Five-Day Diwali Festival at Novotel Queenstown

( Novotel Queenstown Lakeside joined Indian travellers in celebrating the Diwali Hindu New Year this week, hosting a five-day festival of lights.

The celebration began Sunday 3rd November, and highlighted Novotel Queenstown Lakeside’s accreditation in Optimum Service Standards for Indian visitation – designed to provide a greater holiday experience for guests from India.

As part of the five-day festival, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside’s lobby and restaurant were decorated with Rangoli motifs, and traditional Indian sweets such as Rava Laddoo, Gajar ka halwa and Besan ladoo were offered to guests. In recognising the importance of the festival in the Indian community, guests also received a personalised welcome card from general manager Jim Moore, and a small platter of Indian sweets.

Accor Vice President New Zealand & Fiji, Garth Simmons, believes Accor’s focus on Optimum Service Standards allows Novotel Queenstown Lakeside to better cater to the specific cultural needs and growing number of Indian travellers. An additional 11 Accor hotels in the Pacific region are currently accredited to provide Optimum Service Standards for Indian guests.

“Accor is the first hotel group in New Zealand and Australia to introduce these service standards, which enable accredited hotels to meet the high service expectations of Indian guests year-round.

“Last year we experienced a 43% growth in room nights from the Indian market with a number of large groups staying with us at Novotel Queenstown. We are on track to match the same number of rooms as in 2012 and expect Indian visitor numbers to increase further by the end of 2013.”

Like other accredited Accor hotels, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside offers an array of offerings to best service the needs of an increasing number of Indian guests. These offerings include translation of hotel menus, welcome kits and business cards, Indian newspapers and television channels, Indian adaptor power plugs, and Indian meals in the restaurant: all aimed to make guests from India feel at home.

In addition, regular training and education programs help hotel staff learn basic Indian greetings and cultural practices, so they can better understand and respectfully serve guests.

Mr Simmons says that while there are currently no direct flights between New Zealand and India, he believes numbers will increase significantly with the continued imporvement of services, and greater cultural awareness, to make Indian guests feel welcome when visiting New Zealand’s sceneic cities.

With the Indian inbound market representing a significant opportunity for growth, the Accor hotel group seeks to increase the number of accredited hotels in the Pacific from 12 to more than 20 by 2014.

Media Release on 17 November 2013 by Accor Hotels

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