Disrupting tourism with extravagance of mother-nature: Vanvasa Resort

In a candid conversation with Retailer Media, Sanjay Sharma, Director, Vanvasa Resort shared his insights on the evolving market and how they plan to capture the lion's pie of tourism landscape.
Sanjay Sharma, Director, Vanvasa Resort

Indian has always been recognised as a destination for spiritual tourism for domestic and international tourists.  It offers a diverse portfolio of niche tourism products ranging from heritage, culture, medical, business and now adventure tourism. The natural urge of every human being for new experiences drive this segment. With every business models evolving in the country, tourism has also seen huge leaps and bounds. Many new-concept resorts have come with trendy tour packages and other value adds to woo inbound visitors from every segment.
Vanvasa Resorts, an ultimate destination for wildlife and nature lovers with its all new Mud Race adventure concept and much more has created a niche in the tourism space within no time. In a candid conversation with Retailer Media, Sanjay Sharma, Director, Vanvasa Resort shared his insights on the evolving market and how they plan to capture the lion’s pie of tourism landscape.

Talk to us about Vanvasa and the journey so far.
Vanvasa is the first nature resort in the Lansdowne division which is a widespread 30 acres of land where we have 24 cottages and villas. The concept is to give families a peaceful place away from the regular hush bush of the cities. Vanvasa is the only resort where you have a self-drive safari. Here you can take you own vehicles inside the national park and enjoy a typical safari experience. The concept behind the inception of this resort was to give a people a relaxing place. We have Yoga and meditation centers, swimming pools, multi cuisine restaurants which can accommodate upto 70 people.

What is Mud Races India?
Mud Races India is the second event of ours which was till now a very famous adventure sport in countries like Europe and the U.S.  We have brought this concept to India. This is an obstacle-based mud race where your physical and mental stamina is tested and it is done all under army supervision. This helps in exercising and at the same time you enjoy doing something new and challenging. So, it’s a first of its kind in India.

As tourism is evolving in the country, what challenges did you face while rooting this concept in the maket?
We have launched this company on Aug 1, 2015 and we have been working as a team. Every business has challenges and our were finalising a suitable land, hiring trainers and other experts etc. but as off now we have been successfully able to tackle them all.
We just did an event of about 1,000 people in Jaipur and Goa which was a huge success and this has motivated us to grow better as a team. We have allocated all departments based on the skill sets like for the safari and other adventure sports we have military personnel and trained professionals, for marketing we have highly qualified and experienced MBAs etc. And things have turned out quite well for us.

How do you see tourism evolving in the country leveraging retail and digital horizons?
Adventure sports and tourism is still at a very nascent stage in India. Even Government is aggressively promoting Indian tourism across the globe. And this has motivated us to do out bit and bring more and more traction in this space. We are still working on marketing aspects and as off now it’s more towards references and social media platform such as Facebook.
Retail and tourism are directly proportional in today’s time. Retail and tourism have shared a long and successful journey together and we know of countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai which have successfully leveraged retailing to develop its tourism. India has too started aiding its tourism with the retail and eRetail models. Many online players have nabbed phenomenal success in this space and I believe this is going to grow as people are becoming more and more tech savvy.

Share with us your tie-ups with online travel aggregators?
We have already tied up with portals like MakeMyTrip and ClearTrip and we are in talks to tie up with Xpedia. We are also coming up with a company called Thrillophilia which is based out of Bangalore and they will be our online marketing partners.

Who will be your target customers?
Travel and tourism is not based on an age-group but on zeal. For us, we can entertain all kind of customers be it kids, students, working professionals, ladies or old aged people. We are also coming up with some campaign especially for students and we have a 5 acre land dedicated only for campaigns. So, age or even class doesn’t matters to us as. Our main aim is to provide best of the services and tourism experience which will give you some thrilling and amazing memories to take away.

Share with us your pricing strategy.
We have kept a moderate pricing strategy keeping in mind the dynamic household income of Indian families. The published rate of the resort is around 12,000 per night but we are presently launching it at 8,000 on a pull-board basis and we have various other promotional offers and discounts as well.

Sanjay Sharma