Selling Travel July/August 19


spotlight on 45




& Hotels

In conversation with... Thomas Grundner, Vice

President Sales & Marketing, JA Resorts and Hotels

QTell us about the JA brand

A: With a 38-year history as a

homegrown hospitality brand, we’ve now

announced major expansion plans. Our

company vision is to be recognised as

the leading provider of unique getaway

experiences in remarkable

locations around the Indian

Ocean and key global

destinations. We

create memories

across eight distinct

properties, from

snorkelling in

a coral reef to

mountain ziplining

to exploring

global cuisines.

QCan you sum

up the ethos of JA

Resorts & Hotels?

A: Do the work you love

and love the work you do. Our

management style is ‘the JA Way’, which

encourages associates to embrace

individuality and work with positivity–

because they truly love what they do.

It helps us stand out and be fluid as we

navigate change.

QWhat are your USPs?

A: The variety of unique experiences

we offer, the relaxed JA Way service

and our locations. JA Hatta Fort Hotel is

Dubai’s only mountain resort; we have two

luxurious private islands in the Seychelles

and Maldives, and two prime Dubai

locations in Jumeirah Beach Residence and

Dubai’s largest experiential resort,

JA The Resort.

QHow do you help


A: We recently

launched an online

training course for

UK travel agents

to highlight our

product. We have

strong UK sales


through Gill Shannon

and Louisa Smith,

ensuring the trade is

educated on the portfolio.

Fam trips are hosted throughout the

year and we offer verified agent discounts

on using the code JATRAV.

QWhat is JA’s policy on sustainability?

A: It’s very important. We are

removing all plastic bottles, replacing them

with our own bottling plants and glassware

and rolling out a food wastage programme

which will reduce our waste drastically.

QWhat are the latest developments

agents need to know?

A: JA The Resort is Dubai’s largest

experience resort, and by September

2019 JA Beach Hotel will be completely

renovated and the new JA Lake View Hotel

will open. These additions make it a world

class, all-encompassing resort with one

million square metres of land and private

beach, a 104-berth marina and a nine-hole

golf course. There are over 40 activities like

water sports, fishing, seaplanes, tennis and

shooting, plus 25 restaurants and bars.

QWhat does the future hold for JA and

do you plan to expand anywhere else?

A: We are expanding into China in a joint

venture and are launching five or six very

upscale hotels, as well as 30-plus upper

midscale lifestyle hotels called ‘Big Bed by

JA’. We will also open two luxury lodges in

Tanzania and are exploring a 500-room

property in Sri Lanka.

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