Guest spending across Dubai’s luxury hotels is expected to drop by up to 15 per cent during the month of Ramadan, which starts from June 29, according to research by individual marketing consultant SweetBeam.
Data released by the company shows that total revenue from overnight guests can decline by as much as 35 per cent, when paired with the dip in occupancy typical of that period. Spending by families also drops 40 per cent.
Nearly all hotel services will be affected by the decline in spending, including spas which will see a 19 per cent drop and room service, which is expected to fall five per cent. The only rise in this period is in transport services (10 per cent), suggesting that guests usually like to leave the hotel in search of activities outside, states the study.
However, hotels can actually increase guest spending by up to 24 per cent by targeting guests with individually relevant information, suggests the research.
“With much of the city closed in the day or inaccessible because of the summer heat, hotels have an important opportunity to capitalise on a captive audience and boost spending. However during the holy month of Ramadan it is essential that marketing is highly personalised and culturally appropriate to each individual guest,” said Troy Simoni, CEO of SweetBeam.
Other suggestions by the research company to increase guest spending include using check-in information to target guests with cultural sensitivities on hotel offerings, communicating with guests in their own language and ensuring that key demographics such as families are aware of relevant offerings such as kids clubs and activities. Information about food and drink should also be delivered at appropriate times to different guests.
The report also urges hotels to boost marketing around spa facilities, educate western guests on Ramadan traditions and invite all guests to take part in Ramadan festivities such as iftar and suhoor.
“Many fasting parents will be keen to know about kids clubs to entertain young children in the afternoon, whilst international guests need to know which restaurants are open during the day. Utilising the right information to drive timely, personalised communications not only increases guest satisfaction but also dramatically boosts a hotel’s revenue during this time,” added Simoni.