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Jet, Set, Go! Pitch Youth Marketing Summit and Awards in the Capital TODAY!

Making place on the calendar, the Pitch Youth Marketing Summit and Awards is set to take stage today at The Metropolitan Hotel, New Delhi. As the only platform in India that showcases and recognises the best work done by brands in the youth marketing space, the Summit and Awards seek to appreciate and reward brands, which have redefined this space.

The Summit begins at 1500 hours today with Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India delivering a special address on “The Next Destination: Driving Youth to Luxury” and is bound to accelerate the rest of the day.

It only gets better. Starting 1530 hours onwards, Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament and someone who has long endorsed the young in India and actively engaged with them, in his keynote address is going to talk about the “Role of Digital Social Media in Connecting with Young India”. Managing Editor, Headlines Today, Rahul Kanwal, is going to engage Shashi Tharoor in a Q A to get valuable insights.

In his session on “The Art of Engaging Youth: The Do’s, Don’ts and Don’t Bothers”, Samar Singh Shekhawat, Vice President, Marketing, UB Group is going to hit the nail on the head with what works and what doesn’t work with a generation characterised as flexible, confident, adaptable and steadfast, all in one breath.

The Pitch-TNS Youth Report, which stands strong on the premise that the youth has the potential to change the world we live in, will be released next at the Summit. Shravani Sen, Executive Editor Qualitative Head, TNS India Sri Lanka, will share key insights and underline the focus of the Report.

Taking the podium next will be Satyaki Ghosh, Director, Consumer Products Division, L’Oreal talking about “Reaching Youth by Segmenting and targeting smaller niche in the personal care category”. Acknowledging the extensive foray of gadgets and gizmos in the lives of the young has been reflected in multiple initiatives by Lenovo. The next session by Ajay Kaul, Executive Director, Global Brand Communications and Marketing Services, Lenovo, is only fitting with him talking about “Screenagers: Making Gadgets A Way of Life”.

They’re always on the move and the smartphone wave bringing all possible networking onto the Social Media. Ashwin Mushran, Actor, Stand Up Comedian and someone who knows how to do it right on Twitter, will be up on stage at the Summit discussing “Youth Marketing: Are Indian Marketers using Social Media Effectively?”

The duo in Terry Mardi, Chairman and Founder of Terry Mardi Group and Vijay Nair, CEO, Only Much Louder will talk about what literally reverberates with the youth and makes them pluck a common string. Their session titled “The Cool Quotient: Using Music to Resonate with Youth” has a promise of “bringing the house down”.

The Summit is also going to host three stimulating and opinionated panels. The first one, “Learnings for Youth Marketers from Film Makers” is going to be moderated by Arun Mehra, CEO of Talenthouse India. The panelists include CEO of Rampage Motion Pictures, Ram Mirchandani, Shikhar Mohan, Head-Brand at HCL Infosystems, Kuber Chopra, Founder, Rasta, Subi Chaturvedi, Filmmaker and Photographer and Siddhartha Jain, Producer, iRock.

They watch them and they seldom leave them ignored. Reality shows work with the youth and how! Taking this thought, one step forward, is the next panel moderated by Bipin Chandran, Editorial Consultant, exchange4media Group. The session labeled “Reality Shows: How can channels and advertisers lure the youth- Challenges Opportunities”, will have a whole swarm of views from Amin Lakhani, Principal Partner, Mindshare, Sanjay Modi, MD,, Debarpita Banerjee, Vice President, Marketing and Communication, National Geographic and Fox International Channels and PN Vasanti, Director, Centre for Media Studies.

Big shout out for the next panel, which is going to have some of the youngest, successful and most enterprising minds on it. “Youth Unplugged : What can marketers learn from India’s 5th Best-Selling Author; Premier Live-Show Entrepreneur; No 1 Youth Newspaper and Music Entrepreneur” will see people who fit these tags perfectly. Sachin Garg, Author and Co-Founder of Grapevine India Publishers, Prerna Kapur, Executive Director of The Yellow Brick Project, Shiv Bhaskar Dravid, Founder CEO of The Viewspaper and Ritnika Nayan, Founder Promoter of Music Gets Me High, will be moderated in this discussion by Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media Group.

We wish we had something more appropriate to say, but Be There or Be Square! For all the information you need on The Pitch Youth Marketing Summit and Awards, click here. And, stay tuned as we update you on all that happens today.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi Market Overview Q3 2012 Report

Jones Lang LaSalle publishes Q3 2012 Dubai Real Estate Market Overview report

  • Selective growth predicted for Dubai’s real estate sector as rents and values continue to improve for prime properties in the hotel, retail and residential sectors.
  • Despite demand for high quality retail space, most sectors of the Abu Dhabi market remain tenant favourable, with rents yet to bottom out.

Ahead of Cityscape Global, which starts on 2nd October in Dubai, Jones Lang LaSalle has published its third quarter 2012 Market Overview Reports for Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Within a general atmosphere of improving investor confidence and an optimistic business outlook across the UAE, Dubai real estate market remains the more robust market, seeing steady rental and price growth for prime assets in the hotel, retail and residential sectors.

Commenting on the reports, Mr Alan Robertson, CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle, Middle East North Africa, said: “Market sentiment is definitely improving and both Dubai and Abu Dhabi remain major drivers in the regional real estate market, but we are continuing to move away from one holistic model. As the market continues to mature we will see more divergence. Well managed, high quality assets in prime locations will continue to perform whilst those in secondary locations will need to be ever more creative to attract and retain tenants who now have ever more choice and are moving with their feet to source and find the best deals available.”

He adds: “In terms of market specifics, it’s a very fragmented picture. Dubai is generally ahead of the curve as rents are finally starting to pick up whilst indicators suggest Abu Dhabi has yet to bottom out. In terms of sectors, retail remains a driving force with significant opportunities in both Emirates. On the investment and development fronts, we expect to see more major deals announced in the weeks and months ahead, reflecting the improved economic climate. However we also expect the market to move away from a construction led environment to one more focussed on asset management as owners look to safeguard their investment and drive rental growth.”

Summary highlights, Dubai Market Overview, Q3 2012:

The Dubai economy is still on a recovery path. Gross Domestic Product is projected to grow by 4.5% in 2012.This performance is being driven by the strong growth of key sectors such as tourism, commerce, retail, hospitality and logistics.

The real estate investment market has been quiet over the summer months, with no major open market commercial transactions reported in this seasonally quiet period. The most significant sale over the quarter was a residential tower in the Deira area of Dubai that was reportedly sold to a Saudi investor for AED 130 million.

Asking rents for prime office space remained flat in Q3, while secondary rents faced more downward pressure. In line with global trends, occupier consolidation and portfolio optimisation remain the key focus in Dubai. Larger companies continue to show interest in upgrading premises with more flexibility in their leases. There has been limited new office supply entering the Dubai real estate market in the third quarter and a number of projects have been delayed into 2013.

The overall residential market has recorded another positive quarter, with the villa market continuing to outperform the apartment sector in Q3. Prime residential buildings in well established locations continue to see improved performance, but secondary locations are still suffering from rental and pricing declines as tenants relocate to new high quality projects.

There remains strong demand for retail space in the best performing super-regional shopping malls (eg: Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates), resulting in sustained prime rents of AED 4,700 / sq m. However the retail market is becoming increasingly two-tier and older, less popular malls are seeing weakened demand from consumers and retailers, with mall owners having to consider new marketing techniques and product positioning.

The hotel sector of the Dubai real estate market has continued its strong performance in Q3 with occupancy levels improving to 77% from 74% in the same period last year. This growth has been mainly driven by the increase in tourist arrivals compared to the same period last year. The recovery of the Dubai hotel market has been reflected in an increase in both Average Daily Rates (ADRs) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) levels.

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Crowne Plaza returns hotel brand to Tulsa

The Crowne Plaza brand returns to Tulsa with the conversion of a former Hilton into Crowne Plaza Tulsa-Southern Hills.

The 11-story, 286-room hotel, located at 7902 S. Lewis Ave. across from Oral Roberts University, is already operating under the new name.

Leigh Murray, director of sales and marketing for the hotel, said officials have spent nearly a million dollars on new carpeting, bedding and wireless systems, with a more extensive renovation of the meeting space, guest rooms and lobby to come by the end of next year.

She said that hotel owners McSam Hotels decided to make the switch due to Crowne Plaza’s reputation with business travelers.

“It was time to renew the contract with Hilton, and our owners decided to look around and review all their options,” she said.

Officials at InterContinental Hotels Group, the entity that licensed the Crowne Plaza name to McSam Hotels, said in a press release that the conversion will also feature redesigned guestrooms and public places, though the company did not provide specifics.

Gina LaBarre, vice president of IHG’s Americas Brand Management, said in a press release the company is pleased to bring the brand back, and feels like the location should serve business travelers well.

“There are several major employers in the area that will benefit from the meetings-savvy products and services that only a Crowne Plaza can provide,” she said.

The hotel includes a presidential suite, six junior suites, 13,000 square feet of meeting space and attached casual restaurant Legends Grill.

Crowne Plaza had previously been licensed to the downtown hotel that now operates as the Hyatt Regency. That hotel entered foreclosure under its previous operators, Ascension Hotels of Donaldson, La., and was purchased by Argonaut Private Equity, an investment arm of the George Kaiser Foundation for $11 million in 2010.

As part of the purchase, the downtown hotel was converted to the Hyatt brand.

Murray said she doesn’t believe the financial woes of the previous Crowne Plaza will affect her hotel.

“The owners really feel the Crowne is a strong brand,” she said. “Crowne Plaza has upgraded their standards over the last few years, so they’re competing with luxury brands now.”

Robert Evatt 918-581-8447

Social, mobile marketing build personalization

LAS VEGAS—As travelers continue to demand unique, well-thought-out hotel experiences, hoteliers must keep pace with the speed of innovation to leverage opportunities in the mobile and social space, according to panelists at the opening keynote session of the EyeforTravel Distribution Summit North America in Las Vegas.

“It’s becoming really difficult to focus on,” said Dave Madden, GM of LivingSocial Escapes. “What keeps me up at night is where to focus limited resources in order to keep up with that change.”

However, there are areas hoteliers can focus on within the mobile and social space to enhance the guest experience.

Personalizing the guest experience
Eighty-eight percent of CEOs surveyed by IBM this year reported their top priority within the next five years was to get closer to their consumers.

But how do they do it?

“There are plenty of technologies to help you do that,” said Mark Simpson, founder and president of marketing consulting firm Maximyser—although it isn’t easy, he said. “There are too many variables and each visitor profile is dynamic.”

“What happens when you get to six, seven, 12 segments with different attributes of customers? It gets really, really complicated. It’s not that easy to do it in a really slick way among travel ranks,” Simpson said.

But hoteliers can make the process simpler by first taking visitor data and profiling each individual guest, he said.

“You can now use Facebook data on your website and start personalizing the experience.”

And the outcome?

“Exciting (return on investment) driven by incremental revenue generation … and an enhanced visitor experience and engagement,” Simpson said.

The mobile platform is an ideal channel to build loyalty, said Sam Shank, CEO and founder of Hotel Tonight.

“If they had a good experience, they will go back to the app and loyalty is earned,” Shank said. And “if people are loyal, they’ll come back to you over and over.”

With hotel apps, it’s all about the ratings, he said. But hoteliers need to keep in mind that when guests rate an app, they are not just rating the technical aspect; they are rating the entire experience of interacting with the company.

“Some of the most negative reviews of hotel apps are about the support experience,” Shank said. “Your weakest link brings down your rating—even offline elements.”

Focusing on the customer experience both online and offline will increase app ratings, he said.

“People are expecting such a lousy interaction … that if we provide them with something great, we’re going to blow them away.”

LivingSocial has found in its research that images are the No. 1 thing that inspire consumers to make purchases.

“With Instagram, Pinterest, with a number of apps—the rich imagery more and more is inspiring people to make purchase decisions,” Madden said.

“Travelers are making their decisions to buy a trip in less than 60 seconds, and that’s because they are looking at the imagery,” he said. From there, all the details and fine print only serves to convince someone not to take a trip.

Hoteliers must keep in mind that they have a short time to capture a would-be guest’s interest, he said.

“My advice would be to invest and use rich imagery,” Madden said.

Optimize partnerships
Integrating social-media networks with mobile apps is a unique driver of new consumers to, said Tim Hentschel, CEO and founder of the group travel planner.

The company has partnerships with several professional sports teams throughout the United States who use for group travel, which the company uses to its advantage, Hentschel said.

Whenever there is big game and a player scores, releases a code on its Facebook page that allows fans of that sports team to book free hotel rooms.

“It’s a little technical; it’s not easy,” Hentschel said, but it is worth the challenges. “People really associate your brand with good times, and that has to do with the love of the sport. They’re emotionally attached to the sport.”’s strategy of giving away free inventory works, he said. “You pull people in through your freebies and you make them loyal through your … service.”

Proposed hotel in west Delray Beach to bring jobs, redevelopment – Sun

Residents and business leaders along West Atlantic Boulevard have been clamoring for redevelopment that involves the community and brings jobs to the area. And a recent agreement with a developer may deliver just that.

The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency recently announced it clinched a deal with the developer of a proposed hotel that could deliver jobs and a renewed commitment to fixing up the area.

“The developer was very open to hearing what the community had to say and they volunteered to respond to what the community wanted in terms of job creation,” said Elizabeth Burrows, the CRA’s marketing and grants manager.

The city picked Prime Investors and Developers Inc. in 2010 to develop 2 acres of CRA-owned property on West Atlantic Avenue between Ninth and 10th avenues into a four-story hotel.

The idea for a mid-priced hotel came out of several planning sessions in 2010 with consultants H. Blount Hunter and James Williams. They said the area would be well served by projects such as a mid-priced hotel, office space and retail space.

In exchange for adding jobs, the CRA granted the developer a $330,000 economic incentive. The CRA will also provide Prime with a $1.5 million construction loan and a 40-year lease of the land.

“That decreases their expenses at the beginning of the project and they do have the option to buy the land, which we’re hoping they will do,” Burrows said. “If they do not follow through [with the local hiring program] they would forfeit some of those dollars.”

Reggie Cox, chairman of the West Atlantic Redevelopment Coalition, a nonprofit group that advises the CRA on how to redevelop West Atlantic Avenue from Swinton to Interstate 95, said he welcomes the effort but would have liked to see more jobs guaranteed for residents and a bigger commitment to hiring local skilled and nonskilled labor for the construction of the 128-room hotel.

“It’s something that [the West Atlantic Redevelopment Coalition] has been asking for,” said coalition chairman Reggie Cox. “This is a reflection of the visions.”

Cox said the community is still skeptical that the developer will follow through because of the Villages at Delray project on Southwest 12th Avenue.

The Auburn Group, which built the affordable housing community in 2010 and received $27 million in stimulus money, fell under criticism in 2010 after residents claimed it was not hiring local or minority companies.

Although Auburn was not required to hire for local jobs, it made a gentleman’s agreement to do so. According to a report turned into the city then, Auburn hired five out 13 Delray Beach-based subcontractors that bid on the project, and three Palm Beach County-based subcontractors out of 30 that bid. They also hired 13 apprentices from local neighborhoods.

Burrows said Prime agreed to reserve 20 percent of 32 positions at the hotel for residents. Burrows said the developers couldn’t guarantee they would hire local labor for construction but that it will try to get at least 10 bids from local contractors.

“The fact they have anything at all is positive,” said Max Kirsch, a professor of economic and political anthropology. “But they’ve got to keep a close eye on that.”

Kirsch said civic involvement is not typical when a corporation or developer moves into a community, but government agencies should make sure that they follow up on their promises.

That’s just what Cox wants.

“We want those dollars to be used in this community as much as humanly possible,” Cox said of the $330,000 the developer got for hiring locally. “But we want an enforceable contractual component to make sure that it happens.” or 561-243-6544

India is expected to be the fastest growing online travel market in the Asia …


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A late entrant into India, the US-based Expedia has chalked out an ambitious plan to capture a large share of the country’s $22 billion (Rs 1,13,000 crore) travel market. The company believes it still has an edge over other players in the segment in that it offers complete travel packages that would include booking for hotels and buses apart from the flight tickets. In this interview to Saumya Prakash, Dan Lynn, CEO, Expedia Air Asia, speaks about how the world’s largest travel portal plans to make the most of the India opportunity.

What are your thoughts on the major search engines like Bing and Google venturing into the travel vertical? How can online travel agents (OTA) like Expedia combat these giants when it comes to providing consumers with better “decision engines” and facilitating travel planning?
We believe that continued innovation in travel is positive for the industry as long as it does not limit travelers’ access to the full scope of options. Google has been, and we expect will continue to be, primarily a source of traffic to our sites. That said, while search is an integral part of the consumer’s online experience, it is only one piece. Our core proposition has been to provide consumers with complete travel solutions. As the world’s largest online travel market place, Expedia offers a one-stop shop to build, plan and purchase travel solutions across multiple brands, channels and platforms, easing the process for the consumer. We deliver a combination of convenient booking tools, global selection, a wealth of organised content and reviews, the ability to compare and filter hotel features and pricing, and trusted service that can’t be duplicated by a search provider.


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The depth and breadth of our global supply and demand footprints afford us a long-term, sustainable growth trajectory that we believe no other company can match.

If you were to do an objective analysis, what are the clear advantages Expedia has over other OTAs in the space… and where do you think can Expedia stand to improve?
As we see, our inherent strengths emanate from the fact that we have access to the largest global inventory of 1,49,000 hotels, 438 flights and 5,000 holiday activities, which enable us to get the price points and deals that no-one else in the market can offer. We have innovative and unique services like build your own trip, 72 hr sale, deal hunter and last minute deals in addition to the regular seasonal campaigns that assist the traveler to customise travel according to his need. In fact, only we offer discounts and deals even during the peak seasons, coupled with the flexibility in modes of payment ranging from credit/debit card, net banking to even cash.

We are focused on enhancing awareness about our offerings, increase penetration and offer a wider inventory to our travelers in India keeping our IQ, innovation quotient, high. We currently offer close to 2,800 hotels and will keep expanding with more customised and relevant deals for the Indian consumers here.

Many people prefer to go to the websites of individual hotels because they get better deals that way. Does it not hamper the online travel sites like yours?
Travel is now about a unique, memorable and seamless experience and the evolving consumer does his share of research to get the best deals befitting his plan. Expedia is a one stop shop that will help the consumer to put together a holistic itinerary, with the airline, hotel and holiday attraction components customised as per their choice.

In fact, when a consumer creates a package at Expedia including hotel and airline both, they end up saving much more than on individual best deals. On an average, Expedia helps the customer save from Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000 on a trip to Europe. This also saves the consumer from multiple transactions though individual websites, which could be tiresome at times. At Expedia, we focus on the entire experience, by offering a complete travel solution.

Being a late entrant in the online travel space do you plan to increase the brand awareness of Expedia in this country?
The Indian OTA market is growing at a rapid rate of about 35 per cent, but the space is cluttered with multiple players. Expedia entered India last year with a very clear brand positioning and target audience. The positioning was ‘big daddy of online travel’ owing to our global scale with a huge inventory all over the world. The sheer scale of the travel inventory helps us get the price points and deals that no-one else in the market can offer.

This year we have launched a complete 360-degree marketing campaign aimed at reinforcing our positioning as the world’s largest online travel player. The end objective is to enhance our brand recall to be one of the top three in India. The campaign aims to make Expedia synonymous with travel and a name that works as a binding factor for travelers globally. The tenor of the ad campaign has been kept real consciously right from the situations to the models used to drive a deeper connect. We have rolled out the campaign nationally across all marketing touch points like print, digital, TV and social medial to maximise the impact.

We are also focusing on engagement with travel bloggers through a contest in association with Indiblogger. The top five bloggers will be sent to an all-expenses-paid trip to five destinations across continents to physically experience Expedia’s presence in the cities.

What have been the challenges to growth in India? Internet penetration here is much lower than many other countries you are present in…
India is expected to be home to the fastest growing online travel market in the Asia-Pacific region in 2012 with gross bookings expected to touch $24 billion and $7.1 billion respectively. Online travel is the driving force in the e-commerce segment, with a global contribution of 70 per cent of all e-commerce activities. While the internet availability, broadband penetration and the prevalence of online banking and credit/debit card is very low in the country, the primary challenges are the external environment in the travel industry. The volatility in the aviation industry not only impacts the inventory and pricing but also the consumer sentiment while buying a travel product. As penetration increases further to tier 2 and 3 cities, there will be an exponential growth in the online travel booking segment.

The share of online travel bookings currently stands at 30 per cent and is expected to rise exponentially as the internet penetration increases in the country. According to a recent IMRB and IAMAI report, the number of internet users has touched the 100 million mark and is expected to grow rapidly, especially with mobiles/ smart-phones also contributing to internet access. The growth drivers include such as rising disposable income coupled with proliferation of the internet, which has increased online traffic considerably.

How important is it for you to have an offline presence?
Talking specifically about the Indian market, owing to a lot of factors like low internet and credit card penetration, and consumers in tier 2 and 3 cities who are still comfortable taking packages from their trusted travel agent, it is important to tap the market through an offline format. Expedia engages with local travel agents through the travel agents affiliate programme and lets them earn additional commission while allowing them to deep-link to worldwide travel products.

We recently announced an increase in the commission for its affiliate agents on air bookings when it is booked as part of a package through the Expedia website. The agents now earn around 10 per cent or more on land content and around 1.5 per cent on the air content for Expedia package bookings, no matter what carrier is booked. That means agents can earn great commission on Expedia packages even when the flight is with a low cost carrier who generally do not offer commission. This programme helps us to tap the brick and mortar formats comprehensively.

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Fairmont to Open New Hotels in Key International Markets Next Year

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire -12/01/11)- Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Already laying claim to the most distinctive collection of landmark and iconic hotels in the world, Fairmont Hotels Resorts plans to open a number of new and celebrated properties in 2012. Headlining Fairmont’s robust schedule of 2012 openings, which will see the brand debut in several new global markets, are Fairmont Jaipur in India, Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv in Ukraine, and Fairmont Baku in Azerbaijan.

“International growth is a key focus at Fairmont and I fully expect 2012 to be a busy year for us,” said Jennifer Fox, President, Fairmont Hotels Resorts. “With hotels like The Savoy in London, The Plaza in New York, and Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel, we already watch over some of the world’s top addresses, so to be going into several new and exciting markets, with assets that are truly one-of-a-kind, is very exciting.”

In total, the luxury brand has five hotel projects, representing more than 1,300 guestrooms, slated to open next year. Noteworthy openings include:


--  Fairmont Jaipur - located in the heart of the "Pink City", a name
    honoring the distinctive rose-colored architecture of Rajasthan's
    capital, the hotel marks Fairmont's first foray into India. Offering 199
    spacious and luxurious guestrooms, nine 1- and 2-bedroom villas as well
    as a Presidential Suite, the hotel's atmosphere will reflect the unique
    character of the region, while also capturing the air of a modern day
    palace. Guestrooms will include over-sized bathrooms with soaker tubs,
    state-of-the-art Bose sound systems and 40" flat panel televisions. The
    brand's exclusive Fairmont Gold product, a hotel within a hotel concept
    with 38 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and private lounge facilities,
    will make its debut in the market as well. Also tempting hotel guests
    will be a broad range of culinary options including a full service
    restaurant featuring regional specialties. Other offerings include a
    lobby lounge, cigar room, and rooftop bar. Helping guests relax and
    recharge will be a Willow Stream Spa featuring over 14,000 square feet
    of space, as well as a 5,000 square foot health club. To accommodate the
    area's growing meetings market, the hotel will also boast more than
    45,000 square feet of conference space. (Opening March 2012)

--  Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv - while the Ukraine has European football fans
    buzzing about next summer's UEFA Euro 2012 tournament, the city of Kyiv
    is also eagerly anticipating the arrival of its first true luxury hotel,
    Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv. Expected to open in early 2012, well in
    advance of football enthusiasts flocking to the city, the hotel will
    feature 257 rooms, including 35 suites, Fairmont Gold and a Royal and
    Presidential Suite, and will be centrally located on the Dnipro River in
    the heart of Kyiv's historic Podil district. As one of the oldest cities
    in Eastern Europe and a destination with numerous architectural
    landmarks, the hotel is poised to be a vibrant feature in the locale,
    boasting a classic, old-world design reminiscent of a stately palace or
    grand manor home. And while the design aesthetics of the building will
    undoubtedly be classic and elegant, the atmosphere within the hotel is
    expected to be cosmopolitan and trendy making it an urban hotspot for
    the "it" crowd. Other features of the hotel include a range of dining
    options, including a stylish Champagne bar and chic cigar lounge, 13,000
    square feet of meeting and function space, counting a 5,000 square foot
    ballroom, and a Fairmont Spa with six treatment rooms and a full beauty
    salon. (Opening March 2012)

--  Fairmont Baku - upon opening, Fairmont Baku will be one of the tallest
    and most impressive buildings in the capital city of Azerbaijan. The
    hotel will be part of the awe-inspiring Flame Towers, a three-turreted,
    multi-use building paying tribute to the country's name, which means
    'The Land of the Fire' when translated in modern Persian. The hotel will
    boast 318 guestrooms and suites in addition to a prime location on the
    Absheron Peninsula next to the Azerbaijan parliament buildings and
    overlooking the Caspian Sea. Guestrooms will be modern and sophisticated
    with decor reflecting the rich culture and heritage of the city. The
    hotel will also feature Fairmont Gold and over 25,000 square feet of
    meeting space including a 24-hour business centre complete with IT
    butler service and secretarial support. Dining options will be plentiful
    with several restaurants, bars and lounges including an authentic French
    patisserie and a specialty steak-house. Popular with business travelers
    and executives in oil and gas production, Azerbaijan's blossoming
    tourism industry is also quickly becoming a top draw for leisure
    travelers visiting the region. The destination was the 2011 winner of
    the popular Eurovision Song Contest and will host the 2012 event in May,
    offers numerous sightseeing attractions including Baku's old Inner City,
    a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was recently singled out by
    Lonely Planet as a top ten global hotspot for urban nightlife.

Additional Fairmont hotels expected to open later in 2012 include the 300-room Fairmont Makati, Philippines, which will be conveniently located near the Philippine Stock Exchange, and the 372-room Fairmont Palm Jumeirah on Dubai’s The Palm, Jumeirah. Looking beyond 2012, Fairmont is also working on a number of exciting hotel development projects in markets like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Fujairah, and China and remains focused on international expansion with brand growth targeted for key markets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


Located in world-class destinations around the globe, Fairmont Hotels Resorts is a celebrated collection of hotels that includes landmark locations like London’s The Savoy, New York’s The Plaza, and Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel. With more than 60 hotels, Fairmont is known as much for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, as its classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also regarded for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit

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