Upbeat on India
Dimple Ramburn, Director of Business Development and Emerging Markets, Starwood Hotels & Resorts – Mauritius, tells about the brand and its india plans.
With Indian tourist arrivals rising at a high rate into Mauritius, Ramburn shows optimism for further growth from the country. “India as a feeder market has incrementally increased, year over year, in all markets; and especially for Mauritius. As in June 2015, Indian tourist arrivals increased 17.5% over 2014, only to be outdone by Chinese visitors (60%). India is in our top 10 source markets for all 3 Resorts in Mauritius,” says Ramburn
Further she discussed about the MICE facilities at the group’s properties in Mauritius, saying, “Le Meridien Ile Maurice and Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa Mauritius capture more conference business as their facilities accommodate larger groups. Previously, they jointly held an Indian wedding for 3000 people. The St. Regis Mauritius Resort, in its three years of operation, has hosted large Indian weddings and receptions of 150-300 people.”
Ramburn also listed the marketing initiatives, saying, “We have built a dedicated site just for the villa— www.stregisvillamauritius.com. Aside from partnering with our luxury tour operators and agents, we have also reached out to high- end concierge service providers and villa estate agents.”
She laid stress on the importance of staff training, “A challenge, particularly for the Indian Ocean Resorts, is that there are limited resources for recruiting on an island destination and all hotels/ resorts are vying for the same pool of talent. With increased development, and allure of cruise ship employment, the pool becomes that much more limited, and hotels more competitive. Thus, providing proper training and an encouraging work environment are vital to our associates’ future success.”
Stressing on the assistance provided by travel agents and tour operators, Ramburn says, “We hold our relationships with travel agents and tour operators in high regard. For a destination like Mauritius, that is still relatively up and coming in markets outside Europe, these agents are our voice to the potential guests.” She adds, “In addition to the limited flight lift into the country, our partners make it seamless for our guests to book their holiday packages and assist our Sales Team on the island.”
Director of Business Development and Emerging Markets