Resplendent Ceylon is a family-owned business led by second-generation owner, Malik Fernando. His vision is to transform Sri Lanka into a more experiential destination and the group’s three properties offer discerning guests the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer, including experiences in tea plantations, wilderness and the coast. All three resorts Tea Trails, Cape Weligama and Wild Coast Tented Lodge have won global acclaim as the finest in Sri Lanka.
In the midst of the pandemic, Resplendent Ceylon’s strategy focuses on mitigating losses. Terrorist attacks and two waves of Covid-19 have made operating luxury hotels in Sri Lanka a challenge. But, thanks in part to Revinate, the group has been able to continue operating all three resorts with a full staff by leading the market with a SafeStay cleanliness promise and marketing to local repeat customers.
Chandika Rajapakse, Senior Manager e-Commerce & Communications explains, “Ninety-eight percent of our bookings used to come from international guests but we haven’t had any foreign guests since March. Historically, we would have had to spend numerous hours to identify local guests, segment them and create personalized marketing campaigns. Instead, with Revinate we have been marketing the properties, and our unique experiences, to past local guests via email. Experiential holidays are new for Sri Lanka and Revinate Marketing makes it really easy to segment our database to ensure we’re targeting the right guests with the right message. Thankfully, our wonderful clientele is responding to our emails and we’re seeing guests visit multiple resorts after experiencing our unique offerings and hospitality.”
Chamindra Goonewardene, Director of Sales and Marketing, says, “Being able to market our experiences to our database of past customers has allowed us to avoid discounting, which is common in down markets. Instead, we have developed incredible packages at each resort and are able add value with our wellness offerings, private dining, early check-in and late check-out. These promotions have been resonating with our local guests and thanks to Revinate Marketing, we’re able to capture these bookings easily.”
Like everyone in the hospitality industry, employees at Resplendent Ceylon are looking forward to the end of Covid-19 and the return of international business. But, for now, everyone remains thankful that they are healthy and the resorts remain open, servicing local guests that are rediscovering the beauty of Sri Lanka through their unique and engaging experiences.