Choice Hotels International, one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world, has named Quality Inn MGM Beach Resort, Muttukadu, as the International Hotel of the Year 2005. The annual award is for hotels from among the 5,300-strong Choice Hotels, and in the category of one of its sub-brands, Quality Inn.
Within Quality Inn, 937 hotels from 42 countries from Europe, Asia and Australia competed for the award. The award-winning MGM Beach Resort, located on the outskirts of Chennai city, is the first of the 30 Choice Hotels in India to bag the award.
Shishir Ranjan, General Manager, MGM Beach Resort, said, “With a tremendous team in place, we were able to subscribe to the operating philosophy that called for an impeccably maintained property and extraordinary customer service.” The Resort was shortlisted among the finalists for the same award last year.
The award winning resort may go in for an ISO certification shortly, and is hopeful that its corporate traffic, which is at 50 per cent currently, will go up further. Shishir added, “Our tariff structure gives us a unique positioning. We are not too expensive and priced just right to attract all forms of traffic. Corporate guests are increasing and I think corporate traffic will go up further.”
Currently, the resort enjoys occupancy of 65 per cent, which according to Shishir, was healthy for the ‘just-out-of-town’ property. Of this, 15 per cent constitute international guests, 35 per cent are domestic tourists (holiday guests), with corporate bookings making up the rest. Of the total bookings, 10-15 per cent are attributed to Choice Hospitality, and the rest are generated locally.
The corporate traffic is going up consistently. Added Shishir, “People are getting bored of having their corporate dos at city hotels and are looking for alternatives. In a resort ambience, you have the opportunity to create a mix of business and pleasure. This is a trend that we see here.”
At the resort, a conscious attempt is being made to restrict the number of residential corporate conferences during weekends to a maximum of 25 rooms (of the total of 76), to encourage the holidaying family guests to have their share of fun. Non-residential corporate dos, though, are encouraged during the weekends. While the December 2004 Tsunami affected the inflow of guests in January and February this year, things have been returning to normalcy since March.
For the award, properties were rated according to several criteria, including staff knowledge, professionalism, training, safety and security, maintenance, energy conservation and physical conditions. Choice Hotels International, which started as a small chain of roadside hotels in the 1930s in the USA, entered India in 1997.