The Tamil Nadu-Based Chain of 5-Star Hotels Leveraged Simplotel Hotel E-commerce to Hit 5% of its Total Occupancy in Direct Bookings.
The Residency Group of Hotels is a chain of 5-star hotels across South India. It began its journey with one of the finest hotels in Chennai — The Residency, followed by six more hotels across Tamil Nadu and two in Puducherry. Rebranded in 2015, the name ‘Residency’ is symbolic of benevolence, hospitality and heartfelt service.
Mr. V Balaji, General Manager (Sales & Marketing) at The Residency Hotels, has nearly three decades of experience working with various global travel and hospitality brands such as Thomas Cook, IHG Hotels & Resorts and ITC Hotels. At his current organisation, he says The Residency Hotels embodies the philosophy of ‘hospitality with heart’.
“We decided to onboarded Simplotel Hotel E-commerce (Simplotel Website Builder and Simplotel Booking Engine) because we loved the look-and-feel of the website & the minimal three-step booking journey that provided a booking experience similar to online travel agencies (OTAs). To add to that, the website has a super-fast load time where our pictures and videos do not get pixelated or do not have buffering issues, respectively. For instance, the video on the banner of The Residency Towers, Rameswaram, has really helped us to engage more organic visitors and convert them into customers,” says Mr. Balaji.
Rameswaram and Puducherry, which are leisure destinations, generate about 50% of their business in online bookings. The other properties, which are mainly 5-star business hotels, generate about 20% of their revenue online. “Previously, we did about 150-200 room nights each month across all properties. After onboarding Simplotel, we have scaled 700 monthly room nights. This is a phenomenal statistic and from 1% today Simplotel has helped us hit 5% in direct bookings out of our overall business,” says Mr. Balaji.
Mr. Balaji loves the support from the Simplotel team. “They are always available to resolve our concerns. We really appreciate their customer-centric approach and proactiveness.” Another contributing factor towards their growth in direct bookings is Simplotel’s integration with various payment gateways. “The Simplotel Booking Engine’s ability to create multiple offers for a single property or the entire chain; and its connectivity with various other payment gateways has really helped us optimise our revenues well.”
Having experienced nearly all the ups and downs that the hospitality industry has to offer, Mr. Balaji believes that one should keep their calm when the going gets tough and be aggressive when the tough gets going. “I would really advise people to get into culinary at present as I see huge potential here.”