TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: How successful was the first half (H1) of this year been and what are the demographics of travellers visiting Amwaj Rotana?
MARK DEERE: H1 has been very successful for Amwaj Rotana as we were able to increase our RevPAR significantly while the market on the overall experienced a downturn in RevPAR. We have noticed an increase in a new category of travellers who are younger, design-conscious, adventurous and technologically savvy. It is clearly noticeable that today’s travellers have a different lifestyle and travel habits compared to 10 years ago, which forces hotels to evolve to meet these demands. With the world becoming more digital and social, hotel stays are becoming more about sharing the experience so travellers look for photogenic properties to snap. One of the main expectations is a strong complimentary Wi-Fi connection throughout the hotel amongst others such as smart TVs, digital menus and so on.
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: DTCM identified increasing the number of repeat visits as one of three key objectives in its Tourism Vision 2020. What is being done across the emirate to achieve this and what is Amwaj Rotana doing to further support the authority’s objective?
MARK DEERE: Dubai offers numerous reasons for guests to visit and there is always something new coming up which just means that no two trips will be the same. A guest who has visited previously will still find reasons to come back and experience a different itinerary. There are many festivals and special events that are organised throughout the year by the DTCM, which also offer an added incentive to visit. Secondly, the emirate is so well positioned between Europe and Asia that even if a guest has visited previously it would be convenient to plan a stopover for one or two days. Emirates has some great packages that a guest can tailor for a short stay. From a general perspective, these initiatives seem to have been effective because according to Dubai Tourism 2017 Performance Report, Dubai has seen an increase of over 800,000 tourists in the first quarter of this year alone.
[At Amwaj Rotana] we are doing our best to deliver the highest level of service and products, in other word a Treasured Time to all our guests. We have numerous guests who return and ask for the same colleagues who look after them each time. We also have a structured programme to recognise guests who have repeatedly stay with us.
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: Why should travellers return for another trip to Dubai and what more can be done in order to further promote repeat visits?
MARK DEERE: Dubai is offering and will continue to offer more attractions for travellers such as amusement parks, Ain Dubai- the world’s largest Ferris wheel-Dubai Frame and many more. We are expecting that these attractions will increase the length of stay of travellers, however as supply increases in the market, this will also put further pressure on hotels to offer more competitive rates.
TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What are the hotel’s priorities for the upcoming years?
MARK DEERE: Our priorities are to deliver and excel in terms of service for our guests as this is one of Rotana Hotels; core brand promises. We strongly believe that even though travellers have numerous accommodation options to choose from, service will always remain the deciding factor in choosing Amwaj Rotana versus our competitors. In regards to our business priorities, we are forecasting by taking advantage of demand patterns while reducing risks during lower occupancy months.