Millennium targets European market at WTM

Enhanced CRM, online reach and connectivity highlighted

Naeem Darkazally, vice president sales & marketing, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels MEA.
Naeem Darkazally, vice president sales & marketing, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels MEA.

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East and Africa (MEA) has been highlighting its 2015 business strategy to European travel operators at World Travel Market in London, which kicked off on Monday and finishes today.

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East & Africa Vice President Sales and Marketing Naeem Darkazally said: “WTM is our opportunity to create further awareness of the Millennium brands in the Middle East, by meeting with existing and potential associates and creating a platform to thank our valued partners that have supported Millennium for many years.”

At the event, the group underlined the company’s recent surge in visitors from European markets to demonstrate the potential for further growth.

In Dubai, Millennium Airport Hotel saw a rise in demand from the UK market, which is now the second highest source market behind the US.

Room nights for UK visitors increased by 42.5% from 3722 in 2013 to 6475 in 2014.

The growth of Europe as a feeder market for the UAE has been highlighted in research from the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

A report for August 2014 outlined a 26% increase YoY in visitors from Europe to the emirate, primarily driven by growth from France, the UK and Germany, with increases of 40%, 36% and 11% respectively.

This has contributed to a 24% increase in Abu Dhabi hotel guest nights, a trend that has been mirrored in Millennium’s Abu Dhabi properties, which closed August with revenue increases of 10-15% compared to 2013 figures for the month.

“The European feeder markets, particularly the UK, are instrumental in driving our growth in occupancy levels and supporting our expansion plans in the UAE and the wider region,” said Darkazally.

“As such we will further enhance our customer loyalty programme with the launch of a new global CRM platform, allowing us to communicate more effectively with our guests and offering the best possible experience, to enhance customer loyalty at any Millennium & Copthorne Hotel globally.”

In addition to enhancement of the customer experience, Millennium & Copthorne also highlighted its aggressive expansion strategy, with one of the most ambitious pipelines in the region.

Developments include the new 295-key Millennium Hotel & Convention Centre in Kuwait which will open in Q1 2015. The property will feature more than 6000 square metres of event space making it one of the largest in the country.

The Millennium brand is also to be further strengthened in Oman with the unveiling of three new properties, including a global first with the launch of the 115-key Millennium Executive Apartments in Q4 2014. This will be followed by the Grand Millennium Muscat in Q2 2015 and Copthorne Muscat in Q3 2015.

The Millennium Fujairah Hotel and the Millennium Bab Al Qasr Hotel, Abu Dhabi, will bring the tally of UAE properties to ten.

“This is an exciting time for Millennium & Copthorne. We have witnessed a period of sustained revenue growth in many of our hotels and with that, renewed confidence in our development plans for the region.

WTM provides us with an ideal arena for us to re-emphasise our plans and share our latest opening timelines throughout the region, with our key trade partners,” Darkazally added.

Currently, Millennium and Copthorne Hotels & Resorts operates 17 hotels with approximately 5000 rooms across the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Iraq, and is targeting 50 properties by 2017, including 20 hotels in Saudi Arabia.

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