Leisure segment to be dominated by domestic tourists
Travellers from tier 2 and 3 cities have been increasing every day, says Pooja Ray, Managing Director, Mayfair Hotels & Resorts
With a chain of 11 luxury boutique hotels and resorts, the Mayfair Group has been catering to the requirements of today’s business and leisure travellers with its pan-India network of signature hotels and resorts in scenic sea sides, misty hills and vibrant urban settings. The Group forayed into the hospitality industry in 1982 with a small hotel at Rourkela. Subsequently, 11 boutique and one state-of-the art convention properties were set up at Puri, Darjeeling, Bhubaneswar, Gangtok, Goa, Gopalpur, Kalimpong and Raipur. And today, Mayfair is synonymous with ultimate luxury in the lap of Nature. The motto: Stay with Us, Stay with Nature is the Group’s commitment to eco-friendly practices at its properties in the form of rainwater harvesting, organic farming, recycling and reusing of products.
With the present focus of operations concentrated on the markets in eastern India, does the Group have expansion plans in other regions? “We are in the process of expanding more in the Northeast in Tier 1 cities like Guwahati. This is recast in a format where we get into management contracts for the first time. In this format, the boundaries of operating hotels across the country have no limits and gradually a pan-Indian presence is likely to be established,” shares Pooja Ray, Managing Director, Mayfair Hotels & Resorts Pvt Ltd.
On tapping the potential of Tier 2 cities with special focus on eastern India, Ray says that over the last few years, travellers from Tier 2 and 3 cities have been high spending customers and are increasing in numbers every day. “As Bhagalpur, Malda, Kathiar and Purnea have immense tourism potential, we are seriously exploring the possibilities of tapping the market there,” says Ray.
In the absence of inbound international travel as well as the drop in outbound travel, the Group is planning to attract more domestic travellers to the Mayfair fold by offering them the same or better experience at their resorts. “The serious outbound tourist who is frustrated at long days of confinement seeks to break free and that potential segment is easily available to be tapped. By introducing them to an island resort at Raipur with a golf course to the first tea resort in Siliguri to the casino resort in Gangtok or the beach resorts in Puri and Gopalpur, we want the potential traveller to get spoilt for choice, and this helps us fill the void left by the inbound traveller,” shares Ray.
TOP USPS OF MAYFAIR HOTELS
1. Its unique architectural imprints and aesthetically appealing interiors, resulting in huge rooms and washrooms which are beyond normal hotel standards while ensuring value for money.
2. An excellent staff that exudes genuine warmth and refuse to say ‘no’ to most guest requests unless it is impossible.
3. Resorts that are theme bound, be it an island resort for a dream wedding or the venue for a fairy tale wedding, a casino and spa resort, exclusive boutique heritage hotels with a history or beach resorts that offer limitless options in terms of surfing, seafood, and blissful solitude.
At Mayfair, the MICE segment has always contributed in a major way, informs Ray, adding, “However, the leisure segment will now be dominated by the domestic tourists who are discovering places within the country. In short, it will be a 60:40 ratio in terms of segment contribution.”
The major learning experience from the pandemic for the Managing Director, Mayfair Hotels & Resorts has been the reorientation in thinking and operations of traditional hospitality methods. “Multiskilling with optimum staff strength, introduction of immune building and healthy menus, ensuring least personal contact services while not compromising traditional warmth and stress on hygiene are the new thought processes that have been the post-pandemic fallouts in a positive way at the properties,” says Ray.
Talking about technology playing a vital role in changing the face of hospitality industry, Ray opines, “Technology has made communication faster, easier, and more personalised. Online reservation systems, review platforms, hotel information and details of in-house facilities are all accessible instantly to the customer. Social media has played up to the hilt and marketing a good product is now both easy and informal. In food, world products through online ordering has been made really feasible while techniques like hydroponics has ensured herbs earlier restricted to temperate climate can now grow in a created environment where season is no longer a criteria for production of exotic herbs.”
The Group’s future plans include a five-star deluxe metro hotel, a resort and a heritage hotel at Guwahati, a large convention centre at Bhubaneswar and potential collaboration on management contracts pan-India.
This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'SMART MANTRAS ISSUE VOL 7, ISSUE 4'
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