‘The new trend is customers prefer more privacy’
India has lot of unexplored destinations waiting to be explored and discovered. It is time to focus and promote such domestic destinations, says Sunjukta Chakraborty, CEO, Delaire (a new tourism representation company), in an interview with Prasenjit Chakraborty.
Q. Your view on the representation business against the backdrop of the pandemic?
A. Yes, definitely the representation sector did get hit hard, but everything is a learning curve; these testing times do inspire us to work a lot harder. It has also shown us in what different ways we can approach our clients and market them differently.
Q. What changes have you implemented in your marketing and service strategies, keeping the current situation in mind?
A. As we are a fairly new player in the representation business, the digital approach has been a game changer. It is playing a pivotal role in marketing our group of hotels which we represent and helping us generating new business. All our hotels have embraced ‘the new normal’, and are adhering to the Covid-19 norms so that the clients who visit our properties feel safe and secured to enjoy their stay.
Q. Which hotels that Delaire represents in India have witnessed brisk business in the last few months?
A. Dune Eco Village and Spa – Pondicherry for us has witnessed brisk business in the last few months as the USP of this property is that its spread across 35acres of land having 62 uniquely designed bungalows/villas and cottages right on the private beach front and the spacing between two villas are sufficient for the clients to feel safe as per the new norms. The guests feel comfortable to be in the lap of the nature at Dune Eco Village and Spa away from the hustle bustle of the crowded cities. Our kitchen gets stocked up with the fresh produce grown in our own organic farm inside the property.
Q. What important trends you observed in terms of customer behaviour?
A: Now the new trend is that customers prefer more privacy and stay in private pool villas or beach villas. So this new trend has worked in our favour as we boast of thematic accommodations like – Bamboo houses, Mud houses, Kerala style houses, Baywatch houses, Nawabi houses, Dome houses and high-end suites such as Gramam Suite, Tower suite, Karikudi suite along with pool villas.
Q. Are you getting inquiries for properties which are located in lesser-known destinations?
A. As we are in the B2B business. our customers being travel agents are promoting lesser-known destinations more compared to the commercial ones. We are getting inquiries for our lesser-known property like Dune Elephant Valley which is situated 20kms off Kodaikanal.
Q. What lessons has the pandemic taught?
A. We think that the domestic market is a treasure for us. This being the main lesson we in general learnt is that we used to promote international destinations more compared to domestic. We have heaps to offer as our country is beautiful and diverse in terms of culture, land and nature. So we should focus more on promoting domestic destinations which in turn are pocket-friendly. India has a lot of unexplored places waiting to be explored and cherished by our clients.
As a representation business, we learnt that we need to bring every hidden gem (properties) to the limelight which would work amicably for the clients as well as us the ones having representation business.