Service is the key to sustainable profit for Dubai
Quality key to success for Dubai hotel sector in the run up to Expo 2020 and beyond, says university professor
If Dubai hotels' service quality falls short in the run-up to Expo 2020 they risk missing out on the long-term benefits of the event, a hospitality and marketing specialist has warned.
Professor Barry O'Mahony, Dean of the Faculty of Business at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), said that Dubai outclasses many cities in respect of its luxurious properties but hotels risk compromising the guest experience if service delivery standards do not meet expectations.
"Expo 2020 is an opportunity to showcase Dubai but if it is to have a lasting legacy for the hotel sector, tourists need to have a positive hotel experience leading up to and during the event.
"International tourists have high expectations of service and if these expectations are not met they will make their feelings known on social media, potentially influencing many others not to come to Dubai and placing further downward pressure on room rates.
"Furthermore, during busy periods hotel supplements can push hotels into a price bracket that creates higher anticipations of quality - another dangerous area if the industry is not fulfilling these expectations," he said in a statement.
Professor O'Mahony added that he sees staff training and development as key to service improvement, and that frontline staff are integral to a hotel's success.
"Profitable customer service is about building relationships with guests and frontline staff are the custodians of these relationships. Well trained, satisfied employees will be motivated to provide superior customer service, which in turn will lead to repeat visitation and positive word of mouth communication about the hotel and about Dubai as a destination," he stated.
Dubai has witnessed a decline in hotel room rates in recent months and Professor O'Mahony noted that the hotel sector has often sought to increase sales in lean times by lowering prices.
"Whilst Dubai is well-known globally for high levels of service, recent trends in aggressive discounting has the potential to erode profits and ultimately lead to business failure, which is why further enhancing the service experience is the key to future sustainability and growth." he said.