August 03, 2017

Danish Din, Director, The Grand Dragon, Ladakh, says the property is suited for MICE groups looking to mix adventurous activities with their business sessions. "We have been specifically catering to the MICE requirements of the corporates for the past few years. Out of the whole business percentage, we have almost done 30% of the business via MICE facilities in the past five years. Leh Ladakh is not really a place for MICE events, but there are quite a few companies and corporates who like to do MICE-cum-adventure here. Multinational, national, government and state organizations and companies host their events in our hotel and the average length of stay is two nights. Leh Ladakh, being a tough destination in itself, we suggest that they stay for a minimum of three days; the first day is for acclimatizing, followed by easy going functions that are not tiring and then a Ladakhi cultural event along with dinner before they turn in."

"We customise packages and offer activities like yoga sessions, cycling and soft treks. They can start the trek early in the morning through the Leh Old Village, cross the mountain, have breakfast by the river, experience river rafting or ride on a Royal Enfield. The peak season for the corporate events and MICE groups are August and September; October is a lean season but not a hard and fast one. A lot of government organisations and national corporates come in April and May."

Occupancy levels
In order to balance the occupancy levels during the peak seasons, we have classified the rooms into different groups - out of 100 rooms, we have allotted 20 for online business, 50 for our travel agents, 10 for the government sector or state officials, celebrities and high profile dignitaries, to keep them in line and we have reserved the remaining 20 for our own directors that include walk-ins, previous recommendations and repeat clients.

It is a tedious task to transport raw materials and all supplies from Delhi or Srinagar to Leh Ladakh at this high altitude of 11,300 ft above sea level. It is very difficult to manage the logistics and also keep the property on par with luxurious properties in the world, under such geographical and climatic conditions when the temperature goes down to -30 degrees. Prior to booking, we educate our clients on the climate conditions. The biggest group we have hosted had 200-250 pax. Groups generally demand a quiet place with the luxury of a five-star hotel, besides adventure activities.

"We have hosted international conferences as well as small functions, meetings and conferences. Ladakh is a cultural destination, but not a wedding destination. It is challenging to conduct weddings here."


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