JA Resorts & Hotels uses downtime to invest in tech

The group has rolled out a range of new technological tools and strategies

JA Resorts & Hotels was born in the UAE
JA Resorts & Hotels was born in the UAE

COVID-19 has left many hoteliers scratching their heads on what to do during this period of slumped travel and movement. Refusing to sit back and twiddle its thumbs, JA Resorts & Hotels has used the time to invest heavily into improving its technology.

The UAE-based group has focused on bringing in new strategies, policies and tools for its travel trade partners, improving booking technology, developing a website for travel professionals, rolling out a B2B communication tool, boosting e-learning and adjusting cancellation policies.

As JA Resorts & Hotels VP for sales & marketing Thomas Grundner explained: “We have used this downtime productively and really examined where we can streamline our communication and improve our processes in relation to our travel trade partners. It’s clear that we need to be nimble, expect constant change and take a speed-to-market approach with any changes. The answer of course lies in digital, and using technology as much as possible, hence we are introducing five new tools and initiatives to take us into the future in a flexible and adaptable manner.”

First is JA Connect – an initiative to assist trade partners and corporate clients. In partnership with Illusions and powered by the technology tool iWTX; JA Connect is a distribution platform allowing partners to connect, shop and book JA properties online and in real-time. The platform features high resolution images and fact sheets for all room types within the portfolio, while also showing the latest offers and availability.

In July this year, JA will launch a digital communication tool for its partners. The tool will allow users to obtain the latest in offers, updates and key selling information. Partners will also be given access to webinars from JA’s central sales team. Webinars will cover virtual tours, training and information needed to sell property stays across key source markets.

Within the fourth quarter of the year, JA will unveil its website for travel trade partners. Ja-Partners.com will feature agent training modules, a reservation system, news blog and a sales toolkit.

JA Resorts & Hotels has adjusted its cancellation policy to cater to these uncertain times of travelling. All existing bookings with arrivals until September 1 can now be rebooked from the scheduled day of arrival for a 12-month period until August 30 next year.

Subject to flight resumptions, the group will introduce greater incentive schemes, including shopping vouchers awarded on bookings until October 31 next year.

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