Rocky Too, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Genting Malaysia Berhad, is exhilarated about the inrush of Indian visitors expected once the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park, a first of its kind in the world, opens.
Anupriya Bishnoi from Malaysia
Tell us about the Indian clientele you receive.
India has been a very important market to us. From our experience, Indians simply love the concept of theme parks. That is why Resorts World Genting, as a holiday destination, appealed so much in the past to Indian visitors when our indoor and outdoor theme parks were still open. We used to have over 200,000 Indians visiting us annually, however, we saw a reduction in that number since the closing of the theme parks in late 2013. The good news is, we are seeing a good influx of Indians since 2017, with the opening of new attractions. We are confident to see even more tourists from India, with the opening of the Skytropolis Indoor Theme Park and the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park, a first of its kind in the world that is scheduled to open soon. We are expecting a minimum of a three-day stay from this market.
The Resort is one place that offers a lot of activities. It has recently been upgraded to include brand-new infrastructure such as new hotels; SkyAvenue, our premium lifestyle mall; an advanced cable car system with glass floor; an automated bus terminal as well as world-class restaurants. Indians love shopping and we are well-prepared for that with five floors of retail and dining at SkyAvenue and the Genting Highlands Premium Outlets at the mid-hill with savings of up to 65 per cent daily. We also have fun for the whole family, with attractions such as the Jurassic Research Centre, Jungle Gym, Zombie Outbreak, and Alive Museum at Level 4 of SkyAvenue, as well as Snow World and Genting Bowl. We expect that a lot of flights are also going to operate soon from India.
Which are your key source markets in India?
The key markets for us would be Delhi and Mumbai. A lot of South Indian travellers also visit their relatives here. This is also because the southern part of India is closer to Malaysia, so there is definitely a close bond between the two countries. Now, with airlines flying to tertiary markets, we should be able to see a lot more tourists coming from India.
Tell us about the challenges you face.
A challenge we face is that we do not have enough rooms even though we have seven hotels with over 10,000 rooms. Last year, we closed our room occupancy at 96 per cent and since January, we have been operating consistently at 96 per cent. We are full almost all the time. The majority of our arrivals are membership based. Close to 80 per cent of our rooms are taken by our members (we have over four million members) and 20 per cent by FITs, OTAs, MiCE travellers, and other tourists. Once our park opens, we hope some of the membership allocation will be open for our new client base that is going to come here. So, the experience is going to be brand new and unique to the world, apart from being the world’s first.
How long will it take for the Indian market to stabilise?
Once the park opens, the Indian market will stabilise. During my sales trips to India, which I did recently, tour operators were curious to know more about 20th Century Fox World, Malaysia. Also, people want something new to experience beyond the Petronas Towers when they come to Malaysia. So, hopefully, with the opening of our new theme park, Indians will get a new and adventurous reason to visit Resorts World Genting, as we have everything under one roof. Even the Tourism Board of Malaysia is looking forward to this opening.