The recently concluded Discover RARE event in Gurugram witnessed 30 boutique conscious luxury hotels and experiences from the RARE Community coming together for two days of interactive sessions with the travel trade. Hosted by RARE India, which is a community of some of the finest conscious luxury boutique hotels, palace stays, wildlife lodges, homestays and retreats in Indian subcontinent, the first-of-its-kind event since the pandemic was targeted towards Destination Management Companies, Travel Influencers as well as Domestic Travel Designers who believe in mindful and curated travel.
Some esteemed hoteliers from the RARE Community who attended the Discover RARE event and interacted with the participants include H.E. Raja Jigmed W. Namgyal of Stok Palace Heritage Hotel in Ladakh, Jairaj Singh from Chanoud Garh in Rajasthan, Behzad J Larry & Rashid from The Lungmar Remote Camp in Ladakh, Yasir Shaw of Nadis Hotel in Srinagar, Vidyun Goel from Haveli Dharampura in Delhi, Sriman Subrahmanian from Svatma in Thanjavur, Rigzin Kalon of Lchang Nang Retreat in Ladakh, Bhupendra Singh Chundawat from Prem Kunj in Udaipur and Luv Shekhawat from Utsav Camp in Sariska. Other hotels that participated in the event are Grand Hotel D’Europe in Pondicherry, Karan Mahal in Srinagar, Dera Amer in Jaipur, BrijRama Palace in Varanasi, Glenburn Tea Estate in Darjeeling, Glenburn Penthouse in Kolkata, Jamtara Wilderness Camp in Pench, Cabo Serai in Goa, Jehan Numa Group of Hotels, The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC), MRS Group and The Claridges.
Speaking about hosting the Discover RARE event after a gap of two years, RARE India’s Founder Shoba Mohan said, “I strongly believe that ‘Baat karne se baat banti hai!’. Although we had numerous digital events even during the first and the second lockdowns, I felt that it was time for us to meet some of our hotel partners and travel trade associates so as to create positive energies, love and hope and kickstart travel in the subcontinent.”
Regarding the need for travel reset and revival, Behzad J Larry, Director of Sales, The Lungmar Remote Camp in Ladakh, said, “Coming back into travel after the forced break during the pandemic made us think not just about how we can revive and reset travel but also how we can transform into being a more powerful way to cause change. For us that means conservation and a better way of travelling, one that is more mindful of the communities we are travelling to, one that is more mindful of the ecosystems we are travelling in and one that is more mindful of the positive change we can bring about through travel.”
He added, “As a young property, Discover RARE has been a fantastic opportunity for us to meet people who are interested in such a niche product as snow leopards and a company that focuses on conservation first. It has been really heartening to see that tour operators are interested in introducing their clients to our property and having them come and stay with us.”
Jairaj Singh, the owner of Hotel Chanoud Garh in Pali district of Rajasthan, said, “It has been two years of lull with no personal meetings or warm handshakes with industry colleagues whom you have known for over a decade. So, this event has brought people to one area and allowed us to reconnect with industry associates even if it is just to say hello in person and reintroduce our property to them.”
Regarding the changing preferences of the travelers post the pandemic where they now look for boutique properties that allow social distancing, Bhupendra Singh Chundawat, the Owner of Prem Kunj in Udaipur, said, “We are 8kms outside Udaipur city and have only 8 rooms. We are the only property behind the Sajjan Garh Fort. So, it is not crowded and everyone gets their own personal space to relax and rejuvenate. At this event, I was able to introduce our property to the travel agents and tell them about the numerous activities that we offer such as Prem Kunj Trail, village walks and cultural programmes in the evenings. This platform allowed me to have a detailed discussion with them on why they should send their guests to Prem Kunj when they visit Udaipur.”
Aditya Bajaj, the Head of Reservations & Revenue at Cabo Serai in Goa, said, “There has been a great surge in the number of people we have received after the second wave of the pandemic because people wanted to step out as they were bored staying at home for such a long time. But due to the recent news about Omnicron, there is an uncertainty in the market currently. In such circumstances, it was great to meet industry peers after almost two years at this event. Through the Discover RARE event, we have made inroads into 16-17 new networks that will open newer channels of business as well as revived some old connections that will help our business grow.”