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Marriott's senior executive, Dhruv Hoon to join Hilton soon

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The India operations of NYSE-listed global hospitality major, Hilton, has picked up another senior executive, Dhruv Hoon, from its main competitor Marriott International's India office. According to multiple industry sources, the vice-president for Marriott's hotel development in the Asia Pacific, Hoon is set to assume a similar role at Hilton's India office.

"Hilton is working on building its India portfolio and has now got him (Hoon) to head its development and related activities in this region. He has been with Marriott for long now and will join Hilton very soon," said a hotel industry source.

This move comes a little over a year after Hilton brought on board Navjit Ahluwalia as its senior vice president and country head - India. In his tenure of over 13 years, Ahluwalia was the man responsible for giving Marriott a strong foothold in the Indian hospitality market.

Oyo expands into Japan’s hospitality sector through Softbank JV

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On the heels of its recent partnership with Yahoo to enter into Japan’s home rental market, Oyo Hotels & Homes is now foraying into the country’s hospitality market through a joint venture with Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp and SoftBank Vision Fund to form Oyo Hotels Japan.

The new venture will be led by Prasun Choudhary as the operating partner, an Oyo founding member who is said to have successfully launched a number of global Oyo businesses.

Oyo Hotels Japan aims to harness its innovative business model and technology-led operational capabilities to offer convenient and comfortable accommodations to travellers and guests in Japan and create increased business opportunities for its partners, the company said in a statement.

Ken Miyauchi, president & CEO of SoftBank Corp said that Oyo Hotels Japan believes that the new venture will “provide brand-new hotel experience to travellers in Japan” through its dynamic pricing and reservation systems offerings, contributing to the elimination of labor shortages and flexible pricing.

“We are sure that Oyo Hotels Japan will contribute to the revitalisation of the travel market, including inbound tourism and regional revitalisation in Japan,” he commented.

Ritesh Agarwal, group CEO & founder, Oyo Hotels & Homes, said that the company sees “a huge opportunity” in Japan being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia.

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Lemon Tree to enter upscale hotel segment

  • The first hotel from the new upscale brand will be built in Udaipur by September

  • The new hotel chain from Lemon Tree will compete with brands such as Vivanta and Trident

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Private equity firm Warburg Pincus-backed Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd, India’s leading hotel chain in the mid-to-economy category by number of rooms, is diversifying into the upscale segment with the launch of a new brand this year, said a senior company executive.

The New Delhi-based hospitality firm, which listed on the domestic stock exchanges last year, is planning a soft launch of the new brand by September, Rattan Keswani, deputy managing director, Lemon Tree Hotels, said in an interview.

The first hotel from the new upscale brand will be at Udaipur, Rajasthan, he added.

The company is currently working on the new brand’s artwork and logo. He, however, declined to divulge the name of the brand, or the price points of the new hotel chain.

“Our larger piece will always be mid-scale and economy. We are not going to be in the luxury category. We will go one level above our Lemon Tree Premier," he said.

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