August 23, 2018 at 7:14 am #172
Recently I managed a discuss session for Conservation Lab in Stellen Bosch. A part of the Beyond Luxury Media engagements it brought together some of the biggest names in African conservation, it was at another level. Yet, I could see the gentility and inclusiveness of everything you all do in your areas for conservation. I inspired me to open the discuss session which was about ‘being inclusive of the native/traditional intelligence’.
“Sit with me during the drought and we’ll dance in the rain together”, that is how RARE visualises your support of everything we do for you at RARE. Going forward that will be the vision, our hearts are with you and in the right place.
You are regularly updated and you know that we have had a great run since January, the media stories, fairs and exhibitions, FAMs and agent visits should be showing up as numbers from all quarters. We have a few sincere requests to make of you :
1. Your implicit engagement with the community and kinship is a must.
2. That you recommend each other will be a move towards enhancing referral business, which alone accounts to over 25% of your incremental business.
3. For long a few partner hotels have worked in isolation, as we strengthen our community this attitude has to change to one of inclusiveness and transparency. This can be showcased as shared ideas and resources, being active on the whatsapp with encouraging reviews and feedback.
4. We hope you can appreciate that with the kind of budgets, RARE expands to literally strap you to the market, we do not think twice to put in our own money, knowing fully well that many of you still struggle with you ARRs and Room Nights, just to keep it sustainable. And you know to achieve 100% occupancy, we will have to really work at it from all ends. Please enthusiastically participate in is low budgets events and fairs which we feel would help you especially in the domestic market.
5. Co-branding is an area we are working hard to achieve, we have Jaypore on board, this could be a path-breaking alliance. Our aim to achieve atleast 5 brands to partner with towards the end of the year.
6. We really need the following information from you without which we are working in a blind alley. This will be kept in
1. ARR ( average room revenue ) last season
2. No. Of Room Nights achieved
3. Good months and bad months
4. No. of new agents who begun working with you. Top agents and those that seem to have slowed down
5. Domestic market incision – in terms of agents and direct business
6. a tentative budget apart from what you pay as retainer for marketing, This would help us to work on FAMS, media coverage etc. Also agents constantly ask for brochure support, it would just help us have a perspective to use the allocated budget deiigently.
7. Your targets for the season coming up 2017/18.
With the summer months we have a definite strategy and now that all the large fairs are done with we will be concentrating on going back to agents for the one on one meetings with the agents. The only things planned upto September are the following :
1. The RARE team training ( in house )
2. The RARE Update for product teams ( June )
3. The RARE Team FAM ( July / Aug )
4. The Wildlife Month ( July )
5. Agent FAMs ( South & Mountains )
With a view to improve and engage better as a community, here are a few initiatives which will believe would be beneficial as partners.
1. RARE Academy : We have been speaking to two Hotel Management Schools, one in India and one from Switzerland ( affiliated to the Lausanne Hospitality Consulting ), and would like to tie up with them for a two way partnership – one to send their students to you for on-site training or internship, alternately they can offer you management and operation workshops you can be a part of. A detailed mail will be sent to you on this shortly.
2. RARE Mentorships : We have a few new comers on board in fact a couple of them are even new to the industry, if you could volunteer we would like to enlist them with you as a mentor. Do please come forward and participate. This could be for Lodge/Resort operations and applicable for your hosts/manager/ yourselves to improve skill-sets.
3. Resource Recommendations: There are a lot of products now in the market for room amenities, linen, décor, cutlery etc. With a set of 44 hotels we can well imagine the buying power in sheer purchase quantity. Lets please list the following and do refer back with your product, brand , supplier, cost per piece / quality.
Supplier / Contact & Ref /Brand / Cost per Piece / Per Quantity Quality /Feedback
4. Cross Selling and References : We would like you to keep the RARE books in your lodges/hotels so that this can be showcased to your guests. Do please write in with you inputs here, it is a ‘paid favour’ a set of books will cost Rs. 3000 + Taxes inclusive of courier charges.
5. Improving efficiency : With the off-season and shoulder months in the offing, we recommend the community participate in inter-property training. Here is a table of possible training areas, it would also be a good idea to volunteer training opportunities or seek areas you would like to improve for your lodge/ camp/ retreat.
Month/s / No. Of People / Onsite / Hotel / Lodge / Camp /Remarks
6. Travel Card – “A RARE Gift” : Rare, now on popular demand has made a Gift Voucher, which is pre-paid gift voucher that can be used and redeemed against bookings. We have vouchers for 5000, 10000, 15,000, 20,000, and 25,000. This money is paid into us and we will at the time of redemption ( by the gifted ) book and adjust it against the booking. The balance will be paid by the gifted at the time of check-out. Cancellations apply. Service fee will be as per RARE commission ( special rate ) norms.
7. RARE Cook Book : This is one idea which we have been working on for a long time. It is increasingly evident that the RARE community as several unique features and cuisine is one of them. The idea is to put together a cook book with some of your signature dishes which we can give FTOs and agents, have on sale for guests staying with you. Do revert with your ideas. This will also help us envisage a food event ( like the palatte fest ) which we can aim to promote in the domestic market.
8. Summer Packages for Agent families : As we transition into summer and then monsoon, agents would wish to take short breaks or longer breaks with their families. It would be a good idea for them to stay with you at a price. We recommend that you set out a good package so that the community can experience your properties. Do give us a per night rate ( ref. atleast 50%+ should be the discounting. This can also be promoted for office offsites. Many people check with us for the above. Last year I was working on the Designer off-site and we couldn’t nail a price for them.
9. The Story Teller Project : Almost all our camps/lodges/ retreats have begun on the premise of the host/owner’s story, the effort is to make the destination interesting and engaging not only for the DMC / FTO partners but also enable you to introduce your property effectively to the internet and the travellers alike. This needs a bit of research and retelling, putting out story boards and organising spaces on the property that can visually tell the story. Besides a few members of your team have to be enabled to relate the story not only when you are unavailable but give them the opportunities to be involved in the story telling. RARE undertakes to help you with research, writing, video, story boarding, training and relaying the information across various media. The same can be worked upon for the activities which are a part of the property. #rarestorytellerproject
10. Presenting the hotel/lodge/camp’s green points and sustaining it. Through our travels there are several interesting ways of presentation of not only the Green values but also service presentations. We endeavour to collate this information in a format that is accessible to everyone , besides experts in the field can be requested for guidance.
Point 1 / Point 2 / Point 3 / Point 4 / Point 5
Restricted linen Usage
Notes and Tags for conservation
Healthy garbage disposal
11. In the end we urge you to keep looking at your page on the RARE website, help add more features to your page, partner with us to help in wide spread distribution, align rates and see if you can work with Travel Mantra for your online systems, it will plug into our promotions adequately and all the work we are undertaking for promotions both online and offline will be suitably rewarded as sales and bookings.
12. Finally to increase and improve FTO engagement we have now set up Webinars so that DMCs can get their FTO’s to plug in so that we can update them on all the RARE hotels. This will be a weekly affair. Please ensure you also update us with what new and upbeat with all of you so that we can include it in our webinars.
Looking forward to your active participation !
Founder Partner @ RARE India
What we save, saves us.
Think before you print.
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