Following research into booking trends in the trade and corporate markets, The Fairmont Dubai
has launched an initiative to boost online reservations through the GDS, promising latest rate availability at all times.
According to Stephen Banks, regional director of sales & marketing, research by his team has shown that 90 per cent of GCC travel agents did not use GDS for hotel bookings, principally because the rates given were not always current and valid and they preferred to contact the hotels directly to obtain better rates.
“Use of the GDS system as a dedicated form of booking is still in its infancy in the Middle East compared to other regions, but this is growing exponentially, and we at Fairmont want to be a part of this and assist our travel partners in developing this booking medium,” he said.
“We want them to have ease of access to our rates at all times, whether they call, fax, e-mail or go through the GDS system. Hence we are now looking at a major drive over the summer months to direct agents to the GDS system and to ensure from our side that they will always have access to our very latest rates,” he said.
In addition, the hotel is committed to setting rates on a 12-month basis, and yielding these on a Last Room Availability basis throughout the year including the exhibition season, sporting events and festivals.
“We want to avoid inadvertently surprising our clients with short-term rate increases at the last minute, such as the Dubai Air Show period,” explained director of sales, Kent Cooper.
“Therefore our aim is to firm up rates across a 12-month calendar, which we will honour down to the last room available, based on category, at any time.”
Dubai`s newest five-star hotel, The Fairmont Dubai
is also using its state-of-the art technology to making reservations easier for corporate clients. The high-tech hotel, with more than 6,000 kilometres of wiring, is in the process of introducing systems to streamline bookings both on an internal and external basis, many of which are being considered for implementation on a corporate basis by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “For corporate clients, their individual rate codes will be automatically inputed in to our system which also maintains all their individual booking preferences,” said Cooper.
“It gives them a one-stop booking option, an inter-active link which can be used for reservations via e-mail or fax where we are creating dedicated desktop templates with logo for their bookings.” The system will also be used for restaurant and spa reservations at the time of room booking - a facility that will eventually be available for local residents too.
“We want to take this further to cover events bookings too,” said Cooper. “We have great scope for inter-connectivity here, and by streamlining these things, we are also cutting down on paperwork and promoting our company green policy.”
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