Home' Hotel Management : HM FEB 2017 Contents There is no doubt that 2017 will be a challenging year for hotel operators around the
world. Flattening global economic growth, currency fluctuations, disruptive trends, an
oversupply of rooms, and a decline in business investment means very few markets and
destinations are anticipating growth and hotel operators will be challenged to perform.
To succeed in this volatile climate, hotel operators will have to embrace innovation as
their modus operandi and be nimble enough to not only respond to market changes, but
to anticipate them too. Those who rise to the challenge will have a unique opportunity to
stand out from the crowd and maintain their success.
Based on the results we achieved in 2016 – when, amidst unfavorable global market
conditions and a major domestic incident in Thailand, the majority of our hotels in
Thailand still recorded positive growth in RevPAR, our resort in Guam became the
market leader in ADR, and our properties in Africa registered RevPAR growth over
2015 – we enter 2017 with caution but still with optimism that we have the strategy
and brands in place to further our sustainable development and continue our mission to
deliver gracious hospitality to the world.
We are actively growing globally and now have over 45 confirmed projects in the
pipeline. In the next three years alone, the number of operating Dusit hotels is set to double.
Specifically, we are growing well in emerging markets such as the Philippines, Vietnam,
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. We are also working on lots of new projects across the
Middle East, Africa and we have an impressive track record of success in China.
We opened our first dusitD2 (an upscale brand aimed at young, tech-savvy travellers –
currently six in operation) in the Dubai, UAE in December 2016, and, all going to plan,
our first urban resort in Singapore, Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore, should open by the
first quarter of next year.
With the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), established in 2015, facilitating
a rapid rise in the middle class across the region, more young travellers now have more
disposable income for travel, so we are confident that intra-ASEAN tourism to Thailand
(which made up two-thirds, or 66.5 per cent, of all visitors in 2015, according to data
from the World Travel and Tourism Council) will continue to grow in 2017.
In conjunction with the surge of arrivals from China to Thailand, last year we saw
double-digit growth of Chinese guests at Dusit properties. China now ranks among
the top three feeder source markets for our domestic properties, and even though the
Thailand government ’s ‘Zero-Dollar tours’ crackdown late last year saw fewer bookings
for Chinese tour groups compared to the same period in 2015 at our mid-range domestic
properties, the number of Chinese guests in other segments and at our upper-scale hotels
were not affected.
Year-to-date, the number of Chinese guests staying at our overseas properties such as
Maldives and Guam have increased year on year. With China emerging as a promising
inbound market for the Middle East and Africa, as well as improved diplomatic relations
between the Philippines and China, we expect our share of the Chinese market at our
hotels in those regions to increase this year.
Moreover, greater Dusit brand presence with a growing portfolio of Chinese properties
and our regional sales network in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong will support our plan
to capitalize on the growth potential to further develop this lucrative market.
As for major travel trends this year, we expect to see wellness in hotels become more
prominent as guests are now looking for more than simply the usual spa, fitness and
swimming pool combination, and instead prefer experiences that promote their entire
wellbeing. Think holidays for a healthy mind, emotional healing, detox holidays etc. We
have already begun to tap into this emerging market with the opening of our DusitP
rincess Wellness Resort Panzhihua, Sichuan, which features an all-day dining restaurant
serving nutritious dishes, and an on-site medical centre providing a comprehensive range
of wellness programmes and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
SNAPSHOT: DUSIT INTERNATIONAL
Number of hotels & rooms (Globally):
29 hotels / 7,388 rooms
Year first hotel opened (Globally): 1948
Year the company was founded: 1948
Brands in the organisation: Dusit Thani, dusitD2, Dusit
Princess and Dusit Devarana
Head office locations (Globally / APAC / ANZSP):
In terms of MICE, a recent survey conducted in
Europe and in the US showed that over 90 per cent
of MICE organisers and up to 58 per cent of global
commercial firms interviewed would not book a hotel
unless it can show clear proof of strong CSR programmes
addressing the environment, the level of hygiene and
of safety and security. At Dusit, we adhere to Quality
Assurance programmes which ensure each hotel is
operating to the highest of standards, including hygiene,
security, and impact on the environment. We are
delighted to be among the first hotel groups in Thailand
to receive full ISO 9001:2015 certification, and we will
continue to enhance the quality of all our operations to
continue to meet, and surpass, our guests’ expectations to
secure our position as the choice for MICE events.
In terms of technology, we have already seen how
social media has vastly changed the way guests interact
with hotels; how the growth of online booking sites have
impacted our transaction costs; and how the rise of the
shared economy, championed by services like Uber and
Airbnb, has further diversified what consumers expect
from the hospitality industry. Thanks to technology, the
industry is in a constant state of flux, and more innovative
business models are bound to be launched this year.
While we at Dusit do embrace new technology and
all the benefits it has to offer, we will always ensure
that human touch and personal interaction remain at
the forefront of the Dusit hospitality experience. These
hallmarks make us unique, and to keep them intact
we must carefully implement technology in a way that
reinforces our staff ’s ability to offer gracious, personalized
service rather than detract from it.
So while we are in the process of revamping our
technology, leveraging the latest digital tools to improve
operational efficiency and improve our own online system
transactions, we are also using it for training purposes and
skill development. Not only does this mean that our staff
are better positioned to offer a high level of service to our
guests, but they will also be happier, too. And happy staff
means happy guests. And happy guests means success.
LIM BOON KWEE
Chief Operating Officer
38 HM The Business of Accommodation
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