VIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
Talking to Mr B S Rathor – Chairman, AIRDA, on economic activity
around timeshare resorts
The timeshare, or vacation ownership industry is a small wedge in the domestic tourism pie. But it’s a wedge that’s surely and steadily widening and making its mark with rapid growth in the last five years. Study indicators show that there were around 3,50,000 holders of timeshares in the country, as of 2011. The annual growth rate here is approximated at 18% per annum from 2006 to 2015. This growth is expected to be faster with the larger players becoming more aggressive with their marketing.
We now talk to Mr B S Rathor, Chairman of AIRDA, about the emerging facts behind those figures and how the organization works at a better understanding of the industry, its opportunities and challenges.
Q: Mr Rathor, tell us about your new research project, completed recently
A: One of the things about keeping an ear to the ground is the need to track emerging markets, new trends and changing customer profiles. It is also useful to know which way the industry is heading in its evolution curve.
The vacation ownership / timeshare industry has so far concentrated on resort properties in popular tourism areas such as beachside regions and hill stations. Our recent exercise was to take a closer look at timeshare locations in some of these areas and assess their contribution to the local economy and employment opportunities. With this in mind, we partnered with a leading market research firm in Chennai to help us with the study.
Q: What is the geographical focus of your study and how did you pick these locations?
A: Our focus areas for the study were Coorg, Uttarakhand, and Goa, to assess the extent of economic activity generated and the consequent creation of jobs, which was found to be extremely significant.
From initial studies done, we noticed that these locations were high on the tourism radar of travelers. The locations also gave us the kind of insights that could represent most emerging markets in the country.
Q: What does the future look like, according to this new study?
A: Domestic tourism is clearly the beneficiary of the economic upswing. And while that is true, it is also a significant contributor to the upswing. Worldwide studies have indicated that tourism is one of the most important drivers for small business and employment growth across different economies.
As this study shows, better times lie ahead, with the population of urban affluent Indians expected to peak by 2015. Smaller towns have already started contributing pockets of affluence. Towns as small as Amritsar have a sizeable number of families in the top most economic group – these are people who can afford both domestic and international holidays every year.
Q: How can entrepreneurs interested in timeshare obtain a copy of this report?
A: This report is now ready and available to anybody interested in timeshare projects in India. If you’re interested, please write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will give you more information on pricing, delivery and orders for multiple copies of the printed report. The PDF version of the report will be released at a later date.
Q: Can you give us a brief snapshot of the research agency that handled this project?
A: Kaybase is a research-based consulting firm in Chennai offering a mix of customized and branded research solutions. The firm was recently ranked as the 10th best research firm in India catering to the domestic market.
Kaybase helps companies improve market and business performance of brands and products. To this end, Kaybase has project specific teams that understand research techniques, with the necessary experience in the many customer verticals that it currently operates in.
I thank all AIRDA members for their active support and would like to recognize the efforts of Ashok R Sankethi and his team from Knowledge Base (Kaybase) to give us a report that is informative, illustrative and illuminating.