The Middle East market is crying out for quality, low cost hotel accommodation to address massive increases in expected tourist levels, says Gerard Greene, CEO, Yotel – the recently launched luxury pod-style hotel concept.
Huge regional tourism growth, says Greene, will see a whole new mid-market segment of hotel outfits, which provide luxury hotel accommodation at affordable prices, open up throughout the Middle East and he’s confirmed Yotel is negotiating on several regional properties.
“The Middle East is the world’s fastest growing region for travel and it has a very established traditional four and five star market. However, there are limited exciting design-led properties. I’ve always said that there are markets around the globe where the restricted choice for the consumer in the hotel world affects growth. It’s either stay in an expensive hotel or pay a low price for mediocrity,” said Greene.
“As travel to the Middle East increases, so does the demand for varied accommodation. The branded budget market such as Express by Holiday Inn and Travelodge has been non-existent in the Middle East up until recently. There is now strong demand for good quality, low priced accommodation.”
Greene is planning to spell out demand and opportunities for low-cost accommodation providers at a dedicated seminar he will address at this year’s Arabian Travel Market – the Middle East’s premier travel and tourism event.
During the educational seminar - ‘21st Century Travel – Luxury & Affordability In A Small Space’ - at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (DIECC) on 8th May, Greene will examine how the low-cost accommodation providers can adapt to Middle East preferences.
“Hotel customers are now more astute than ever,” said Greene. “They are disappointed with poor or average quality and want value for money, seek a level of excitement from inspirational products and services, and want things to be simple and logical. The consumer market is changing and this is ultimately having an impact on the hotel industry.”
Greene is one of a number of industry heavyweights lined up for the thought-leadership seminar programme that Arabian Travel Market’s organiser, Reed Travel Exhibitions, has planned for this year’s show – the 15th in the annual series.
Aimed at boosting knowledge delivery, the 14 seminars, which will tackle key industry issues, will be staged for the first time on the show floor to engender a more inclusive atmosphere. The programme will cover critical human resource issues in the region, ground-breaking medical tourism initiatives, recruitment and retention strategies in the Middle East’s hotel industry, the future of travel agents and the development of online travel bookings and the role of the internet and new web marketing techniques as the industry evolves.
“The subject matter has been carefully chosen after discussions within the industry and will play a significant role in unlocking the business potential of the Middle East and Pan Arab region,” said Simon Press, Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market.
“The potential is huge as the Middle East continues to notch up travel industry growth that is now out-performing all other regions – this growth will need to be serviced through new products and suppliers – many of which will be found at Arabian Travel Market.”
The Middle East recently topped an International Air Transport Association report as recording the highest increase in passenger traffic last year when it reached 18.1 percent year-on-year growth.
Arabian Travel Market 2008, which will run at the DIECC from 6-9th May, will be trade-only on the first three days, with public invited on the final day. This year will also boast an improved floorplan with hotel, travel and technology companies being flanked by Europe on one side and the United Arab Emirates and Middle East on the other, followed by Africa, the Americas and Asia.