I believe we have a wonderful and matchless geographic location where our property stands. So we have an existing USP. The traditional cottages we here were transplanted from their original locations and are not newly built or given makeover. We have been renovating and bringing it up the comfort standards, for the last one and a half years. We have a fully professional management for running the resort.
On Future Plans
The future plans for Surya Samudra include some more resorts. We are starting a small resort at Chikmagalur. It is a four bedroom old English villa which is being converted. The property at Kumarakom is coming up with 25 cottages and its construction is underway. We are looking at Goa and we plan to bring up a high end property there in 30 acres of land.
What we are aiming is to take the advantage of being a boutique luxury resort and make every property different. Our ambition is to build and establish the brand name “Surya Samudra’ by the next five to ten years.
On Marketing Strategy
We want the domestic customers to come and enjoy the property. It is not going to be like old times when you are closed for three months. From July, this year we hope to be open and fully functional for 12 months. Our clientele will be pushed to a wider base to what we had before, like Europeans. We don’t have a fixed clientele.
The marketing strategy is based on the uniqueness of the place. We are not doing any large marketing blitz. We would like to work with the travel agents because it is a small hotel. It is a 22 room property and it is not like selling a property with 170 rooms.
My team will talk to the people and sell it directly. We have representations domestically as well as in Europe and England to look after those markets. We have always tried to control the gatherings here as we do not allow more than twenty people in the day-packages at a time because our customers wouldn’t like to lose the ambience.
I definitely feel we need domestic customers as we can’t rely fully on the inbound traffic which we are hoping to tap from now on in the lean season. The domestic travellers won’t come back as much as the inbound travellers do. So we are starting to work on improving the domestic season. This is our first domestic season and now we are doing our marketing mostly in Delhi. We are back in the market and it is only through the word of mouth it will spread. We have already attended the last World Travel Market (WTM) in London. Once we have all our properties up it is worth taking a stall in these big events. So our marketing will be mainly by marts, road shows and directly to the travel agents. Our website is coming up and will be launched by the end of July with facilities like the payment gateways. We will make sure that it is customer friendly and we could give them the concept of the property. One can see the picture of the property and know what the rooms are like. Each of our rooms are different and priced differently. So it is difficult for somebody to choose unless he actually sees it. So we are spending some money on our website, which I think is a big part of the marketing.