Summer revenue figures will be almost as high as the temperatures this summer, predicts Karen Hardcastle, director of business development at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina.
According to Hardcastle, the days of low occupancy in the summer are long gone, and hotel and tour operators should revise their price strategy accordingly to supply and demand.
She said: “It is a misconception that the summer is a ‘dead’ season for Dubai. The market is changing: during the hotter months, the only thing that drops is hotel rates, not occupancy.
“Last year, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi’s lowest occupancy level was 84 per cent in June - a level that most five-star resorts worldwide would be happy with as a high point.”
Hardcastle claims that occupancy and rate levels should be allowed to find their natural high in the summer months, rather than be suppressed by price cuts.
“Business growth over those summer months is achievable with swift reactions to the changing marketplace from the sales teams, and a flexible marketing strategy.
“We have a luxury five-star product, and need to charge prices that reflect our service delivery. But Dubai properties must continue to give value-for-money in their product offering throughout the year - at whatever rate they charge.”
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi registered huge increases in target European markets - including 150 per cent in Spain - last year, after a concentration of sales efforts in line with new chartered flight routes.
“However, the most pertinent increases were those achieved to revenue and to the bottom line, as they represent the clearest indicators of business achievement.
“From September onwards, we saw maximum occupancies at very high yield, which bodes well for continued levels of success. For 2004, we are already breaking all revenue records with the hotel, with revenue up 54 per cent on last year, and 29 per cent over budget year-to-date.”
According to Hardcastle, the resort also registered a 15 per cent increase in bookings over the Internet, which is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
This growth is in line with recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers industry research that suggested Internet bookings would almost double over the next 12 months, from 13 per cent in 2004 to about 24 per cent in 2005.
Hardcastle said: “By 2005, the industry will have shown significant growth, with rising occupancies and average daily rates. This is likely to result in more emphasis on the hotels’ own online booking systems, rather than those provided by discount websites.
“This effective price management by hotel companies will result in more rooms sold online, and smaller discounts available on third-party websites. The Internet may even help accelerate any rate increases during periods of tight demand,” she concluded.