Tata group’s hospitality firm Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) on Friday said its 'Taj' brand has been rated as the strongest hotel brand in the world.
According to the 'Hotels 50 2021' report by Brand Finance, Taj topped the strongest brands list for having stood resilient in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, besides other achievements.
The Taj brand has re-entered the ranking for the first time since 2016 when it was at 38th spot.
Brand Finance, a global brand valuation consultancy firm, evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation.
"According to these criteria, Taj (brand value USD 296 million) is the world's strongest hotel brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.3 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating," Brand Finance said in the report.
The Taj is followed by Premier Inn at second place, Melia Hotels International (3rd), NH Hotel Group (4th) and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (5th).
Commenting on the feat, IHCL Managing Director & CEO Puneet Chhatwal said, "Taj being rated as the world's strongest hotel brand is a testament to the unwavering trust our guests have consistently placed in us and the warmth and sincere care our employees have embodied day-after-day."
He further said, "We will continue our endeavour to elevate the world class experiences of luxury hospitality and deliver the magic of 'Tajness' to all our stakeholders."
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said Taj, a brand with a century old legacy and a custodian of the revered Indian hospitality has stood resilient in spite of the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic. Global travellers have relied upon and tested brands in different ways and Taj has emerged on top.
According to the report, Taj is renowned for its world-class customer service and the luxury hotel chain scores very well in Brand Finance's 'Global Brand Equity Monitor' for consideration, familiarity, recommendation, and reputation especially across its home market of India.
"Taj's successful implementation of its 5-year plan -- which focuses on selling non-core assets, becoming less ownership driven and reducing dependence on the luxury space -- followed by the speedy adoption of its new R.E.S.E.T 2020 strategy, which provides a transformative framework to help the brand overcome the challenge of the pandemic, has contributed to the brand's re-entrance into the ranking for the first time since 2016 in 38th spot," the report said.
When it came to the world's most valuable hotel brands, Hilton topped the list despite recording a 30 per cent drop in brand value to USD 7.6 billion, the report said.
Hilton's rival, Marriott, dropped to 5th spot from 2nd (last year), after losing more than half of its brand value, down 60 per cent to USD 2.4 billion.
On the other hand, Hyatt checked into the 2nd spot with a 4 per cent increase at USD 4.7 billion, while Holiday Inn was at 3rd despite a 16 per cent dip at USD 3.77 billion and Hampton by Hilton at 4th with a decline of 26 per cent at USD 2.86 billion.
The report said as holidays are cancelled and people are instructed to work from home, the hospitality sector has reached an almost complete standstill both from tourism, as well as corporate travel.
"As a result, the total value of the top 50 most valuable hotel brands has decreased 33 per cent year-on-year, down from USD 70.2 billion in 2020 to USD 47.4 billion in 2021," it added.