"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux

AIRDA NewsDesk

Message of the Month

April 2018

Product innovation in our industry

One of the biggest challenges in the hospitality industry is the management of innovation – and this can be difficult in more ways than one. Because anything NEW calls for facility expansion, and related investments to carry it forward.

There are two good examples that come to mind here. The first is Bliss for senior citizens from Mahindra Holidays. The second is G2G Amritsar from DJB Infrastructures and Developers.  We will feature other good examples of product innovation in the weeks and months to come.

Bliss, from Mahindra Holidays

According to Kavinder Singh, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MHRIL, “Mahindra Holidays has always been instrumental in creating magical memories through their unique holiday experiences for families across India. Over the last few years we have observed a gradual rise in the number of senior citizens holidaying with us.

While they have the enthusiasm to travel, their needs are unique. With Bliss, we have created a customized product that will make the whole travel experience more engaging and fulfilling for these members. We are confident that through Bliss, we will be able to create special, memorable experiences for our esteemed active silvers that will last a lifetime.”

G2G Amritsar, from DJB Infrastructures and Developers

In one of our earlier Q&A interviews, we spoke to Dr. R. K. Anand, Managing Director of DJB Infrastructures and Developers. This is what Dr Anand shared with us when his company launched G2G Amritsar. “The thinking behind our project revolves around the homing instinct of Indians abroad – especially those who are spiritually inclined and feel the need to come down to Amritsar at least once in the year for Sewa.

G2G Amritsar gives them an opportunity to visit the Golden Temple as a planned get-away from their busy schedules. From a larger perspective, this is also about the development and promotion of the tourism industry in and around Amritsar.”

G2G Amritsar could easily be one of India’s largest timeshare hospitality projects – developed within the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Tourism for timeshare resorts. In a very innovative way G2G brings together the concepts of timeshare and pilgrim tourism.

Building on innovation – some logical steps

In the hospitality industry it is always useful to look for opportunities around customer choices and behavior. The whole idea then, is to get closer to your customer with unique experiences he or she can identify with.

Innovation journey – Step 01

Creating something unique does mean going back to the drawing board – to look for relevant and meaningful opportunities We could look for the many ways we can meet an existing or perceived need, or engage with customers in newer or more interesting ways.

Innovation journey – Step 02

Step 02 is about validating our drawing board effort to check on relevance and viability. We also need to answer the question: Is there a real need that exists in line with the innovation exercise?

Innovation journey – Step 03

Once you get a positive answer to Step 02, it’s useful to check if we have the resources and capability to meet that need. This is a very useful step in terms of a reality check.

Innovation journey – Step 04

As things take shape we need to work on making the new offering unique, engaging and fulfilling. It takes effort to engage the customer in an interesting and fulfilling manner.

Innovation journey – Step 05

This stage is about launching the initiative to our target audiences. Step 05 is also about planning to support the initiative beyond the launch phase, and sustain it in the long run.

Final thoughts

It’s not enough to come up with an idea. The idea has to be something that the customer is looking for, and what the company can easily provide. More importantly, it should be unique – to stand out in the clutter of a competitive marketplace.

The idea also needs support from within, to move it from concept to implementation. Without this support even the best ideas will remain on the drawing board.

B. S. Rathor
Advisor & Member - Executive Committee

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