Just finished attending and speaking at the Revenue Management and Pricing Middle East Conference, which was held at the Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi and organized by Eyefortravel. The turn out was decent…about 50–60 professionals from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, mostly Revenue Managers and some Sales & Marketing managers, General Managers and Owners. The crunch seems to have had its effect elsewhere though – a source from Europe claimed that a similar event there had a dismal turnout, as hoteliers scurry to cut costs.
Some good presentations, especially a couple that touched on the big picture, trends and also challenged participants to prep for the future. Total Revenue Management emerges as a clear winner in terms of what hotels SHOULD be doing to prepare and fully yield their products. Technology challenges still remain the biggest hurdle to successful revenue management, CRM and distribution. I enjoyed Sarah Allen’s presentation on Generation Y – particularly some of the changes that are happening which are impacting our human capital strategies, and how, as an industry, we need to shift our mindsets into a new way of doing business to keep ahead of the competition. Another good trend overview was provided by Margaret Bowler from HRG (Grabbing a hold of the corporate segment opportunity).
My own presentation was part of the panel session “The Online Travel Agency impact on hotel revenues” with Walter from Expedia and Arun from Jebel Ali Hotels and focused on the big picture and how hotels can regain control by going back to basics and pursuing untapped opportunities like Experience Management and using guests as a distinct and structured hotel distribution channel.
A PARTIAL LIST OF SPEAKERS
Sarah Allen, Area Director of Revenue Strategy, Middle East & Africa, Marriott
Stefan Wolf, Jumeirah
Jitendra Jain, eCommerce Manager, Starwood Hotels
Margaret Bowler, Director, Global Hotel Relations, HRG
Rishikant Singh, AGM – Revenue Management, Air India
Ahmed Rasmy, Revenue Manager, Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi
Laurent Barelier, Revenue Manager, Novotel & Ibis World Trade Centre Dubai
Dennis Penalosa, Cluster Revenue Manager – Jumeirah Living, Jumeirah
Richard Haddad, General Manager, Vision Hotels Management
Arun Kumar, Director of Revenue Management & Reservation Services, Jebel Ali International Hotels
Tiina-Maija Bergman, Partner, DuncanBramwell&Company
Anita Markiewicz, Director of Revenue Management, Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts
Hans-Werber Olbertz, General Manager, Emirates Palace
Michael Marshall, VP Sales & Marketing, Rotana Hotels
Soha Zahar, Director of Revenue, Rotana Hotel
Walter Lo Faro, Director of Market Management, Expedia
Rania El Haddad, PhD Researcher, University of Surrey
Hennie Strauss, Business Services Head: Middle East, CitiGroup
Binu Varghese, Grand Hyatt Dubai
More event information at: http://events.eyefortravel.com/rmme