Ramada Doha gears for a major upgrade

TTN has a five-minute chat with IAN LILLIE, director of sales and marketing at Ramada Doha, about future plans and attending ITB.

How was 2010 for the hotel in terms of revpar and occupancies and how did this compare to 2009?

Occupancy was slightly up on 2009, by 1.3 per cent ending the year just under 70 per cent.  Revpar suffered a little as expected, due to a QR50 ($13.7) drop in the average rate.

What is 2011 looking like so far?

2011 has got off to an excellent start and our forecast for the first quarter is 10 per cent up on last year.  Second, third and fourth quarters are not quite so optimistic due to new openings and a squeeze on rates.

Are you seeing impact from all the new development and has there been an upsurge in interest following the Qatar’s successful World Cup bid?

Yes, hence the drop in rate and yes, but so far only inquiries.  The business will not start materialising until 2012.

Are there any new developments planned for the hotel in 2011?

We plan to refurbish all 324 bedrooms in the West Wing of the hotel. The hotel has 584 rooms in total and we are currently studying four different designs to choose the new product for the 328 rooms in the West Wing.

The East Wing opened in June 2007 offering deluxe rooms, which are a minimum of 40 sq m, as well as two executive floors, two penthouse suites and three themed suites.

The rooms in the older original 1979 building of the West Wing measure around 29 sq m and they will continue to be the standard featuring updated décor, high quality fixtures, fittings and amenities and new bathrooms.

What will you be presenting at ITB Berlin and what do you hope to gain from participation?

We will be at ITB Berlin on the Qatar Tourism Authority stand. We will, as always, look forward to meeting up with our existing business partners and of course to meeting potential new ones.  It is always difficult to say in advance what will come of the show, but we do have some very interesting meetings already lined up which have the potential of producing high-volume business.