra city having such facilities.

Q What are the trends that you see in terms of MICE movements to Agra with the recent improvements in accessibility from National Capital and the State capital?
Yes, especially after the opening of expressway Agra has become a city in demand and people do move from Delhi/NCR, the connectivity has become very smooth, in two hours you can reach Agra. Also, the addition of Gatiman Express has given a boost to MICE movement. So, yes, these things have helped a lot in increasing MICE movement.

Q Although Agra is a must see destination for both inbound and domestic travellers, it hasn’t evolved as an overnight destination. What are your suggestions to transform Agra as an overnight destination?
Yes, to really transform Agra to an overnight destination, I think a lot has to be done by the government especially with basic things like making the city clean and making it more conducive for all the inbound travellers. In fact, there are a lot of monuments in Agra that are still unexplored when compared to any other destination in India. Those need to be restored and there has to be marketing done around it. So yes, the city has a lot to offer to make it a two-day destination but most of it has to be driven by the government and yes as a hotel fraternity we are always there to support this.

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