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Sarovar, India’s leading hotel chain, hits 6x growth in direct bookings’ revenue

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Sarovar, India’s leading hotel chain, hits 6x growth in direct bookings’ revenue

Organic Web Traffic Nearly Doubles For The Louvre Hotels-Backed Hospitality Chain

Most of us do not take the road less traveled. But then you have Sarovar Hotels and Resorts who did, and they became trailblazers in the Indian hospitality industry.

Sarovar operates 96 hotels across 55 destinations worldwide. The country’s leading hospitality chain was founded by Anil Madhok (Executive Chairman) and Ajay Bakaya (Managing Director) nearly a quarter of a century ago. Sarovar Hotels was the first mover in India to adopt the asset-light model, where it manages and services other hotel properties through strategic alliances with other chains.

Sarovar started operations when it took franchises of Park Plaza and Park Inn brands for India. A decade later (circa 2005), Sarovar began promoting its own brands: Portico, Hometel and Premiere. Fast-forward to another decade and the Louvre Hotels Group, one of Europe’s leading hospitality brands, purchased a stake in Sarovar in 2017. Another milestone in this impressive growth story.

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The next part of this adventure began when Sarovar decided to onboard Simplotel. According to Alam Khan, Director of Revenue and Distribution at Sarovar, “The decision to go with Simplotel was a collective (board) choice. We were very impressed with Simplotel’s growth journey — their persistence to grow in such a short period of time and help hotels boost direct bookings.”
 

Shatabdi Dutta, General Manager (Marketing) at Sarovar, believes that Simplotel’s USP is its digital marketing service. “Simplotel helped us rank in terms of traffic generation across online channels and drive conversions. We received great technical support from the team, which we lacked earlier. The website design is great and user friendly. We have received positive feedback from guests that the booking journey does not take much time, is hassle free, and most importantly, the mobile site is responsive!”

Simplotel was only a catalyst in this subsequent rapid growth spurt. The entire legwork was taken up by the Sarovar management team. The leading hospitality chain had to align nearly 90% of its hotel properties and their microsites, policies & promotions with its brand strategy. Simultaneously, Simplotel revamped the entire website content. Regular weekly and quarterly meetings were held between Sarovar and Simplotel. The management team had provided various ideas on plans (Happiness @ Sarovar) & features (exclusive offers for remarketing) for incorporation. It was ultimately ‘teamwork that made the dream work’.
 

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Within a year of onboarding Simplotel, Sarovar had hit over 3x growth in revenue from direct bookings. In another year, this growth doubled to 6x since it went live with Simplotel. “We were able to use Simplotel’s technology to begin promotions and campaigns that gave us a major boost”, says Khan. The average monthly organic traffic also nearly doubled for The Louvre Hotels-backed hospitality chain. However, this was only possible as Sarovar had managed to put their vision into action and achieve the almost impossible in such a short span of time.

On personal learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, both Khan and Dutta agree that they have learned to live life more passionately and prioritize family. On the professional front, they have learned to think out of the box to jumpstart Sarovar’s operations and forge deeper connections with their partners.

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