MICE

‘We will distribute our products during the Tourism Australia Trade Trainings’

One of Australia’s leading hospitality groups, Toga Hospitality, is looking to tap the Indian market with particular focus on MICE traffic. Toga, which is one of Australia’s largest privately owned groups, has four brands – Medina Apartment Hotels (Australia), Adina Apartment Hotels (Europe and Sydney), Vibe Hotels (Australia) and Travelodge Hotels (Australia and New Zealand).

One of Australia’s leading hospitality groups, Toga Hospitality, is looking to tap the Indian market with particular focus on MICE traffic. Toga, which is one of Australia’s largest privately owned groups, has four brands – Medina Apartment Hotels (Australia), Adina Apartment Hotels (Europe and Sydney), Vibe Hotels (Australia) and Travelodge Hotels (Australia and New Zealand).

In this interview with India Tourism Review, Kylie Gill, Director, Sales and Marketing, tells Sahim Salim about the group’s venture into the Indian market, the potential they see and the importance they attach to the Indian travel trade.

Toga Hospitality is
particularly targeting MICE traffic from India. Can you list out the reasons
for this?

Yes, very much. Working in partnership with Global
Destinations we are hoping to build a strong MICE customer base for our Adina
and Medina Apartment Hotels, Vibe Hotels and Travelodge Hotels.

Can you tell us about
your properties and their locations?

Our hotels are located in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Our Adina and Medina brands are Apartment Hotels; our Vibe Hotels are full
service hotels in cosmopolitan locations with a vibrant design edge; and Travelodge
is our internationally recognized value brand.

Can you highlight
some of the important facilities your properties have to attract MICE traffic
from India? What sets you apart?

We have hotels in amazing locations that will inspire the
most seasoned traveler – Urban hotels in Park and Harbourside locations; Enjoy
the waterfront location of our Vibe Hotel on the Gold Coast, BBQ dinner
poolside or enjoy shopping in Melbourne’s famous laneways while meeting at the
historic Vibe Savoy Melbourne. We have a wide range of experiences that can be
tailored to meet your specific needs and budget!

What is your channel
of distribution in India? How important is the Indian travel trade for you?

India is extremely important to us. We are represented
in market by Global Destinations and take their expert guidance and direction
on how we can best serve our Indian guests. We are purely focused on the B2B
market in terms of Marketing and ensuring Sales through our partners i.e.
Australian Inbound Operators.

Can you list out some
of the initiatives you have undertaken for the Indian travel trade? Which other
initiatives can they look forward to? How has the response of the trade been?

We are delighted to report that response has been excellent. As
previously mentioned, we work with Global Destinations who have a number of
offices in India, with head office in Mumbai.  We focus our efforts on
Trade from a sales, advertising and education perspective and participate in
all key trade shows to showcase our hotels and increase the brand awareness of
Toga Hotels.

We will participate at Trade Shows such as SATTE and IITM.

There was a training
program in the pipeline for the trade. Can you share some details on this?

Yes, Global Destinations will be working with our trade
partners on training initiatives in India. We will participate and distribute
our product during the Tourism Australia Trade Trainings as well as trainings
held by State Tourism Boards.

Besides the above, we will also conduct one on one in-house
trainings to Tour Operators and Travel Agents across India.

What is your
marketing strategy in India with emphasis on attracting MICE traffic?

Our marketing strategy is across all market segments, from
value travelers, corporates, group travelers and relocations. With 53 hotels we
have a full range of product offers, so it really depends on what you are
looking for. Vibe has been the most successful hotel brand for us in the Indian
market with group travelers enjoying this modern approach to full service
hotels. At Vibe you can enjoy an Urban experience in an amazing range of
locations – Parkside, Harbourside, Darwin Waterfront or the amazing historic
appeal of Vibe Savoy Melbourne.

What are the main
points of concern raised by Indian corporates for arranging a MICE trip?

There are no points of concern; it is about understanding
some of the specific dietary and function room requirements for the meal
programs.

What are the main
challenges you face in tapping the MICE segment from India?

We just need to get the work out. Toga Hotels are the place
you want to meet!

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