Mint Stalk, a UAE-based digital and creative marketing agency, has honed in on the UAE’s hospitality sector, sharing valuable insight on the industry’s future.
The agency reports that Dubai’s hotel scene is currently flourishing, supported by recent PWC studies stating that the UAE has been named the most popular tourist destination for 2021.
Throughout the pandemic, Mint Stalk has been monitoring the impact of the pandemic on its client portfolio and has noticed that new trends are starting to emerge as hotels are becoming more and more creative with the way they handle their current activities in order to stay in business.
It is no longer simply about the location but the flexibility in terms of bookings and cancellation, as well as the other unique selling points and the overall experience, Mint Stalk reports. Noticeable trends include smart touchless technology with keyless entry and contactless check-in/check-out, allowing guests and hotel staff to avoid unnecessary contact and remain safe – a simple yet clever approach.
Founder, Mint Stalk, Alyssa Al-maiahi outlined the agency’s findings: “What we have witnessed with some of the hotels we work with is that people appear to be shifting their focus towards a more local and cultural experience as opposed to the usual ‘commercial’ mainstream choice. Our local partners showed an impressively high occupancy rate of above 90 per cent throughout the pandemic, which was not necessarily the case for other multinational brands we work with.
“Travellers are increasingly picking hotels based on concepts such as culture, sustainability, work-friendly environment, privacy and open-space activities such as yoga retreats or outdoor cooking. It’s a fascinating transition and it will be interesting to see the extent to which hotels are ready to go to accommodate,” she noted.
Although the majority of hoteliers and experts believe that the worst is behind them and that the Dubai Expo 2021 will bring even more investors to the country, the hotel industry in Dubai is expected to only fully recover by 2024, according to Mint Stalk.
In the meantime, the agency believes that travellers will continue to approach the situation with new tactics, opting for longer ‘workations’ instead of quick staycations, which will, in turn, will inspire hotels to adjust their offerings accordingly.