Tekla Maira, Regional Director (Sales–India), Banyan Tree, who has championed untapped potential in tiered cities, talks about her focus areas and the hotels she is promoting in the Indian market.
Tekla Maira, Regional Director (Sales – India), Banyan Tree, has taken over the responsibility to promote five key hotels and resorts in Thailand, namely Banyan Tree Bangkok, Banyan Tree Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket, Cassia Phuket and Homm Bliss Southbeach Patong. While the new brand Cassia belongs to the extended stay category, a cross between hotel, serviced apartment and home, HOMM Bliss is one of five new brands within Banyan Tree Group’s growing ecosystem of premium category brands.
Speaking about her transition to the new hotel brand, Maira says, “It is a great experience to be able to work across all the brands. I entered this role at the right time. Restrictions were just being lifted in Thailand and things were getting back to normal. People had had their fill of enjoying domestic travel. Now, Indian travellers are looking at travelling overseas. While the summer had a lot of people going into Europe, now I see Thailand gaining popularity. It is four hours (journey) from Mumbai and New Delhi – there is Phuket, Bangkok – it is very easy due to the direct flights now. So, travellers are going there even for long weekends. I can see whether it is golf tours or MICE, or even weddings, I really see India becoming one of the largest source markets for Thailand.”
Tiered cities have potential
She is happy that the Thailand hotels and the Tourism Authority of Thailand are focusing a lot on India. “We are also focusing on tier II and III cities of India. Four years ago, I spoke primarily about the potential of tiered cities of India. Today, I would say, tier III and even tier IV cities are actually starved for information. They want to travel and they do not mind changing two or three flights to get there. They are excited to travel; they are adventurous. I have attended a couple of trade shows where I have had people from Surat who were so excited to hear about our hotels. So, yes I would definitely focus on tiered III, IV cities also,” Maira says.