LUX* North Male’ Atoll opened its doors to tourists on 1 February, 2019.
With the resort being completely booked for the next few days, LUX has without a doubt exceeded all expectations.
Following its success, there is one salient question that is worth asking; to what extent did localisation contribute to their success?
The resort has not shied away from the idea that their principles constitute on being unique and working closely with the local Maldivians.
General Manager, Dominik Ruhl stated in his opening speech that the initial trainings started at LUX’s sister resort – South Ari Atoll. He proudly declared that the majority of the management team in LUX are Maldivian.
He went on to elaborate that the reason for this initiative was due to the belief it was the locals that could provide the best hospitality in their own country to the tourists who arrive.
The initiative aligns with the 2016 amendment submission to the Tourism Act, which emphasises that that 50% of management positions at resorts and tourist hotels must be offered to Maldivians.
This decision can be proven advantageous, as locals could have a better understanding of the local culture and business practices could result in a more in depth understanding of the home country. This is emphasized in the Hospitality Industry in particular, as the Maldives is a world class destination for many around the world. The ability to provide knowledge about our island nation would be quite helpful and appealing to the tourists, and who else better suited to do so than the locals?
LUX committed to this concept from the very beginning by having the Maldivian Architecture Firm Hannan Yoosuf design the eclectic water villas in LUX* North Male’. Designed to appear as ships setting out to sea, the villas truly stand out from among the usual water villa designs in the Maldives. This serves to strengthen the argument for the case of integrating locals into resort management and design.
Local employment also promote diversity of the company. By having a pool of local and expatriate workers, the combined resources and efforts allow the corporation to take a more holistic, broad approach. This is useful in the case of market research and strategies, where the combined efforts of local and global markets can bring about long term revenue for the corporation.
One size does not fit all, as the marketing strategy utilised for one country may not be feasible for the other. The combined corporate culture would be the equivalent of casting a net so wide, it could potentially catch a wide scope of fish that would have not been possible if it was limited to merely one.
The current Tourism Act states that 45% of the resort workforce must be Maldivian. However, there are a great number of complaints regarding how a large majority of resorts refuse to comply with this law. The successful grand opening of LUX* is further justification on why integration of Maldivians can be massively beneficial.
All things considered, employees who live close to work would consider their proximity to work to be a beneficial. Local employees won’t be burned out by commuting and will have an easier time maintaining their work-life balance. A healthy, balanced employee would reap loyalty, commitment, and dedication to the company.
LUX* North Male’ Atoll had proven to be a grand success, from the resort being fully booked several days after its inauguration to its unapologetic integration of Maldivian insight to the water villas of the resort. However, embedding the principle of diversity in an organization’s hiring framework is only the first step.
The ideal scenario would be a future where corporations involve more locals at every consequential, decision-making process.