Despite a turbulent time for Middle Eastern tourism, the multi award winning Royal Savoy has gone from strength to strength and most recently has enjoyed tremendous benefits from the outstanding facilities offered at SOHO Square. Breaking Travel News catches up with Dieter Geiger, the hotel’s general manager, to find out what’s new at the property.
Breaking Travel News: How is business at the Royal Savoy?
Dieter Geiger: As Royal Savoy has limited number of rooms demand is high. The Royal Savoy has a large number of repeat guests and occupancy for the Royal Savoy is between 60 per cent and 70 per cent throughout the year.
BTN: What is the main factor that differentiates the property from any other in the region?
DG: We are the World’s Leading Dive Hotel, which was awarded by TripAdvisor in the category. We have fantastic personalised service, excellent facilities, a private beach and extensive access to some of the best restaurants in the region.
BTN: Can you describe your recent developments/upgrades/new appointments and what will be rolled out in coming months?
DG: Currently we are in the final stage of completing additional standard rooms, suites, a new reception and lounge in order to satisfy the high demand for the Royal Savoy.
BTN: To what extent is being ‘green’ a priority for the Savoy group? Can you describe one of the top sustainable initiatives you have in place?
DG: Being green is a top priority. Various initiatives are implemented; these include sustainable garbage disposal, selection of green suppliers, and working with guests to conserve water so they can enjoy clean green holidays with us.
BTN: What types of travellers do you mainly target?
DG: The hotel is popular with mainly British and Scandinavian German, Dutch, Belgium, French, Italian, Ukrainian, Russian Polish, Rumanian and Bulgarian travellers.
BTN: Which emerging markets will you look to tap into in coming months?
DG: We are targeting Poland, Rumania, Bulgarian and Ireland.
BTN: To what extent are the internet, social media and mobile technologies a priority for the Savoy?
DG: In view of the fact that digital methods of communication and marketing are faster, more versatile, practical and streamlined we made it a priority to move into the digital age as soon as possible.
Digital marketing is infinitely more affordable than traditional offline marketing methods. An email or social media campaign, for example, can transmit a marketing message to consumers for the merest fraction of the cost of a television advert or print campaign, and potentially reach the same, if not a wider, audience. The main benefits of conducting some of our marketing digitally include the ease with which results can be tracked and monitored.
BTN: Can you comment on how Sharm has evolved and changed over the past few years?
DG: Sharm El Sheikh has grown into a major player within top world destinations. Sharm has a generous spread of everything the leisure segment could wish for, and is excellent for family holiday’s, diving, relaxing, nightlife, eco-tourism and cultural and religious holidays. We have the new SOHO Square which suits all segments of the client base, and provides shops, restaurants, ice skating and a wide range of entertainment for all guests to Sharm El Sheikh.
BTN: What do you consider to be the main challenges for the Savoy group this year?
DG: Rebuilding confidence in the destination, and ensuring that the impact of the current political status does not affect our markets.
BTN: In what ways has the political unrest in the Middle East affected business? What is your message for travellers who want to visit but have seen negative reports on the news?
DG: Tourist arrivals were down by 30 per cent from those in 2010. Our message to the travellers is this is a safe friendly destination dedicated to serving the needs of guests in a fun and relaxing manner; we look forward to welcoming everyone to our Oasis.
BTN: What are your main goals for 2012?
DG: Continuing to provide the best and finest service and facilities to guests, every day of the year. We look forward to welcoming one and all to our home in Sharm El Sheikh.