Make Alma most recognised family resort in Vietnam

/ New Delhi
/ Hotels
With 580 suites and pavillions facing the sea, Alma Resort, situated on Vietnam’s emerging Cam Ranh peninsula, sprawls over 30 hectares.With travel from India to Vietnam accelerating, General Manager Herbert Laubichler-Pichler says Alma’s large rooms and villas make ideal accommodation for large Indian families.
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Herbert Laubichler-Pichler

Herbert Laubichler-Pichler

How has Alma Resorts fared since it opened for business?

Our property opened to visitors in December 2019. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 we had to lock down twice and then open it. Now that the pandemic is over, we are going into a market that is the most logical, India. It is close, has a large population and India has exactly what we cater to-large families, because we have very large units, that go from 70 sqm to 214 sqm.

Then there are lots of inclusions for families, such as a water park and a science museum, large kids club, large youth club, numerous F&B options, cinema, mini golf, water sport, tennis, basketball. We will also build a box cricket court to cater to the Indian families. And of course we will have an Indian chef as well.

What is your target in India, B2B or B2C?

Both segments because we are not only looking into B2B we are also looking into B2C. But B2B is of course a very important aspect because if you go with B2B it can attract a lot of agents which is what we did in the last couple of days. We will meet 30 agents in Ahmedabad for an event. So this is our main focus. I speak to agents. I try lots of food here, to understand a little bit more about the culture so that when I go back I can basically put my strategy to get to see what is missing, what do I need. Because I don’t think it’s enough to just hire one chef. We have to do more than that. I may even ask our agency to send someone for a week to train our staff in Indian culture because it is such a big country, so many different languages, so many different cultures and so much variety of food. I don’t want to end up in a situation where our staff doesn’t understand Indian culture. After all, we are the hosts, we want to give our best service to Indian guests.

Which cities you are planning to tap in India?

This time we do Tier 1 cities because these cities have direct flights. And then we go into Tier 2 cities. I have learnt now that even if we only focus on Tier 1 cities for now there is enough population around Tier 1 cities. And Indians are okay to travel 3 or 4 hours to the airport. So we can cover a lot of ground any way.

Which market segment are you looking at in India?

We are ready to host any type of business. But first and foremost I am more interested in family business. I am not cutting out on MICE and wedding business. But, I want to go for the low hanging fruit first, which is the family business because we already have everything that we need for families.

What is your current Indian footfall?

We only have a couple of Indian families. We had more on Diwali. In the resort we may have 10 families and now we may have average of five families. Whenever possible, I talk to them and it is very interesting to know where they come from and see what kind of food they have as many like vegetarian and some may have non-vegetarian. I make a note of what they want. Once I spoke to one family and asked them what’s missing and they said everything is perfect and our kids love it. But they said that after staying for five nights we want to eat Indian food. Please hire an Indian chef. I told them that it is already in the plans. And this is also how I got the idea of the box cricket. I didn’t know that there was something called the box cricket.

Apart from India, what are your top markets?

South Korea is number one and of course the Vietnam is the main market but globally definitely it is Korea. It used to be China, Korea and Russia before the Covid-19 but this will definitely change as India is coming up as a new player and I probably feel India will become number 1 for Vietnam over the next couple of months. Because there is no Chinese business and it is a good time to focus on India.

What are your plans for the year 2023?

For 2023, I will have to come often. I want to find marketing alliances in India who can help us to promote each other. Work with magazines, work with airlines, work with the Vietnamese embassy who is very active. So, my focus is to work closely with our Indian agency and to come to specific events. It is my goal to make Alma the most recognised family resort in Vietnam. I want that after 2023 everyone says that there is only one family resort in the country and that is Alma. Our vision is to become the number one family resort in South East Asia.

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