Mirah Hospitality, the hospitality arm of the Mirah Group, launched its latest venture, Citrus Check-Inns, which provides flexi-stay holidays, in April 2012. The product offers memberships for holiday resorts for periods ranging from five to 15 years, with accommodation options of the existing and upcoming Citrus Hotels as well as 2,600 other hotels and resorts across the world, through daelive.com. Speaking exclusively with T3, Somnath Pal, CEO, Citrus Check Inns revealed that the flexi-stay concept is the first of its kind in India and would be marketed as an investment opportunity. The company is currently on the lookout for direct sales agents (DSA) across India.
“We currently have 12 DSAs in the country and are signing up eight more. We have a commission structure in place for our agents with no entry barrier and a margin that will increase with increases in sales and captive clients. We want Citrus Check Inns to be sold as an investment opportunity since the purchase of our product can be done on an EMI basis, will not face increased taxes every year, and will remain unaffected by the hotel room price fluctuations once paid for,” stated Pal.
Speaking about the USP of flexi-stay, Pal explained that the product does not have a utility fee, is not distributed by season, and cancelled holidays do not lapse, but are instead compensated with F&B vouchers for restaurants at Citrus Hotels. “The lapsing of holidays is the biggest flaw of the time share system. The members are forced to pay the utility fee whether they actually go on the holiday or not. The redemption system we have in place is unique. In addition, we have our properties on the high street of every city we provide customers, as opposed to the far-flung locations time share properties generally provide. We are also the first company to offer our membership for a minimum time period of five years,” concluded Pal.
Citrus Check Inns is also set to market itself to the consumers and the trade through advertising and participation in trade shows, starting with the IITM. Furthermore, they will start pushing the product on an international level next year. For BTL marketing, the company is planning lead generation activities at malls and corporate houses. In addition, they will position themselves as knowledge banks of the travel trade, providing travel tips and guidance to the industry and consumers.
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