Recent figures released by Deloitte Middle East showed hotel RevPAR growth of 21.8% in the region, and the world's highest occupancy and average room rates at 75.3% and US$180 respectively.
From this it is safe to assume that the Middle East's hospitality growth statistics are contrary to those of a sector and industry that is feeling the pinch of global economic uncertainty.
EyeforTravel have recently announced the launch of their latest Middle Eastern project, which follows on from the June Travel Distribution event. Hotel Revenue Management & Pricing is the topic of discussion for this latest forum, reflective of the unwavering development in the regions hotel sector.
The injection of massive amounts of hotel inventory (particularly in Dubai) have seen the emphasis shift from simple sales strategies, to an integrated revenue and sales approach more in-line with the US/Europe. Where once the prestige of full hotel occupancy was paramount, we now see this Western model of increased RevPAR and integrated total revenue management strategies as the emerging focus.
Sarah Allen, event speaker and Area Director of Revenue Strategy for Marriott, commented recently that "when you have a 1600 bedroom hotel opening (Atlantis the Palms) the success will be driven by a strong sales and revenue effort of pricing, mix, and long term strategy". She also believes that "it will highlight further the need for greater investment in talent development. More hotels means more people and this will force hotel companies to look at new ways of attracting talent and retaining them".
Generally the Middle Eastern revenue management discipline is regarded as ‘young' in comparison to its European and US counterparts. As multinational brands continue to flood into the region and establish themselves with several new properties, revenue management grows in importance and is gaining more recognition in the hotel organisational structure.
Sarah Allen sees the large investment by Marriott in the revenue management discipline beginning to pay off "with more talent willing to move and climb the ladder". However she agrees that "revenue management differs greatly by hotel and region", and adds that "this can be dependent upon a number of factors, including owners understanding, education of the benefits of revenue strategy, and systems utilized within the hotel".
EyeforTravel's first hotel sector revenue management forum aims to discuss these issues and more, with the intention of becoming an annual meeting place for regional revenue managers. More information about this inaugural two day forum, including a full speaker list can be found at the following website www.eyefortravel.com/rmme