The Indian traveller’s preferences are changing rapidly, as they are evolving with increasing globalization, driving them to explore the history, cuisine, and culture of the places that they are travelling to. Discovery & Experience Impressions, a pioneering endeavour of Sterling is a step towards the field of experiential tourism especially curated for the millennial traveller, who seeks immersive and authentic experiences during his holiday, rather than opting for a conventional stay at a hotel. Asmita Mukherjee travelled to Ooty to experience first-hand the amazing Impressions offering of Sterling Fern Hill, Ooty and spoke with Ramesh Ramanathan, CMD, and Peshwa Acharya, CMO of Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited to understand the agenda behind the idea.
In line with the growing trend of modern Indian consumer’s demand for experiential travel, Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited recently launched Sterling Discoveries & Experiences Impressions (D&E Impressions) at Sterling Fern Hill, Ooty. These Discoveries & Experiences will be highlighting the local arts, culture, heritage, cuisine, flora and fauna, making every holiday memorable.
Ramesh Ramanathan, CMD, Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, said, “Two years ago we started thinking about this project, as holidays are not just about accommodation and food, but much more than that. Holidays are all about moments, discoveries, and experiences which give us memories of holidays later. Understanding this, we came up with the idea of rebranding ourselves to represent what holidays truly mean. In December 2017, we took the first step of rebranding ourselves through our rebranded logo which represents new discoveries and experiences, to expose customers to the things that they do not know, by exploring destinations. We also wanted to present these discoveries and experiences in a compact format, like for instance, we are now representing Ooty inside the Sterling Ooty Fern Hill – Resorts and Hotels, though installations and artifacts which showcase the history, folklore, culture, food, people, and the Nilgiri mountain range of Ooty.”
This pioneering endeavour of Sterling is a step towards the field of experiential tourism especially curated for the millennial traveller, who seeks immersive and authentic experiences during his holiday, rather than opting for a conventional stay at a hotel.
Sterling D&E Impressions is a collaborative co-creation by Sterling and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Chennai. Using local artisans and sculptors, and inspired by the tribes and the quintessential flora and fauna of Ooty, the installations have been recreated with intricate detail. The D&E Impressions include an immersive Toda Tribe experience wherein vacationers can visit a life-size traditional Toda hut and try to impress their spouses by lifting the traditional Marriage Stone of the Toda tribe; sculptures of Kota tribes inspired by actual Kota models – a popular selfie point; the UNESCO heritage Nilgiri Railway track; a delightful representation of Ooty’s local flower ‘Dandelion’ in 3D art form; the Tribal Artifact Wall which truly represents the rich culture and history of Ooty, that is fast going extinct; the Wheel of Nostalgia for glimpses of the Nilgiris from 300 BC to the 19th Century; and a delightful Animal Footpath where children can step on tiles to hear the genuine calls of the birds and animals of Ooty.
While explaining the planning behind D&E Impressions, Acharya informed, “According to me, this is a clear differentiator between our brand and others. These impressions will ensure that our consumers take back unique memories and therefore they come back to Sterling with a different view altogether. This is also a way to increase the number of repeat customers. The idea is in line with the modern trend. Not only our guests but anybody can experience these offerings by Sterling. The concept of Sterling D&E Impressions will next be adopted at our other properties, and the next Impressions will be at one of our destinations in the North.”