Travel Trade Journal
Curated tours for new-age travellers at Vedic Village
Social media marketing has emerged as the buzzword in today’s business scenario and hospitality groups need to provide a robust value proposition that will make them connect with travellers from anywhere in the world. Rajib Roy Choudhury, Senior General Manager, Vedic Village Spa Resort discusses the current developmental trends and challenges in the hospitality industry and also touches upon the preferences of each generation of today’s travellers that need to be taken care of.
After a two-year slump, the hospitality industry in India is back in the reckoning and is making the most of the post-pandemic opportunity. Luxury hospitality groups have been trying to woo travellers ever since inception. According to Rajib Roy Choudhury, “It is assumed that nearly 4.62 billion populace across the world makes use of social media channels. Engaging with the right audience, posting content during peak hours, leveraging influencer marketing, investing in paid advertorials, storytelling in our content and adopting social listening can help us to capture the social media-savvy audience. Video marketing is the most convenient way to promote the property, amenities and services on offer, without the need to travel to the property. Creating video tours of the hotel rooms, highlighting the brand history, showcasing food and beverage options, providing info on local attractions and sharing behind-the-scenes footage are some of the surefire ways to target desired travellers. Our luxury resort has taken the cue to share videos on popular social media handles like Instagram Reels and YouTube shorts. To receive more number of views, we add snippets of the videos, textual content and use the right hashtag.” The hospitality group has also added Google Trends as part of Social Media Marketing in order to analyse data that enables the group to compare the frequency of search terms compared to other similar keywords.
Roy Choudhury stated, “Artificial Intelligence is an effective technology that can boost the digital transformation of hospitality businesses with the promise of a smart future. It is Artificial Intelligence that is bringing a turnaround in customer experience and streamlining operations. Our property provides a Chat Bot facility through its website that offers instant and seamless solutions to the queries of travellers.”
The preferences of each generation of travellers vary with age and hospitality players are bent upon customising their services to cater to their preferences. Roy Choudhury said, “Around 60 per cent of Indian tourists have not taken up leisure travel longer than four nights and nearly 72 per cent of Gen Y have opted for one micro-cation in the past couple of years. At the same time, about 69 per cent of Gen X and 60 per cent of baby boomers have gone for micro-cations. With a view to recharge the batteries of travellers within a short period without burning a hole in their pockets, we have rolled out short-term deals in the form of micro-cations including Summer Escapade, Experience by Vedic and Uttara Darshan. Buddymoon has become prevalent with high-end destination weddings that are giving way to friends who join couples on their honeymoon. We have workation packages for business travellers called Bleisure Travel that blends business along with leisure travel. We offer holiday deals closer to home for those expecting their little ones. The concept of social travel has caught up with Gen Y and Gen Z and cashing in on the trend, our property has yoga retreats where travellers can plan an excursion with their friends.”
Besides, trip stacking is another travel trend that has caught up with Gen Z and millennials that enables them to book a number of trips with free refunding and prevents travellers from the risk of cancellation. Roy Choudhury further said, “Apart from Vedic Wellness Ayurveda and Naturopathy, we have devised spiritual travel that blends pilgrimage with a holiday.”
With an aim to maintain optimum room is to staff ratio and to ensure service efficiency, an organisation needs to perform horizontally as well as vertically with an experienced, trained and sound quality workforce. Roy Choudhury added, “We emphasise on certain criteria including customer satisfaction, bundled and unbundled services, zero guest complaints and high customer retention that place the organisation on a better performance curve. There are training programmes to empower employees in order to drive the guest experience. Creating a positive work culture that values and rewards employees for their efforts is essential since it contributes to motivating them to deliver high-quality service. Online travel agents have an annual share of 27 per cent. However, direct booking channels are most profitable.”