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Tuesday, 22 November, 2016, 12 : 25 PM [IST]

‘India is emerging as one of the strongest outbound MICE markets globally’

With India growing as one of the biggest source markets for Sri Lanka in terms of inbound travellers, Sri Lanka-based Anantara properties are focusing on the Indian market at large. In an interaction with TravelBiz Monitor, Yves Cem Noack, Cluster Director of Sales & Marketing, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle and Anantara Kalutara talks about expanding its market share in India.
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Q. Where does India ranks as an inbound source market for the Anantara properties in Sri Lanka and how do you see it evolving further?
A.India is one of the biggest source markets for Sri Lanka in terms of percentage of people travelling to the destination, and Anantara resorts in Sri Lanka are experiencing growing demand.

Both Anantara hotels are primarily focusing on luxury travellers from India and MENA region with Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle being a popular honeymoon destination, thanks to its unique location and Anantara Kalutara Resort targeting family travellers by offering extensive family amenities.

Q. What activities have you planned to engage with the travel trade in India?
A.We recently organised roadshows in New Delhi and Mumbai, and interacted with many trade members who promote luxury travel. The response has been extremely positive and our travel partners have shown keen interest in promoting Sri Lanka-based Anantara properties. We intend to organise more roadshows in future to create awareness among high-end travellers who are looking for authentic holiday experiences in Sri Lanka.

Q.What are your plans in terms of appointing a marketing and PR arm to promote the properties exclusively in Indian market?
A. We have appointed a sales resource in the Indian market, based out of New Delhi who will focus on meeting with the travel partners, corporate entities, event companies and build awareness about both the Anantara properties in Sri Lanka. This is the first time Anantara properties have employed a dedicated resource in India to represent specific destination hotels. The idea is to cover the major cities along with Tier-II and Tier-III cities, which have immense potential to produce business in the luxury space.

We are also in the process of implementing a PR campaign aimed to further increase awareness of Anantara Resorts, and Sri Lanka as a destination.

Q. With the upcoming property featuring ample MICE facilities, how do you look forward to tap the MICE segment in India?
A.India is emerging as one of the strongest outbound MICE markets globally, with nearly about 1.5 million people travelling only for MICE purposes. With the opening of Anantara Kalutara Resort recently offering three meeting rooms in the hotel, and a 500 pax banquet and conference facility scheduled to open in March, the MICE segment is bound to look at the Anantara properties for weddings, events, birthday/ anniversary celebrations etc., as an option.

Q.What are your expansion plans?
A.Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas have recently launched the second property in Sri Lanka, Anantara Kalutara Resort, originally designed by Sri Lanka’s most notable architect, the late Geoffrey Bawa. The resort has 141 guest rooms, suites and pool villas with private balconies and terraces overlooking lush gardens, the ocean or lagoon. The resort also offers a choice of three multi-cuisine restaurants.

Anantara Kalutara
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