Carlton Group general manager Hosni Al Hadi Carlton Group general manager Hosni Al Hadi

Carlton Tower Hotel Dubai in Deira is expecting a hike in the amount of business conducted online in 2012, from 12% currently to up to 25%.

Six months ago, the hotel overhauled its website and has since seen a 45% increase in the number of visits to the site.

Carlton Group general manager Hosni Al Hadi said: “This figure shows the importance of fully utilising your website as a marketing tool.

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“However it is important to remember that the website doesn’t operate in isolation. We employ tools such as blogs, social media and PR to maintain visibility and to drive traffic to the site.”

Hadi said he had noticed “significant increases” in online bookings from some of Carlton Tower Hotel’s key markets, such as Bulgaria, India and Eastern Europe.

“Intelligent buyers are aware that they can often obtain lower rates through booking directly, particularly at short notice as hotels are keen to fill their inventories” said Hadi.

“People are becoming increasingly comfortable booking and paying for their travel needs online and as long as hotels make this easy for them to do this then we will continue to see an upward trend over the coming years.”