Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has unveiled a third-party research report on the digital maturity of hotels in the emirate, with the objective of further improving the competitiveness of the travel and tourism industry.
The report was commissioned by Dubai Tourism as part of its on-going commitment to facilitate and promote disruptive technology as set out by the government’s 10x Initiative, with research carried out by leading management consultancy InsightsOut, specialists in the hospitality and service industry.
Findings showed that 80% of hotel searches and 60% of travel searches in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) are made using mobile phones, demonstrating the importance of a digital, social and mobile first strategy when designing booking platforms. With digital maturity being a significant factor in tapping into today’s generation of technologically advanced travellers, the report aims to equip hotels with relevant analysis in order to identify areas for further improvement, as well as the best tools to use during implementation.
The research carried out a digital maturity assessment across all classifications of hotels in Dubai, using leading competitive cites around the world as a benchmark. The results revealed that 83% of hotels currently have an internet booking tool, with 78% already implementing a digital marketing strategy, reinforcing the industry’s increasing online presence. Whilst 63% of properties already offer digital guest surveys to improve their service, the report highlighted customer relation management (CRM) as an area for further development with 21% currently operating the process.
Further results showed the positive revenue impact that increased digital maturity will have on hotels and the wider destination, empowering stakeholders to offer personalised, timely, and differentiated customer service experiences, these features were identified as top priorities for the modern-day global traveller, as 86% of consumers prefer personalised communication in emails, 84% seeking recommendations based on their visit history, and 81% looking for geo-targeted offers and services.
The report also highlighted the most suitable digital technology stack for each classification of hotel including a self-assessment tool, providing the industry with additional comprehensive guest insights and performance analytics that will enable hotels to further build on their individual guest profiles with the ultimate aim of offering even more dynamic customisation.
His Excellency Helal Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, said: “Guided by the vision and future-focused agenda of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, our goal is to leverage technology to offer best in class digital experiences for our guests, enabling Dubai to lead the way into a smart future.
“As we work towards the Tourism 2022-2025 Strategy, the need for a new generation of innovative and smart technology increases in order to enhance the customer experience. We look forward to furthering this work in partnership with the private sector in order to ensure we are constantly evolving to cater to travellers’ needs, and where relevant will continue to call on third party research to ensure Dubai is leading the way when it comes to best practice in world-class digitisation”.
In addition to the Digital Maturity Report, Dubai Tourism and InsightsOut have also developed an interactive training programme to ensure Dubai’s resilient hospitality sector continues to maintain global price competitiveness. Working with hotels to further streamline and maximise revenue performance, the Revenue Management Workshop programme invited hotel revenue managers, reservation managers and sales and marketing managers to attend practical sessions, to share fundamental best practices in yield management and forecasting, in addition to monitoring applications and tools to manage the emirate’s overall occupancy levels, revenue per available room (RevPAR) and average daily rate (ADR).