RARE India Joins Hands with Singapore's Secret Retreats

The two organisations are aiming to expand their markets and provide the much-needed shot in the arm to responsible tourism
The hospitality industry has been gasping for survival
The hospitality industry has been gasping for survival

The pandemic has changed life everywhere&mdashthe way we eat, the way we shop, and the way we travel. While most industries are doing what they can to limp back to normalcy, travel and tourism is still finding it tough to come up for air. Aviation is getting back to its feet with different levels of screening, quarantining measures and a number of international travel bubbles in place, but success has been patchy for the hotel industry.

From recalibrating supply chains, devising extensive screening, sanitisation and social-distancing measures and introducing cheaper rates&mdashhospitality is grappling hard for survival. In a step at innovation and business solidarity, RARE India and Secret Retreats have entered a collaboration to revive responsible travel that will still fall into the luxury and exclusive experience bracket. The development isn&rsquot in the least bit surprising in an era where Burger King asks you to order from McDonald&rsquos.

Founded in 2004, RARE India is widely reputed as having some of the best boutique hotels, wildlife lodges, luxury retreats, palace stays in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, under its umbrella. Singapore-based Secret Retreats, on the other hand, offers curated stays and travel experiences throughout Asia, including private and independent boutique hotels and villas&mdashwith a special focus on yachts and river boats.

RARE India founder Shobha Mohan looks at the worldwide crisis with a renewed zest and as a time of opportunity. &ldquoFor RARE India to collaborate with Secret Retreats means to join forces towards a common destination where like siblings we seem to have grown to common values, to promote travel and experiences that are earth-friendly and people-centric. It also means many more destinations to a wider audience of world travellers,&rdquo says Mohan, referring to the vast array of experiences in East and Southeast Asia offered by its partner.

The partnership aims to help communities under both RARE India and Secret Retreats to be available to the B2B and B2C markets of both and hence create a mutually shared resource that can profit both parties. The former will extend its strong markets in North America, UK, Europe and Australia and the latter is expected to help RARE India access its fast-growing B2C distribution all over the world.

To the existing nine shared members in the subcontinent, the two will add more properties in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The collaboration will also work towards marketing and promoting the business of both communities in virtual travel-related events and also those held live after international travel resumes. The promotion of responsible travel and sustainable community tourism is expected to be a huge focus point in this partnership.

Stephane Junce, managing director, Secret Retreats, says, "We share the same commitment to quality and service and we also like to share our 'secrets'&mdashour knowledge and our terroirs&mdashwith other travellers. By entering into this partnership, we are certain that travellers who have trusted Secret Retreats over the past eight years will now find the same insight and intimate experiences with the RARE India properties."

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