There are a million reasons why Indians love vacationing. According to research by SHRM, (Study for Human Resource Management), people who travel frequently are almost universally more productive, perform better at work and are more satisfied than those who skip taking vacations. With the 39th World Tourism Day being celebrated on September 27, Echo spoke to Kavinder Singh, CEO, and MD, Mahindra Holidays, about the travel trends in India.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
How has the Indian traveler evolved with time?
Earlier, travelers used to refer to friends, family, travel magazines and travel agents for advice, suggestions and help with bookings. Today, this process has moved almost entirely online through various digital platforms. This trend is reflected in our business as well. Our website and mobile app, together account for over 80% of the reservations done by members. This enables us to use real-time data analytics to enhance our members' experience. People want to create memorable experiences through their holidays which is why we strive to make every moment magical for our members.
Research shows that travelers are more open to exploring new destinations, and are requesting unique, personalized experiences. How is Mahindra Holidays providing them a combination of both?
We have created holiday destinations by developing resorts in unique locations like Munnar, Binsar, Baiguney, and Madikeri, among others, over the past 23 years. Indians are also willing to spend more for a better, more unique holiday experience and we are stepping up to deliver on this. We have created a bouquet of experiences for our members to enjoy inside and outside our resorts. For example, we recently introduced a one-of-a-kind program for our members called Club M Select which includes exclusive deals across 4,00,000 hotels worldwide, 12,000 plus cruises globally, 60,000 plus excursions in 180 plus cities internationally and dining across 300 fine dining restaurants in the top ten Indian cities. As a part of our experiential offerings we provide access to the Rann festival, Kumbh Mela, cruises, scuba diving, and in-city experiences such as dining on a helipad, micro-lite flying and many more.
Sustainability has been a major guiding force across all Mahindra businesses. Travelers are also choosing sustainable travel options. How has this intersect between business and the planet panning out?
Sustainability comes in various forms and sizes at Mahindra Holidays. It also includes generating employment opportunities and alleviating poverty.
Close to our property at Coorg in Karnataka, there is a tribal village called Surlabi. Here, the people subsist on the sale of local honey, spices and vegetables grown on their land. When our Coorg team realised that the honey produced – locally called Kala – was of a unique variety and was to be found only in this village, we began supporting the villagers.