An article by Sandy Heydt of
Panetiere Marketing Advisors, summer 2004

Reverse Outsourcing:

Global Marketing Plans and Programming for Resort Spas in the Maldives, Indian Ocean


May 24: e-mail from unknown person in Maldives in Indian Ocean: needs 2 international marketing plans for 2 bid packages for 2 luxury island resorts. "Must lure new markets in new ways"..."Are you interested?"

May 24: "Yes."May 24: Travel to Santa Fe for holiday and client meeting ( a 1750's adobe Spanish ranch with great art and an oasis of blooms and birds - tough existence on premises!).

May 25: Peacocks crowing in morning and cell call from Maldives. "Please send me a proposal for 2 plans - must be totally different and under different names and the first draft done by June 12, final by June 15, the second by July 20". Gulp.

May 27: Send proposal and sample marketing plan.

May 28: Client says "Yes".

May 31: Start assembling international crew from New York and on to Germany and Japan. Find someone who has been to Maldives. Get everything we can from the World Trade Organization. Pore over the web.

June 6: No information on the proposed resorts is coming through, no budgets are coming through, everyone is late from architects to accountants. We discern that the project is huge and detailed. No one will have anything done until the deadline.

June 7: we start to analyze the design from architects in Australia (excellent designs), start to plan interiors to fit ideas that we develop for activities, devise new attractors for new target markets, conceive of name, plan food and beverage, do logo, do web site dummy, do dummy ads, plan a whole HR philosophy, contact satellite sales office potentials in Europe, plan PR offices and media campaigns in target markets, develop environmental codes, learn about travel habits of Saudi, assign figures for a budget, think like crazy. It is a thrill.

June 12: Complete draft delivered.June 14: Client asks for expansions and further details, sends another company's marketing plan for us to include anything that we think pertinent (he's been running 2 firms on the same job as insurance).

June 15: #1 done and delivered. Start #2.

June 16: Client asks us to do a 3rd island.June 25: Client asks us to do a 4th island.

June 28: Client asks us to do a 5th island.July 5: all done and we're all dead.

July 9: Client may get 2 islands out the 5 bids. Can we help him execute the plans? We think so.July 12: 5 more islands to be done for November.Phew! - a few months this time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Follow-up

Our client did not have the winning bid on any of the five on which he bid. He lost on the raw per bed rent payable to the government.The result causes us more than a little concern for the health of the luxury resort segment of the market.When we did these plan, there were 13 properties that be called 5 Star.

All 30 islands that were put up for bid will all have 5 Star properties. In 3 years' the islands will have to support a 200% increase in 5 Star beds and the airlift will also have to be there to go with them.

New markets will have to be pursued aggresively. Occupany will be a challenge. ADR will have to kept up in the $600 plus area so as to enable sufficient profit to pay the government rent and then the finance costs.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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resort marketing in the maldives:

innternational resort marketing support that plays on clultures and programming.

make sure the attracttors are in place - job one of resort marketing