Mr. George Muthoot George

Mr. George M. George is the Executive Director of The Muthoot Group and handles the Leisure & Hospitality Division. The success of Cardamom County (a four-star resort at Thekkady, Kerala) motivated him to build Ayura (an ayurvedic spa at the resort) and River Escapes (10 premier house boats at Alleppey, Kerala). He shares an exclusive conversation with Travel And Tour World. Read here.

Conversation
Travel And Tour World – How are Xandari resorts helping in fostering tourism culture?

Mr. George Muthoot George: Xandari has always been established with Community, Collaboration and Conservation as the cornerstones of its culture. Our aim has always been to promote and empower the local community wherever we establish a Xandari Resort. So in turn, our idea of promoting tourism largely involves creating experiences that involve the local culture and helps preserve their values, traditions and culture in a sustainable manner.

 

 

 

 

Travel And Tour World – In what model, Xandari Resorts is planning to promote its property?

Mr. George Muthoot George: We largely believe that conservation begins through collaboration. We believe that involving global travellers who are conscious of the need for conservation will bring about the change we would like to see in the local communities we work with.


We would like to largely engage with such an audience to ensure that their experience with us is one that both enrich the local community as well as the traveller. Therefore we are very particular about the channels we use to communicate these messages.

 

 

 

Travel And Tour World: How is the business meets and luxury tourist stays in the properties of both Costa Rica and India growing?

Mr. George Muthoot George: Costa Rica largely attracts global travellers from North America and the second largest market is from Europe. For India it’s the other way around but with an added mix of a growing domestic market. Our resorts are not very large in terms of room capacity and therefore we do not cater to the MICE segment as such. However, we do focus on destination weddings and other family events that are smaller in scale and ensure that it works with our ethos and culture of the place.

 

 

Travel And Tour World: Please share about the strategy to connect socially with the global audience.

 

Mr. George Muthoot George: We are largely driven by digital channels rather than traditional offline media. Our aim has always been to get our message across to a limited audience that would appreciate and enjoy the experiences we create. Most of the additional promotion happens through word of mouth on various social media and travel blogs sites. We have a limited carrying capacity at each location and therefore our aim is to reach the aware international traveller who makes choices based upon factors that involve sustainability, conservation, community, etc.

 

 

Travel And Tour World: Please tell us the projects you have undertaken to attract more tourists through responsible and sustainable tourism in your properties.

 

Mr. George Muthoot George: Our projects work on various levels that involve the local communities in multiple ways. Apart from ensuring local employment we are very dedicated to ensuring that the local community is empowered through collaboration, where we source a lot of products from them.


We also have a farm to table programme that is constantly under development to ensure that we grow our own food without depleting the local environment and yet keep our food source safe from the use of pesticides and chemicals.


We also work with local self-help or cooperative societies that need our sustained patronage to ensure that they benefit through this collaboration.


We also work with NGOs that help towards the conservation of the local flora and fauna. All these projects are ongoing and each year we add more such projects to ensure that we keep with the values that we have established within Xandari.

 

 

Travel And Tour World: Please share your thoughts for future planning to attract more tourists in your properties.

 

Mr. George Muthoot George: Our focus in the future is on well being. We are working towards establishing exclusive projects that will not only focus on traditional forms of physical well-being but also on the spiritual side as well. For the most part we have travellers who have sought more meaning to their lives and want more than just the typical health programme, in order to give them an opportunity to gain greater insight into their lives and the right balance to achieve greater happiness.

 

 

Travel And Tour World: Community culture, simplicity, and oriental culture are the best effort here. Share how you functionalize all these in your properties.

 

Mr. George Muthoot George: We call this the X factor. The average traveller pictures such experiences as being dull, boring and very basic in nature. And truth is told many eco-lodges and eco-resorts do tend to paint the same picture. However, we believe nature is more vibrant than everything else around us and therefore the way we design our spaces using elements from the local environment, culture or community is done with the same vibrant zeal that embodies our spirit at Xandari.


With this simple factor in mind our spaces and experiences offer that extra special feel to our travellers that helps combine all these elements to appeal to a younger, more conscious group of travellers who appreciate this.

 

 

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