Asia Pacific to overtake European, US tourism markets soon

Souvagya Mohapatra, Managing Director, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts for India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan talks about the hospitality market in the subcontinent and his India plans

Walk us though the current portfolio of Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts.

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts is a dynamic and fast-growing Indian Ocean Hotels & Resorts group with registered office at Singapore and corporate office in the Maldives. Atmosphere’s first property, Atmosphere Kanifushi, opened its doors in December 2013. The group opened its second property, OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli, in November 2015; followed by their flagship Lifestyle Luxury sub-brand, OZEN by Atmosphere, in July 2016; and then OBLU Select at Sangeli, in July 2018. The newest addition to the portfolio, VARU by Atmosphere, opened in October 2019. The Group is adding two more properties in Maldives and two properties in Sri Lanka. Having successful ventures at Maldives and upcoming Resorts at Sri Lanka, now the Group wants to venture into India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Share your plans for Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts across your portfolio countries by brand and location. Tell us its positioning across brands.

We already have two actively progressing projects in Sri Lanka. Our immediate priority is to complete these two. As regards to our expansion in India, our focus is to explore across the country and wait for the right opportunities. India is blessed with varied tourism potential, has always been replete with all that a travel connoisseur could ask for and with the improvement in the overall core infrastructure and connectivity, it makes for good investment opportunity. Our business development team is on the job of identifying properties in potential destinations such as Goa, Kerala, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. Preferably, our Ozen brand will debut in these destinations.

With regards to brand positioning, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts offers guest-centric resort experiences through unique resort plans, offering guests a range of all-encompassing experiences, with varieties of dining options as well as a number of complimentary amenities and activities that ensure a relaxed, hassle-free holiday experience at each resort, all while staying true to the brand’s core philosophy: The Joy of Giving.

Ozen Reserve Bolifushi - Ocean Pool Suite with Slide

Your views on the hospitality market in the South Asia region and the opportunities you see for your business.

I have always spoken about the booming tourism market in the Asia Pacific region which is all set to overtake the European and American tourism markets in the coming years. Nothing attests this statement better than the fact that in 2017, it alone recorded 324 million tourist arrivals which is close to a quarter of the world’s total and among them, the South Asian sub region was an outperformer, registering around 28 million tourist arrivals. For its competitive pricing, rich tourism offerings, rising middle class and the increased investment in the growth of travel and tourism industry, South Asia region in particular and Asia Pacific in general is poised to grow by leaps and bounds. As a business, we see great opportunities in the days to come, especially in segments like leisure travel, MICE and destination weddings. 

Oblu Select Sangeli - Outlets and Dining - The Courtyard Dining Pavilion Morning

Your past experience will come into play as you unfurl plans. Freewheel us on this. 

It does provide an edge to me, especially given the fact that Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts in expanding its footprint in the Indian market. When I had joined Mayfair in 1994, the brand had only two Hotels in its portfolio. For over 27 years, I had been at the helm of affairs at the organisation, planning and executing its expansion plans and during these years, its portfolio grew to 12 properties. Frankly speaking, I couldn’t have made a better use of this experience than at Atmosphere which too is an expansionary phase. Those familiar with our sector would agree with me that establishing a new property in India is the most difficult part as there are end of clearances involved at different levels. This is to say that having a prior experience of the system is a very important asset for anyone in the industry and therefore, my past experience will undoubtedly help me in manifold ways. 

This apart, I have been associated with several industry bodies like such as Federation of Hotel & Restaurant association of India (FHRAI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) as the executive council member and this more than anything else has helped me understand the nerve of our industry apart from learning the best practices from industry experts and all these experiences collectively will certainly help me contribute more meaningfully to Atmosphere in my new role.

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'RESPONSIBLE HOTELIERING ISSUE VOL 7, ISSUE 3'

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SOUVAGYA MOHAPATRA Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts


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