Opened in 2011, Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel, Dubai, has witnessed stellar growth and potential in 2012. Speaking to TTG about the opening of the property, and its parent company, Staywell Hospitality Group, was general manager, Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel, Dubai, Scott Butcher.
TTG: As a newly-opened property, what do you wish to highlight at ATM, and what can visitors to the stand, and that of your parent company, Staywell Hospitality Group, expect?
This is the second time Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel, Dubai is exhibiting at ATM. Last year, our hotel was only open for around four months, and not all our facilities or rooms had fully opened. In addition, we were running under a four-star license. Now, at this year’s ATM, we’re fully operational, and are running as a five-star property.
In addition, this is the first time our parent company, Staywell Hospitality Group, has joined us here at ATM. Staywell Hospitality Group has desires to expand our presence within the Middle East region, and ATM is the ideal platform in order for us to explore this potential fully.
We currently have a number of hotels in the pipeline all over the world, including five in India – the first is expected to open in October – and two properties in the UK, and one lined up in Morocco. Staywell is an ever-expanding group who only have the Park Regis brand currently in the Middle East region, but more of the brands will enter into this market. As you are aware, these things take time, but we are optimistic about these developments.
TTG: How has the hotel performed since its opening, and what are your forecasts for the future?
When Park Regis Hotel Kris Kin Hotel, Dubai first opened, it was the first time the Park Regis brand entered into the Middle East. In fact, the brand had no prior experience in this part of the world. However, we have learnt a lot very quickly. Soon after opening, we entered into the Eid period, which was a great learning experience. We went from running around 10 per cent occupancy to just over 70 per cent in the space of seven weeks.
We’re enjoying a good market mix from several regions. Our main business comes from the GCC, followed by the UK, Saudi Arabia and India. So as you can see, we have a variety of clientele, and it’s good to see more business coming from the European market. This traction comes from our overseas offices within the European market, including the UK and Germany, but we are witnessing some more clientele coming in from the CIS countries.
We are marketing our current property through road-shows and travel exhibitions across the Middle East and beyond. For example, we attended ITB in Berlin in March, and we’re now here in ATM. In September we’ll have a presence in Moscow to market ourselves in the CIS.
TTG: What specific markets are you targeting, and how are you incorporating this into your marketing strategy?
I would say that our business ratio is quite balanced – it currently stands at 60/40 – 60 per cent makes up the leisure market, and 40 per cent makes up the corporate market. We’re hoping to further balance out this ratio soon.
We utilise our sales offices across the globe to our advantage. In fact, this is becoming a successful strategy for us presently. We are also signing a number of RFP’s with major organisations, which is bringing in business for us. And, of course, we utilise our people on the ground to promote our property.
TTG: You recently implemented a social media strategy for your hotel. Tell us a little more about this, and how you believe social media can be used to garner more business and interest.
Our recently launched social media strategy has had a very good response, and we are trying out a number of strategies. Social media is a learning curve, as I think most people will find. It’s trying to utilise a social medium in order to garner business, and we will try a number of strategies with that. For example, we used Facebook for a competition in one of our outlets, Kris Restaurant, where we ran a competition. From that, we were able to attract 106 friends, which was a good response.
Social media is a great marketing tool, which we will utilise effectively at present and in the future.