Accor hotels is set to celebrate the biggest and brightest of all Hindu festivals – Diwali and welcome Indian travellers with dazzling displays of lights, motifs of Rangoli designs, traditional sweets and cuisine on the menu.
The five day Hindu New Year, commonly referred to as the 'Festival of Lights' will be celebrated from Thursday 23 October at 13 of Accor's hotels which are accredited in Optimum Service Standards for Indian guests.
Hotel lobbies will sparkle with lamps, tea light candles and floating floral displays to symbolise the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. Traditional motifs of Rangoli designs including bells, flower garlands and wall hangings will be on display as a welcoming for guests during Diwali.
Diwali is all about sharing sweets, and hotels will prepare an assortment of baked sweets, snacks and savouries to offer guests at the reception desk and in restaurants. Guests can also experience a variety of Indian cuisine for breakfast and dinner as hotels serve up traditional food and drink such as vegetarian fritters, curries and Masala Chai tea.
Accor launched its Optimum Service Standards for Indian visitation program to better cater to the specific cultural needs and growing numbers of Indian travellers to Australia and New Zealand.
Accredited hotels have adopted services to meet the needs of this emerging travel 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 travelling 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.
"Our Optimum Service Standards program has wide industry recognition in both Australia and even more so in India. Accor is still the only hotel operator in Australia and New Zealand recognised for these service standards, which enable accredited hotels to meet the high service expectations of Indian guests year-round," said Chief Operating Officer Accor Pacific, Simon McGrath.
"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. We look forward to welcoming travellers celebrating the Diwali festival to our hotels next week," concluded Mr McGrath.
Tourism Research Australia estimates that visitor arrivals from India will increase 6 per cent in 2014/15, with an annual compound growth rate of 7 per cent expected until 2017/18. In the first six months of 2014, Indian visitor numbers grew across all major segments (Holiday, VFR, Education and Business). Once again, the leisure segment was driving this growth, with leisure arrivals up 28 per cent from January to June, and 27 per cent for the year-ended June 2014.
Throughout Diwali, Accor hotels including Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Sofitel Brisbane Central, The Fairmont Resort MGallery, The Menzies, Novotel Melbourne on Collins, Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour, Novotel Brighton Beach, Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Mercure Sydney, Mercure Cairns Harbourside, Ibis World Square, Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour and Novotel Queenstown Lakeside in New Zealand, will be focused on providing guests with a genuine Indian experience to celebrate the festival occasion.
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