South Korea’s premier 5-star hotel group, The Shilla Hotels & Resorts, has formed a strategic marketing alliance with India’s Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, one of Asia’s largest and finest group of hotels.
The two prestigious brands plan to develop cross-promotional opportunities to harness each other’s strengths and dominance in their respective markets.
Shilla, an affiliate company to the Samsung Group and member of The Leading Hotels of the World, is renowned as South Korea’s leading hotel group, with two luxury 5-star properties – The Shilla Seoul, in its own 23-acre private park in the heart of the capital, and its sister resort on the southern island of Jeju, The Shilla Jeju, a major venue for international conventions and exhibitions and one of Korea’s most popular holiday destinations.
There are 15 hotels in the Taj Luxury Hotels portfolio, which is part of the Tata Group, India's premier business house.
In India they include the historic The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai, which has just celebrated its centenary, as well as the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur and Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur.
Hotels and resorts outside India include the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in the Maldives, 51 Buckingham Gate in London, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in Mauritius and The Pierre in New York.
The Shilla-Taj partnership will provide guests with a total of 17 hotels offering not only high-quality service but also distinct experiences in unique destinations, said Mr. Man-So Lee, President & CEO of Hotel Shilla Company Limited.
Under the alliance, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces and The Shilla Hotels will develop reciprocal and joint marketing activities that include joint participation in trade shows, sales events, culinary promotions and niche marketing programmes.
The companies will assist each other in exchanging sales leads and conducting road shows across India and Korea. Their respective newsletters and websites will communicate news to a larger client base.
“This alliance will support and enhance both The Shilla and Taj Hotels brands in different parts of the world,” said Mr. Lee.
“The alliance comes at the most opportune time when India’s tourist industry is booming due to a rush of foreign tourists into the country and increased travel by Indians to domestic and overseas destinations. "
“By creating an alliance with an India-based hotel company with properties that have similar brand positioning and quality of customer service to our own, we offer our guests reciprocal privileges and benefits.”
Mr. Raymond Bickson, Managing Director & CEO, The Indian Hotels Company Limited, said: “This is a win-win alliance for both companies providing the opportunity to work with The Shilla to create greater awareness of the Taj brand in Korea, which is one of our key markets.
“This alliance will bring in a synergistic approach to the marketing efforts of two of Asia’s finest hospitality brands.”
Meanwhile, Shilla is in expansionist mode, having just exported the brand beyond South Korea for the first time with the management contract to operate the new 5-star The Shilla Suzhou in China, opening in July 2006.
Announcing the deal, Mr. Lee said The Shilla would “continue to explore opportunities to develop and export the brand”.
The Shilla is one of Asia’s most admired hotel groups, with The Shilla Seoul consistently voted South Korea’s top hotel by international polls and repeatedly named in Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious Gold List of the ‘World’s Best Places to Stay’.
Travel + Leisure also included The Shilla Seoul in Its ‘500 World’s Best’ awards for 2005 – as ‘Best Hotel’ in South Korea, where it was also the only hotel to achieve the ranking.
America’s influential Zagat Guide rated The Shilla ‘Best Business Hotel in Seoul’ – while the prestigious annual Euromoney poll recently named it Seoul’s favourite hotel for the third year running.