Holidaying during festivals is a new trend: Kavinder Singh, MD & CEO, Mahindra Holidays
As I have said, this is a good season for us. Our H1 occupancy stood at 83% and it will remain the same in October, November and December. So, we don't have any issues related to occupancy. As I have said, this is a good season for us and the season has started and December will be the peak season and will be better than November.
"Mahindra Holiday's bookings for the third quarter is robust", says Kavinder Singh, MD & CEO, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Limited. During an interview with Swati Khandelwal, Zee Business, Singh said, “GoZest is a three-year product, which will act as a window to the world of Club Mahindra, where people can experience Club Mahindra before turning up to be its member". Edited Excerpts:
Q: What is the booking status at present and do you feel that the bookings for the upcoming holiday season will be an encouraging one, if yes, then what occupancy rate is expected?
A: Our business model is different from the traditional hospitality in which our members visit our resorts and our bookings are opened 3-4 months in advance. Thus, our bookings for October, November and December are quite robust. This season is known as the best season for us and the bookings are in the same line. There is no shortage of travelling.
Q: Then what is the occupancy rate and what are your expectation for November and December?
A: As I have said, this is a good season for us. Our H1 occupancy stood at 83% and it will remain the same in October, November and December. So, we don't have any issues related to occupancy. As I have said, this is a good season for us and the season has started and December will be the peak season and will be better than November. October was also a good season for us. Interestingly, I have noticed a unique pattern in which our resorts were full even on festive occasions like on the day of Diwali. This is a good pattern and there is a growth in travelling, which is improving the occupancy rate of our resorts.
Q: How much growth is expected in vacation ownership members in Q4FY20?
A: 8,300 members have been added in the first six months of the FY20. Generally, the second half of the year always remains good for us and we hope that the second half will be better than the first half, in terms of member addition. When it comes to member addition is how we get good referrals from the existing members because referrals are a good source for addition. Good experience provided to existing members help us in getting referrals. We are also working digitally for digital lead generation. We have launched a good campaign, 'Meet The Real Santa', for a visit to Finland. We have 33 resorts of which 25 are in Finland, 6 in Spain and 2 in Sweden and we have made Meet The Real Santa and you know that the real Santa comes from Finland and the campaign is getting good response both digitally and on print.
Q: How many new resorts will be added to your list and in which locations? How many resorts have been created in FY20 and how many come up in the remaining financial year and FY21?
A: In the first six months, we have completed our expansion work in Ashtamudi, Kerala, and added 56 units. With this, the resort has turned up to be a resort of 100 units. It is very beautiful due to the presence of backwaters and floating cottages. Apart from this, we are working on our Goa project and its completion will help us in adding 150 units, most likely this year. As far as acquisitions are concerned then we keep looking for it and when it comes to leases then two more locations, Rishikesh and Pattaya have been added in the quarter. Other destinations that will be added to the list include Phuket as we have our properties in Thailand and Bangkok and have tied up with a property in Pattaya. At the same time, I would like to inform that we have achieved the quarter-million members mark in September end and we have 2.50 lakh members at present. When it comes to our cash position then it has reached a mark of Rs675 crore.
Two problems are linked with the hospitality business and they are debt and occupancy. Our occupancy and business model are robust at present and our occupancy remains good even during the off-peak season. Interestingly, we have no debt at the standalone level.
Watch Zee Business Live TV below:
Q: Among your product portfolio, how has been the performance of your newest holiday membership, GoZest?
A: A long tenure membership is required in our membership model as it will be able to provide real values to our members in which they are benefitted because as there holidays get free after a gap of 8-9 years. Secondly, it also turns up to be a good income stream for us and we get the money that helps us in building new resorts. When it comes to GoZest, three-year product, then it hasn't been created to sell our product and take our business to a different level. However, it will just act as a window to the world of Club Mahindra. Thus, you can reach us through GoZest and then turn up to be a member of Club Mahindra. It is just a sampling product and has received a good response during test marketing.
Get Latest Business News, Stock Market Updates and Videos; Check your tax outgo through Income Tax Calculator and save money through our Personal Finance coverage. Check Business Breaking News Live on Zee Business Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe on YouTube.