Taj Palace Dubai taps new markets

Monday, 13 December 2010 00:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

With a significant decline in visitors from the US and Europe over the last year, many hotels in Dubai are having to seek new source markets to fill the gaps.

“We have seen bookings from Europe down by 3% particularly those from UK, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Turkey and also Scandinavian countries” said Andreas Mueller, General Manager of the Taj Palace Dubai. “This has forced us to look at new source markets to plug these gaps”

Key source markets for Dubai have always traditionally been the GCC, UK, India, Iran and Saudi Arabia, however the city is fast becoming a preferred tourist destination for several new and emerging markets particularly South Africa and China.

As a key potential market, it is well documented that the Chinese outbound travel market is one of the fastest growing in the world and according to the CNTA (China National Tourism Administration) China will be the number one source of tourism in the world by 2015.

Mueller agrees, and believes India and China will lead the pack by sheer numbers next year, “India’s economy is strong which creates cash rich middle class travellers ready to travel and explore. We have also seen a very promising 3% growth from the Chinese market, mainly from group segments, and we expect that figure to just continue to grow,” he said.

In addition, South Africa, whose outbound tourism product is growing, is rapidly becoming a key source market for the Taj Palace Dubai and the hotel is investing heavily in the destination.

Mueller believes that attractive offers and dynamic pricing is the key to success in securing accounts in this competitive environment. However he said that he is forced to compete with new hotels tapping into these markets with attractive rates, particularly during the summer when rates tend to take a downward turn.

“Hotels in Dubai have been in a very comfortable position for a very long time with demand far outstripping supply” said Mueller. “But this has changed drastically since last year because of a massive new supply of rooms which in turn has lead to the all-too-familiar price wars that we see now. It’s a situation that I don’t see changing anytime soon.”