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Accor hotels gear up for Diwali

Sydney Harbour

Indian travellers celebrating the Diwali Hindu New Year in Australia are set to receive a warm welcome at Accor hotels celebrating the festival of lights.

The five-day celebration will light up from Sunday November 3 at 12 of Accor’s accredited hotels in Optimum Service Standards for Indian visitation. Hotel lobbies will dazzle with stylish arrangements of candles and Rangoli motifs, and offerings will include traditional sweets and savoury treats, special breakfast and dinner menus, Indian costume and entertainment.

Guests at Mercure Sydney will enjoy traditional festive dishes with restaurant staff dressed in festive Hindi attire. High Tea at The Menzies will incorporate Indian sweets; Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour is offering an Indian-style vegetarian menu for the Sunday night, while Novotel Melbourne on Collins will entertain guests with Bollywood movies playing in the bar.

Special food offerings continue in Queensland with Sofitel Gold Coast, Sofitel Brisbane Central, Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort and Mercure Cairns Harbourside all modifying their breakfast or dinner menus to suit the festive theme to tie in with the Diwali festival celebrations.

To date, 12 of Accor’s Australian hotels have been accredited to provide Optimum Service Standards for Indian guests, paving the way for Accor to better cater to the specific cultural needs and growing number of Indian travellers.

“Accor is the first hotel group in Australia to introduce these service standards, which enable accredited hotels to meet the high service expectations of Indian guests year-round,” said Accor’s Chief Operating Officer – Pacific, Simon McGrath.

“Our hotels have experienced an uplift of 42% growth in overall room nights from our key Indian operators in the past 12 months. We expect this growth to continue on the back of the new Delhi-Sydney-Melbourne route Air India launched in August, in addition to regular one-stop flights through key Asian ports.

“We have been very fortunate to build up some great relationships with our Indian partners and have already seen the impact that our Indian Optimum Service Standards have made in terms of bookings,” said McGrath.

According to Tourism Australia statistics, Indian visitor arrivals to Australia had increased by 8.7 per cent for the year ended July 2013 compared to the same period previous year and a high proportion of those 165,000 travellers, 96,380 are travelling to Australia on leisure. This makes India the 10th largest inbound market for arrivals as at July this year.

Accor hotels have adopted services to meet the needs of this fast emerging market including the translation of hotel welcome kits, menus and business cards, Indian meals in the restaurant, Indian adaptor plugs, TV channels and newspapers to make guests from India feel at home.

In addition, regular training and education programs are held for Accor staff to learn basic Indian greetings and cultural practices so they can better understand and respectfully serve these guests.

With the Indian inbound market representing one of the greatest growth opportunities, the Accor group is looking to boost the number of accredited hotels from 12 to over 20 by 2014.

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