Good time to refurbish interiors, say suppliers
Suppliers assert now is a good time for hotels to renovate.
Suppliers have refuted suggestions that 2009 is not a good time for Gulf hotels to consider refurbishing their interiors.
Instead, they have suggested that a combination of economic circumstances and a natural maturing of the hotel market in the region has resulted in an ideal opportunity for properties to adapt and maximise their brand through renovation.
“Now is a good time for refurbishment. At this moment there is a surplus of hotel rooms and there are hotels which are starting to age,” said Titus van der Werf, managing director of hospitality procurement firm the Parker Company. “They have an established name and image in the market so if you upgrade them, you improve on your standings. It’s much easier to put that in the market than a new property.”
In addition to there being a larger number of unused rooms available for refurbishment, the maturation of the market has meant the current period is a natural time to consider refurbishing irrespective of economic circumstance.
“It’s an average for hotels to have furniture that ‘lasts’ about seven years. There aren’t too many top hotels that are older than that here,” said van der Werf, who also indicated that he was beginning to see a slight increase in the number of hotels considering refurbishment.
His views were echoed by others in the supplier industry. “Our research says our customers change their carpeting on an average of seven years,” said president and CEO of InterfaceFlor EMEA and India.
Not all design experts agree with suppliers. Previously on HotelierMiddleEast.com, Aiden Keane, founder of leisure and retail design company warned: “It might seem like a good time, because business is slow and you won’t disturb that many people. But if you refurbish a hotel now, you may find yourself in a position where the refurbishment is out of date before the property gets any use out of it.”