Leela drops Kempinski flag

On Thursday Hotel Leelaventure Ltd., Mumbai, India, dropped the Kempinski Hotels flag for all but two of its Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts properties.

The move comes after Leela switched its global distribution code from Kempinski’s “KI” to “LR” in December 2011. However, Kempinski will continue to market Leela’s inventory through its own channels until the sale and marketing agreement contract between the two companies expires in 2016.

“We have had a very fruitful relationship with Kempinski over two decades. For future growth opportunities, the company was required to set up its own marketing and distribution system. This is an important component for future expansion. This has allowed us to set up our very own network. We are also a part of the Global Hotel Alliance,” said Rajiv Kaul, president of Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts.

Kempinski said the goal of the progressive phase-out of the sales and marketing agreement is “to allow Kempinski Hotels to directly penetrate the highly important Indian market with Kempinski-managed properties.”

On Thursday Kempinski announced a management for the 480-room Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi in East Delhi, India, set to open in 2012.

Reto Wittwer, president & CEO of Kempinski Hotels, said that he is “proud of the long and fruitful relationship which Kempinski Hotels and Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts have enjoyed over the years, and delighted that Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts has joined the Global Hotel Alliance, of which Kempinski Hotels is a founding member.”