Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East and Africa (MEA) has participated at this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) as the company continues to enhance its offering to capitalise on Middle East popularity with European visitors.
The event, which kicked off in London on Monday and runs until Thursday 6 November 2014, is the leading annual business-to-business travel industry event, providing the ultimate platform for networking with the industry’s leading travel operators and showcasing Millennium’s Middle East brands.
“A renowned global event for the travel industry, WTM is our opportunity to create further awareness of the Millennium brands in the Middle East, by meeting with existing and potential associates, ultimately creating a platform to thank our valued partners that have supported Millennium for many years,” said Naeem Darkazally, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East & Africa.
Research from the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority for August 2014 outlined a 26% increase in visitors from Europe to the emirate, primarily driven by growth from France, the UK and Germany, with increases of 40%, 36% and 11% respectively. This has contributed to a 24% increase in Abu Dhabi hotel guest nights, results that were mirrored in all of Millennium’s Abu Dhabi properties as they closed August 10-15% above 2013 figures.
In Dubai, the popular Millennium Airport Hotel saw a rise in demand from the UK market with room nights increasing from 3,722 in 2013 to 6,475 in 2014 marking a 42.5% surge, thus underscoring the UK as the second highest source market behind the US.
“The European feeder markets, particularly the UK, are instrumental in driving our growth in occupancy levels and supporting our expansion plans in the UAE and the wider region. As such we will further enhance our customer loyalty programme with the launch of a new global CRM platform, allowing us to communicate more effectively with our guests and offering the best possible experience, to enhance customer loyalty at any Millennium & Copthorne Hotel globally,” said Darkazally.
The company will also generate greater online connectivity with customers and agents by adopting the latest CRS technologies, “Windsurfer”, a hotel reservation system that will make it easier for anyone to search the Millennium and Copthorne room inventories and enable them to book instantly.
In addition to enhancement of the customer experience, Millennium & Copthorne also highlighted its aggressive expansion strategy, with one of the most ambitious pipelines in the region.
Developments include the new 295-key Millennium Hotel & Convention Centre in Kuwait which will open in Q1 2015. The property will boast more than 6000 square metres of event space making it one of the largest in the country. The property will also benefit from a stunning ballroom and over 200 parking spaces.
The Millennium brand is also to be further strengthened in Oman with the unveiling of three new properties, including a global first with the launch of the 115-key Millennium Executive Apartments in Q4 2014. This will be followed by the Grand Millennium Muscat in Q2 2015 and Copthorne Muscat in Q3 2015.
The Millennium Fujairah Hotel and the Millennium Bab Al Qasr Hotel, Abu Dhabi, will bring the tally of UAE properties to ten.
“This is an exciting time for Millennium & Copthorne. We have witnessed a period of sustained revenue growth in many of our hotels and with that, renewed confidence in our development plans for the region. WTM provides us with an ideal arena for us to re-emphasise our plans and share our latest opening timelines throughout the region, with our key trade partners,” he added.
Currently, Millennium and Copthorne Hotels & Resorts operates 17 hotels with approximately 5,000 rooms across the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Iraq, and is targeting 50 properties by 2017, including 20 hotels in Saudi Arabia.