Smart technologies ‘redefining the hotel guest experience’
The rise of smart technology and initiatives designed to breed guest loyalty will reshape the hospitality experience in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Dubai, according to new research published by Colliers International.
The report, which debuted at last month’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, highlights eight major global trends that are redefining the hospitality sector in the Middle East. They comprise fresh and communal themed design; destination experiences; personalised loyalty benefits; “co-everything” shared spaces; multi-role jobs for hotel associates, empowered by technology; authentic experiences; data and smart hotels.
The rise of customer loyalty programmes that focus on providing personalised benefits is also having a profound effect on consumer behaviour in the hospitality sector, according to the Colliers report.
Commenting on the findings, Simon Press, senior exhibition director, ATM, said: “The trends identified in this report will define innovation and growth across the regional hospitality landscape in the coming five years. The findings demonstrate that today’s hotel guests don’t want to be part of the crowd – they want a unique experience, personalised to their tastes and expectations and, preferably, in an unexplored, or emerging, destination.
“Using the trends of recent years as a springboard, the hospitality industry will start to pursue new lines of business in 2018, placing a focus on engagement, with personalised and bespoke attention now crucial to the luxury experience. “
The First Group’s management partner, Wyndham Hotel Group – which is the world’s largest hotel management firm – recently revealed its loyalty programme surpassed 50 million members. The programme, which was launched in 2004, was completely redesigned in 2015 with a focus on personalised member benefits, is now recognised as the industry’s leading hotel loyalty programme.
Wyndham currently manages two hotel properties – Wyndham Dubai Marina and Tryp by Wyndham Barsha Heights – on behalf of The First Group, with another three in the development pipeline: Ramada Plaza Business Bay, Ramada Plaza JVC and TFG One Hotel Dubai Marina.