The second session of the TravTalk ME virtual conclave had three speakers in 3 different areas in the hospitality industry. Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Chief Operating Officer Shurooq; Alexander Suski, Associate Vice President Sales & Marketing Millennium Hotels & Resorts Middle East, Africa; and Turkeyand Philip Wooller – Area Director-Middle East & Africa, STR.
In his opening remarks Al Qaseer stated that Sharjah Collection hotels saw an increase of customers once the ban was eased and they were enjoying a very good occupancy level. Suski and Philip stated that they have seen an increase in terms of numbers of residents making use of their staycation opportunities that provided them with good deals.
The speakers stated that they have been closely working with the tourism boards Dubai and Sharjah and compliant with all their requests so that they can ensure the guests of their confidence. Al Qaseer opined that since Sharjah collection has more boutique properties that ensure social distancing and more outdoor spaces, this helped them to gain the trust of the visitors. Suski stated that MICE and weddings will be the ones that may take a little longer to start.
Philip stated that UK is an important source market for the UAE and likewise UK travellers enjoy the summer in the UAE and this year too once restrictions are lifted they will see a growth of these travellers. The speakers concluded the session stating that hotels should start selling now or even yesterday the ones that stayed operational even during the time of the pandemic, it will be easier for them to get on track. It was their opinion that price wise there will not much as to changes but it will be competitive as everyone wants a piece of the cake.