How hoteliers can stay ahead of the game
Hoteliers in Dubai need to maintain their edge – even when their properties are constantly full – if they are to stay ahead of the game, according to Michael Scully, general manager of Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina. According to Scully, property managers should not be content with high revenues and occupancy levels, but should look to guest satisfaction as a long-term measure of success.
“With such a vibrant five-star hotel scene in Dubai, the market is highly competitive. However, this just means we have to continually raise the bar in terms of delivery,” he said. “Today’s business traveller is looking for a hotel experience that fits into his schedule and lifestyle as seamlessly as possible in terms of service offering, but is accompanied by service excellence.”
With an increasingly demanding customer, hotels have to continually evolve their product. “We cannot point to high occupancies of proof of our success, as the inevitable boom in room numbers in the next couple of years could see us lose our market edge,” added Scully.
To this end, the hip lifestyle resort is undergoing a series of market-leading ventures since last year, encompassing both the bricks and mortar of the property as well as the product development. Said Scully, “The results have seen our revenue outperform every year in our history. The property underwent significant landscape extensions in 2003, registered a 10.6 per cent year-on-year growth in revenue, and a 16 per cent increase in average room rate for the year. The programme of substantial renovations is now almost complete, with the principal phase, the increase of conference and banqueting and facilities, and the extension of the beach and marina to reach 1,200 metres, already paying dividends.”
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi’s product portfolio has also evolved, with the addition of the couture cuisine service for Club guests, Chef on Demand. “We have to constantly upgrade our product,” said Scully, “and out-of-the-box initiatives such as Chef on Demand will help keep us at the front of guests’ minds. These initiatives may not bring extra business at a time when we are 100 per cent full, but they do serve to increase customer satisfaction, which will pay off more in the long-term.”