Marc Bennet, SVP of international operations for DTCM told delegates at the GM Leaders Conference 2016 that more needs to be done to capture target markets.
Speaking in light of a string of unprecedented events, from Leicester City wining the English Premier League to the popularity of US presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, Bennet told the audience that “the cookie cutter approach to distribution doesn’t work in destinations like Dubai”.
Commenting on the lack of destination-focussed content on hotel and airline websites, Bennet continued to observe how opportunities are being missed through a lack of promotion of Dubai.
He said: “[DTCM] assessed hotel websites in Dubai and many hotels didn’t have any destination specific content. Some airlines flying here every day have no destination content for customers, yet we see from visitors that repeat bookings and first time visitors needs that information. If we want to get people to come back to Dubai we need to show them the experience, from the new theme parks to Dubai Opera, the theatre at Habtoor City and Dubai Eye.”
Quoting figures from two of the city’s largest source markets, Saudi Arabia and India, he quoted 53% of all visitors to Dubai from Saudi Arabia return more than once a year. Of the total number of visitors from Saudi Arabia, 61% of bookings are made through OTAs and 18% of guests book direct with the hotel.
In India, 67% of visitors are first time visitors to Dubai, with 23% booking a hotel on arrival and 10% booking direct with the hotel.
Bennet concluded: “Of our total visitors, 33% return within a year. How we reach those travellers gives us a huge opportunity to bring back one third of our visitors in one year.”