Be­la­gavi on your itin­er­ary, yet?

Pallav Sing­hal, Ho­tel Man­ager, Fair­field by Mar­riott Be­la­gavi, throws light on the po­ten­tial Be­la­gavi holds as a MICE des­ti­na­tion and how the ho­tel aims to tap this mar­ket

Micetalk - - Contents - Tripti Me­hta

In­dian trav­ellers seek adventure and ex­plo­ration wher­ever they go. Des­ti­na­tions within the coun­try are as en­tic­ing as those abroad and Be­la­gavi prom­ises to be just that. Set along the Western Ghats, Be­la­gavi is a city that re­mains largely un­ex­plored. Its forts, tem­ples, and water­falls stand tall as trav­ellers pass by, with­out in­clud­ing them in their must-visit list.

Why Be­la­gavi for Mar­riott?

Be­la­gavi is the com­mer­cial hub and di­vi­sional head­quar­ters of North Kar­nataka, ranking second to Ben­galuru in terms of au­to­mo­tive ex­ports. As Be­la­gavi grows as a busi­ness and leisure des­ti­na­tion, there is a great de­mand for higher qual­ity mid-range ac­com­mo­da­tion in the city.

Tell us about the events space at the ho­tel.

Our two meet­ing rooms have state-of-the-art au­dio-visual equip­ment, high speed wire­less in­ter­net ac­cess, and multi-me­dia con­fer­enc­ing fa­cil­i­ties with 24-hour as­sis­tance and ser­vice that will take care of your busi­ness needs. The ban­quet­ing fa­cil­i­ties at the ho­tel, both in­door and out­door, are spread over an area of 1000 sqm. The beau­ti­fully ap­pointed 240 sqm Crys­tal Ball­room fea­tures a col­umn-free de­sign and is ad­joined by lush green lawns. There is a pre-func­tion area with a sep­a­rate en­trance, mak­ing your func­tion a pri­vate and ex­clu­sive af­fair.

What ac­tiv­i­ties do you have in store for MICE groups?

Fair­field by Mar­riott Be­la­gavi is the per­fect ho­tel for MICE groups. In terms of ac­tiv­ity within the ho­tel, we have huge gar­dens and grounds that are suit­able for events of var­ied sizes. It is a nice ter­rain with nat­u­ral hin­drances. We have also tied up with lo­cal com­pa­nies and agents that have group-build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties like paint ball. Hence, if MICE groups are look­ing for such ac­tiv­i­ties, we have a num­ber of op­tions for them.

Be­la­gavi is a med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion hub. All big medicine com­pa­nies have one foot in the city and time and again con­duct un­or­gan­ised ex­hi­bi­tions in the city. We aim to pro­vide them with or­gan­ised and well-planned events that cater to all their needs. One cat­e­gory in which we are al­ready pop­u­lar is that of bik­ers groups.

In­dian Scout, Har­ley, and Du­cati are the ones we have al­ready catered to. We need both leisure and busi­ness groups to come in on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

What do you have on of­fer for wed­dings? Be­la­gavi is a price-sen­si­tive mar­ket. We are try­ing to po­si­tion our­selves to those cus­tomers who would like to do a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding but, for what­ever rea­son, can­not af­ford to go to Agra, Jaipur, Jaisalmer or Goa. We want to pro­mote our­selves as a res­i­den­tial wed­ding des­ti­na­tion and there­fore, have launched at­trac­tive pack­ages with key part­ners. One of the pack­ages that we have launched for res­i­den­tial wed­dings costs `50,000 per room, per day, for two oc­cu­pants. This in­cludes room, all meals, hall, ba­sic dec­o­ra­tion, and ba­sic entertainment. There is an­other pack­age for the lo­cal mar­ket for `200,000 net. This would in­clude a func­tion of up to 200 peo­ple and en­tail food and bev­er­age, hall, ba­sic dé­cor, and ba­sic mu­sic. The pack­age sub­stan­tially boils down to `1,000 per head with ev­ery­thing in­cluded. We also have am­ple num­ber of venues for var­i­ous func­tions, start­ing from mehendi to sangeet, wed­ding to re­cep­tion. In ad­di­tion, we can pro­vide lo­cal shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ences at pref­er­en­tial rates. We haven’t re­ceived such a de­mand yet but, proac­tively, have al­ready dis­cussed this op­tion with lo­cal ven­dors. We also of­fer to take guests out, if re­quired, for a day to Goa or Kol­ha­pur, just to take them out of the ho­tel. Th­ese are the plethora of op­tions we are will­ing to pro­vide for a res­i­den­tial wed­ding group at lit­er­ally half the price. If need be, we can give up to 80 rooms for wed­ding ac­com­mo­da­tion.

What do you view as hin­drances to progress? The only de­ter­rent at this mo­ment is air con­nec­tiv­ity from other In­dian cities, es­pe­cially the north­ern ones. Con­nec­tiv­ity via road is al­ready su­per. We need to change the mind­set of the peo­ple to travel to this des­ti­na­tion. Be­la­gavi hasn’t tra­di­tion­ally been used by peo­ple as a des­ti­na­tion they can stay at. More than the prop­erty, it is the des­ti­na­tion that needs to be pro­moted.

We have launched at­trac­tive pack­ages with key part­ners for res­i­den­tial des­ti­na­tion wed­dings

You say it is im­por­tant to pro­mote the des­ti­na­tion. Is that be­ing done enough?

This is where we are in talks with the gov­ern­ment to un­der­stand and see what they are do­ing to pro­mote the des­ti­na­tion. The city has never been pro­moted for any­thing. Oth­er­wise, there is a lot of ac­tiv­ity which is hap­pen­ing around here. This has been an­nounced as one of the smart cities. We have launched pack­ages of sev­eral kinds that are avail­able on our web­site. There are six to seven lo­ca­tions of his­tor­i­cal im­por­tance within the city. Ad­di­tion­ally, a new air­port is be­ing con­structed with the pur­pose of start­ing an­other air­line to come here un­der the Prime Min­is­ter’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naa­grik) scheme.

What makes this ho­tel dif­fer­ent from oth­ers un­der the Fair­field brand?

We have changed so much about the Fair­field brand for this re­gion. Pure busi­ness or cor­po­rate travel is not go­ing to con­trib­ute to more than 40 per cent of the busi­ness; what is re­ally go­ing to drive growth is leisure that in­cludes the week­end stays, the MICE groups, and the sum­mer va­ca­tion­ists. We aim to po­si­tion the ho­tel more as a leisure des­ti­na­tion.

Pallav Sing­hal

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