E-MARKETING is one of the hospitality industry’s key tools for success, according to Osama Mariam, director of sales and marketing at Dubai’s Al Sondos Suites by Le Méridien, who is driving the initiative at the property.
Mariam has confirmed that the e-marketing campaign has already led to well over 1,150 room nights booked online – six per cent of the property’s occupancy – at an average room rate of almost Dhs650 per night. The hotel’s summer occupancy levels nudged 86 per cent.
“As part of a fully-integrated marketing campaign, e-marketing gives hoteliers the flexibility to deal with day-to-day sales needs through an internal and completely personalised database,” he said. “E-marketing can really drive product awareness in a market such as Arabia, where targeted consumer communications can work so well.” Mariam pointed out that knowing both customer and market is key to successful targeted marketing, and online communications is an excellent example. “One of our current key target markets is Turkey along with the existing local and GCC markets, and experience tells us that our guests appreciate receiving intelligent marketing communications such as newsletters and emails.”
With the tourism and hospitality sector often accused of being slow to react to change, the developing use of e-marketing is a positive point, said Mariam. “We can act immediately on periods of slower occupancy, both for the hotel and for the outlets, with a response time that is near-instantaneous.”
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