Technology, Travel & Hospitality, UAE

Dubai highlights increased digitisation of global travel ecosystem

Eighty percent of hotel searches and 60 percent of travel searches in the Middle East and North Africa, MENA region, are made using mobile phones, demonstrating the importance of a digital, social and mobile first strategy when designing booking platforms, according to a recent study.

Tourists at the observation deck of Burj Khalifa

The report, which was unveiled by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) and was carried out by management consultancy firm, delved into the digital maturity of hotels in the emirate, with the objective of further improving the competitiveness of the travel and tourism industry.

The report aims to equip hotels with the relevant analysis in order to identify areas for further improvement, as well as the best tools to use during implementation.

The research revealed that 83 percent of hotels currently have an internet booking tool, with 78 percent already implementing a digital marketing strategy, reinforcing the industry’s increasing online presence. While 63 percent of properties already offer digital guest surveys to improve their service, the report highlighted customer relation management, CRM, as an area for further development with 21 percent currently operating the process.

Further results showed the positive revenue impact that increased digital maturity will have on hotels. These features were identified as top priorities for the modern-day global traveller, with 86 percent of consumers preferring personalised communication in emails; 84 percent seeking recommendations based on their visit history, and 81 percent looking for geo-targeted offers and services.

Helal Almarri, Director-General, Dubai Tourism, said, “Today, consumers are hyper-connected and expect real-time product updates and personalisation tools on mobile devices to tailor their hotel and destination experiences, underpinning the importance of customer relationship management at every stage of the journey. As we work towards the Tourism 2022-2025 Strategy, the need for a new generation of innovative and smart technology increases in order to enhance the customer experience. We look forward to furthering this work in partnership with the private sector in order to ensure we are constantly evolving to cater to travellers’ needs, and where relevant will continue to call on third-party research to ensure Dubai is leading the way when it comes to best practice in world-class digitisation.”

In addition to the Digital Maturity Report, Dubai Tourism and InsightsOut have also developed an interactive training programme to ensure Dubai’s resilient hospitality sector continues to maintain global price competitiveness.

The Revenue Management Workshop programme invited hotel revenue managers, reservation managers and sales and marketing managers to attend practical sessions. The comprehensive programme consisted of 22 workshop sessions, training a total of 419 professionals across 411 properties, with each session hosting a maximum of 25 participants to ensure a personalised and immersive learning environment.

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