Turning the tide for Indian travellers

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island wants to woo the Indian market with its amazing offerings, many of which are tailor-made for Indian travellers and will certainly attract them in large numbers. Besides an underwater suite surrounded by colourful sea life, the resort has also re-designed its menu to include Indian vegetarian dishes.

Nisha Verma

Carla Puverel, General Manager, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, says that the “iconic” property is one of the first in the Maldives, in the South Ari Atoll that is a quick seaplane ride away from the international airport. “We also have a twin-island experience that offers a lot of space to guests, especially now when space, privacy and seclusion are so important. While the water villas are more suited for adults, our main island is more suited for families. The jewel in the crown is The Muraka, our three-bedroom residence with an underwater suite. We have a very beautiful location and a lot of Manta Rays are in our lagoon in the evening. One can walk across the 500m bridge in between the two islands and the Manta Rays are often swimming underneath and feeding — it’s beautiful to watch. We are one of the few resorts in the Maldives where one doesn’t have to get on a boat to see them. We are also very close to the whale sharks and can see them most of the year,” she shares.

Claiming that the lush green vegetation on the island gives a “Robinson Crusoe feeling”, Puverel adds that a lot of the resorts don’t have that. Another advantage that the property has is 12 dining options which, she claims, other resorts don’t.

Safety & hygiene

Claiming that Hilton’s CleanStay is an amazing programme, Puverel says, “Our rooms are completely sealed 48 hours before the arrival of guests. In the Maldives, you must enter with a negative PCR test within 96 hours of travel and then we also have a dedicated medical team that can administer the PCR test before departure, which is very important. In fact, we have even started getting our team members vaccinated and right now, 60 per cent of our team has been vaccinated with the first dose of AstraZeneca.”

Twin Island Experience

Another advantage that the property has is its twin island experience. Honeymooners enjoy a secluded island for adults at Rangali Island while families are entertained at the more livelier island, Rangali-Finolhu home to the resort’s kids club Majaa Explorers Hub complete with a splash park.

The family island offers one and two bedroom villas including the Grand Water Villas. The resort also offers 12 dining options including Ithaa Undersea Restaurant.

Puverel also says that engaging with the trade is very important. “Our Commercial Director is from New Delhi, and he has many connections. We are also working with Sandeep Raghav, Vice President, ISA, and we do a lot of communication on WhatsApp groups that agents use in India. It is the fastest way of communication. Every time we have a new offer, a flyer is sent out. We do a lot of webinars as well as virtual Fam trips so that the agents can see the property,” she says.

Indian food for every taste bud

Puverel says that the Indian market is very important to them. She adds, “It’s one of the few markets that is travelling regularly right now. Hence, it’s also very important that we attract them. Also, when the Indian market travels, they may give us feedback, allowing us to adapt to their needs. The Indian market is also very loyal. If they come to a property once, and if you can make a connection and have a relationship, then they return with family and friends and do word-of-mouth publicity. Also, many Indian carriers are flying into the Maldives, as well as close to where we are located and not only the international airport.” While they have had guests coming from India, Puverel thinks it’s not as many as they would like. “Hence, we are growing our brand presence within India. We are also relaunching one of our restaurants, which would be more suited to Indian food, such as Jain cuisine, vegetarian food on Tuesdays, etc. A lot of our team members in the kitchen are from India and it’s important that we have an identification and relationship so that people feel comfortable,” she shares.

 

 

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