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This is an interview with James George from Dubai, in our Q&A section.

How hard does it become to take a break for a vacation?
My brother Joel and I look forward to the great outdoors, together – because I live and work in Dubai and he is based in Bangalore. Oftentimes, life gets in the way and the time we do eventually spend when we meet is with other family members at home. When I came down this time, he had planned this trip so we could spend some quality time together and really unwind. Naturally we wanted the quality of our destination to be enhanced by the locale of our stay.

But, taking a break isn’t easy – you need to align calendars and make concrete plans that you can stay with. I am glad we were able to make this trip in the beginning of February – before more than half of the world’s population went into lockdown due to Covid19. Since the experience is recent, I have fond memories at our resort in Virajpet, of the Club Mahindra experience.

More on our interview with James George at this link >
Q&A Interviews / May 2020

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In the last months of 2019, people looked at 2020 as the turnaround year for business and enterprise, building up to a year of strong consolidation. The anticipation was short-lived as Covid-19 literally took the world by storm. As we present this story, the world is no longer the same – but we always have tomorrow to look forward to. (We do.)

This month’s Q&A session reflects the thoughts, feelings and emotions of people who actually planned to go on vacation during March / April this year. With bookings made, all they needed to do was pack their bags.

However, these conversations also reflect an understanding of the current situation. People are overcoming their initial disappointment with responsible thinking.

More on this story at this link >
Q&A Interviews / April 2020

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A swimming pool with a beautiful backdrop – at Sterling Wayanad

Ullas Abraham is a young hospitality professional based in Mangalore. He runs two transit guest houses in the city –a 64-room property and a smaller 12-room establishment. He also has hands-on experience in running a standalone restaurant – which means he knows what it takes to keep his guests happy, comfortable and satisfied.

Before he ventured into the world of hospitality, Ullas worked with Thomson Reuters as a content analyst, and says working within the rigid framework of the corporate world was not what he had in mind as a long term career path. More importantly, “hospitality” was something he always had a passion for – to be with guests, to anticipate their needs, and make them comfortable.

In this interview Ullas talks to us about his vacation at Sterling Resorts in Wayanad. He also talks about the one good reason he was forced to take a break from his hectic work schedule.

More on this story at this link >
Q&A Interview / March 2020

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A.V. Ramachandran is an Independent Sourcing Consultant based in Bangalore, with business interests in Tirupur and Sri Lanka. He has over 20 years of experience in apparel buying and sourcing with a delivery focus that is largely on exports. Over the years, he has built strong associations with leading international companies and their brands, and is considered a reliable source-point in India for globally based importers – handling a range of finished products and in-process supply lines.

There are two reasons why we talk to Ramachandran this month. One, the fact that he is widely travelled – his line of work taking him to focus markets in Europe, Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Two, he’s been on a timeshare vacation along with his extended family – almost every year, for the last ten years.

More on this story at the link below >
Q&A – June 2019

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You have been in the hospitality industry for nearly four decades, how have things changed from a customer experience point of view? (Facility design, quality of service, cuisine, customer takeaways.)

The industry has undergone a sea change since the time I started. The competition is huge and almost all the best brands are available right here in India. I must say here that the Indian traveler is also more evolved and has a knack of finding and knowing what’s best.

The facility design of our hotels is sleek and increasingly international. Hotels are also finding ways to utilize their public spaces when they are vacant. Moving to cuisine, quality standards here keep improving – and since many of the guests have experienced authentic international cuisine, they expect the same in our hotels.

At the end of the day, “sending back a delighted customer” is the objective of all hoteliers. Hence training plays a very important role to ensure the objective is achieved, and hotels have a steady stream of repeat customers.

All these changes have ensured that you’re at the top of your game all the time. There is absolutely no room here, for complacency.

This is among the many “Views from the Top” being featured
on our website : http://www.airda.org

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What are your feelings like when you’re heading back home, after a really nice vacation?

A good vacation rejuvenates me as nothing else does. No spa, no mall can come close to the feeling of absolute contentment I feel when I am away from the city and when I am one with nature. Of course, the moment I touch city limits after a good holiday, it’s a sinking feeling. The stress sets in immediately, and I know that until my next vacation I have to wake up to the sounds of incessant honking and traffic – rather than the melodious bird sounds and the pollution-free air that I miss so much. I call it the holiday hangover, and the only ‘fix’ that can help me get over it is another holiday. Most of the times, I cannot wait to simply pack my bags, load the camera, and leave.

 

Q&A: In conversation with Travel Blogger Shama Ahmed

More on this story at the link below >
Q&A – May 2019

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Jayashree Bhat works as a Senior Manager, Data Management, at Syneos Health Limited. Currently single, she enjoys travelling and connecting with new people. On a vacation she particularly likes to understand and experience the culture, the customs and local flavors – yes, that combo can make things really special for her.

Jayashree has a Club Mahindra membership that she picked up in 2014, and over these five years she has criss-crossed the country on several vacations – some of them outside of the timeshare platform as well.

Along with her friends, Jayashree has been to some really exotic locations such as Ladakh, Saputara/Hatgad, Odisha, Tadoba-Pench, Egypt and Bandhavgadh. According to her, these vacations largely happened because her friends were doing all the planning and coordination – all she had to do was pack her bags and join the gang.

For the AIRDA content team, it was really interesting chatting with Jayashree, because here was someone who looked at travel as an interesting learning experience.

Talking to Jayashree Bhat of Mumbai
More on this story at the link below >
Q&A – March 2019

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What I have learnt over the past few years is the need to give your family a nice vacation, at least once in the year. My job as a bank teller can be so monotonous and boring, that even a weekend break is welcome. Longer breaks are essential, because everybody needs time out to spend quality time with the family.

At the end of the day, you need to look beyond work and other daily routines, to get down to some serious planning. You also need some commitment to go along with that, to make things happen. So according to me, COMMITMENT is the key word.

Prabhakar Sivakumar, Bank Teller

Some more customer feedback & tips at the link below >
Q&A – January 2019

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