The CEO of Tamara Leisure Experiences talks about the hotel’s expansion plans and the revival of the corporate segment.
Business travel has been dormant since the pandemic hit. With the threat of a third wave looming, the future of business travel looks uncertain. Sharing a similar sentiment, Shruti Shibulal, CEO of Tamara Leisure Experiences, says their business hotel brand, O By Tamara, for which corporate is one of the most profitable segments, has faced far less occupancy contributions from the corporate and MICE segments. during the pandemic. “Going forward, their goal will be to create demand for these events through the wedding vertical,” she says.
On which business segment generates the maximum revenue and profit for the group, Shibulal says they have seen a significant change in the contribution of retail over the past year and a half, with direct retail representing growing to 52% percent from 39% last year, adding that most of their customers book experiential vacations at resorts. “The other complete change is the internal market. Home entertainment has always been an essential part of our strategy. This is a clear sign that the hotel market is evolving from a mass tourism industry to a more refined and mature industry.,” she says.
As for the ratio of business from third-party travel portals to their own bookings, Shibulal says it depends on the business.
“At Tamara Resorts, our direct business is almost double that of third-party travel portals. So we have about 56% of our revenue from direct business, while online travel agencies contribute about 28%. In contrast, in our business hotel brand O By Tamara, we rely on third-party partnerships for 55% of our lodging revenue, while direct revenue only accounts for 30%,” adding that one of reasons for this is that they have seen a decline in the corporate segment over the past 15 months,” she explains.
Despite slow business travel turns, expansion is on the cards for the group. Shibulal says they plan to expand their portfolio and launch an Ayurveda-focused wellness resort in Alleppey and a Lilac hotel in Guruvayoor, both in Kerala.
“We view our growth as a great achievement, given the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry. This can be attributed to our positive and long-term commitment to building a world-class institution founded on responsible and memorable hospitality,she concludes.