Experts to discuss new trends in hospitality
Dubai, April 24, 2011
Experts will examine the IT, telecommunication and cultural trends impacting the hospitality sector at a forum in Dubai.
The Hotel Innovation, Trends and Technology (HITT) summit, a new event running alongside The Hotel Show 2011, will examine these trends in two sessions entitled ‘Hotel Design of the Future’ and ‘Hotel Rooms of the Future’.
The Hotel Show will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 17 to 19.
“Technology is accelerating at a frightening pace and hotels will need to react quickly and embrace the latest advances, if they are going to survive,” said Frederique Maurell, exhibition director, The Hotel Show 2011.
A panel of industry experts has been assembled to discuss the strategies, products and services driving hotel innovation, including Michael Scully, managing director of hospitality of Dubai-based hotel developer, Seven Tides.
“I believe there will be two significant developments within the hotel industry in the future, both showing complete contrasts and clearly attracting opposite market segments,” said Scully.
“The first being the hi- tech, budget, eco’ room, catering to the businessperson who requires the latest technology, a room size ideally suited to his or her virtual office, including total IT integration and hands-free or remote technology along with compatibility for hand-held devices. These rooms will be energy efficient allowing company stakeholders, transparency in terms of sustainability, pricing and efficiency,” he added.
In-room technology, the gadgetry at the fingertips of hotel customers, encompassing TV, telephony, lighting and climate controls and many other products and services, are gathering pace globally and within the Middle East, are also raising the bar in terms of hotel guest expectations.
In some luxury hotels, a single remote can be used in operating an IPTV system, which can in turn set personal preferences for the various in-room systems, including lighting levels, temperature, television channels, music, curtains and guest services.
However, according to Scully, although technology will be the key driver for corporate business, it will be the cultural experience that drives-in leisure bookings especially those from the Far East and South East Asia.
“Tourists from the East are culturally driven. They want authenticity and tradition, hotels that are representative of the destination. These properties must have easily identifiable unique selling propositions (USPs) different to any major cities in the world,” said Scully.
Another speaker at HITT, Jose Ventura, VP IMEA of US-based Preferred Hotel Group, who is addressing technological advances in hotel rooms of the future, concurs with Scully and believes understanding guest profiles will also be key to a hotel’s offering.
“The ‘new age’ traveller will be hard to please and will part with their hard-earned cash only for a value-for-money proposition. This traveller will have no loyalty and will seek through technology to make an informed decision,” said Ventura.
HITT 2011 features an impressive line-up of local, regional and international experts on hotel innovation, presenting over a two day conference and an additional day of dedicated workshops.
Expert speakers include Guido de Wilde, VP and regional director, Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Marc Dardenne, CEO, Emaar Hospitality, plus representatives from the Government of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
In addition to hotel rooms of the future, sessions topics cover issues including social media, technology ROI (return on investment), CRM technologies, alternative energy and mobile technology within hotels. – TradeArabia News Service
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