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Thursday, 31 October, 2019, 18 : 57 PM [IST]

‘Since last year, the number of Indian weddings hosted at our Dubai properties has doubled’

Dubai-based JA Resorts & Hotels is an international hospitality company known for its unique collection of luxury and 5-star properties across Dubai, Maldives, and Seychelles. Recently Christopher Tutty, Director of Sales - Leisure of JA Resorts & Hotels visited Mumbai for a networking event with select travel agents. Asmita Mukherjee spoke with Tutty to explore the company's growth plans and focus on new market segments.

Q How is JA Resorts & Hotels engaging with its B2B trade partners in India?
As a UAE legacy company, we are undertaking proactive programmes in terms of B2B market development not only in India, but across the world, and as a part of the programme we have identified key B2B media and travel agents, who are relevant to our brand, so that we can focus on selling our properties effectively. We are also planning on educating agents about various promotional campaigns we are running. We believe that it is important to educate partners in order to get the right message out into the market.

Q Have you introduced any loyalty programme for travel agents?
A. Not quite yet but we are in the process of launching a travel agent focused programme by 2020. We are currently designing the format of the training, webinars, incentives and communication mediums. The programme will help us to understand the perspectives of the travel agents selling our properties and will also give us insights regarding the potential of our various properties.

Q What is the percentage of Indian tourists at your properties in a given year?
In the Dubai properties its currently low and the majority of our guests are European, but it's much higher at our property in the Maldives.

Q Beside India which other markets you are looking at?
We are looking at Japan, China, Korea and South East Asia. As we move forward, we see a much bigger and larger impact in Africa's market.

Q What kind of focus are you according to the Food & Beverage segment?
Over the last four months, we have seen a major shift in the F&B offerings within our properties. We have now teamed up with three internationally acclaimed chefs across the brand to deliver on our vision of cool and casual restaurants and bars with outstanding F&B and an approachable atmosphere. We have teamed up with China's most renowned chef, Da Dong at JA Manafaru Maldives. We are also collaborating with Chef Greg Malouf to launch two Middle East inspired restaurants in both JA Beach Hotel and JA Oasis Beach Tower. We also have Michelin starred Indian Chef Vikas Khanna; he has recently opened his signature Indian restaurant Kinara at JA Lake View Hotel, in JA The Resort Dubai.

Q.Elaborate on your growth plan for 2020.
Currently, we are looking to grow through two projects in Africa, as well as one property in Sri-Lanka, and two properties in China. So, we have a total of five projects in our kitty. There are also other developments and negotiations in the pipeline. We have seen some significant growth in the wedding segment at our properties. Since last year the number of Indian weddings hosted at our Dubai properties has doubled. We are planning to focus on this segment going forward.

Q What was the agenda behind organising this event in India?
One of the key objectives of the agenda was to meet our partners and show our gratitude for their support. The other target was to inform the market and our partners about our recent developments in terms of new projects, new restaurant launches, and new hotel openings.
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