Thomas Gertz, CEO Bavaria Hotels International analyzes in TravelDailyNews the reasons for BHI’s entrance into the Dubai market.
TravelDailyNews: What are your expectations of launching the new Bavaria Executive Suites in Dubai?
Thomas Gertz: We will be adding value to the business and leisure climate of Dubai, and strengthening the destination by initiating features and services currently not available. We are confident that the diversification and variety of our product will be enjoyed and very well received.
TDN:What are your future plans in the Middle East region?
T. G.: Bavaria Hotels International will be announcing a new project in the region during the Arabian Travel Market in May, and we are always interested in discussing new possibilities. The product must, however, meet our required corporate standards or we will not consider a relationship. The Middle East is a growing market, and there are many opportunities for expansion.
TDN:How does competition in the luxury sector affect your company?
T. G.: Competition in any market is always good as it naturally regulates prices and ensures quality. Bavaria Executive Suites Dubai will provide 2,100 luxury suites to a 5-star quality but at more moderate rates, targeting both short and longer stay guests. With a hotel of this size offering very diverse leisure and business facilities, we will be opening up new business opportunities and markets rather than targeting existing business.
TDN:Did you conduct a research before launching in Dubai and what were the findings?
T. G.: We conduct extensive market research before launching in any destination, to ensure feasibility of our business model. We identified opportunities for a large scale suite product in Dubai, providing an alternative style of accommodation and on a scale appealing to larger groups and conventions. Dubai will now be able to target a certain type and size of group previously unattainable due to lack of rooms, and business individuals and corporate clients requiring short and long-term services and facilities can take advantage of the Free Zone environment with it’s added values.
TDN:What is the percentage of business – leisure travellers in your hotel?
T. G.: This will naturally fluctuate depending on the season and on the shifting segmentation of Dubai, however we project a 60/40 split between Business and Leisure.
TDN:Do you believe that terrorist attacks prevent people to come in Dubai and how does this situation affect your operations?
T. G.: Today’s traveller, whether on business or leisure, is very aware of safety and risk. Bavaria Executive Suites Dubai places a high priority on the safety of its guests, and is installing some of the very latest technology to maintain this safety. Even though we do not feel at risk here in Dubai, we remain vigilant. However, I do not believe that terrorist attacks have affected travel to Dubai – there is often a small downturn in arrivals after any terrorist activity, in any destination, but business soon recovers.
TDN:What kind of distribution channels do you use in order to attract clients? What is the percentage of online booking?
T. G.: The distribution channels and materialization rates are constantly shifting and we are constantly maintaining our online and GDS technology to ensure that our services are available 24/7 from around the world. Our key GDS provider is UTELL and we will be guaranteeing lowest rate from our own online booking engine. We expect that our online reservations will grow in line with the global trend.