Innovative PR and marketing campaigns help Dubai’s tourism return

Hoteliers on how Dubai has helped businesses bounce back

Dubai reopens

Long before tourism reopened in Dubai on July 7, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) was planting the seeds to make the emirate’s return to international travel a success.

In the wake of the pandemic and grounded flights, the DTCM rolled out marketing and PR campaigns to stir excitement in expectant travellers and holidaymakers. Clearly it paid off, as last week Hotelier Middle East found out hoteliers across the city have already seen an increase in bookings.

It’s not hard to see why, Dubai’s #WeWillSeeYouSoon and #TillWeMeetAgain campaigns were successful in showing what the city had to offer. Released on April 1, Dubai’s Till We Meet Again video showcased the diversity of the emirate's culture and landscape – managing to rack up upwards of 12 million views.

In June, the follow-up video showcased the range of health and safety measures Dubai has rolled out to keep tourists safe. The video has gotten close to seven million views in just over a month.

Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City GM Alfio Bernardini explained it has been campaigns such as these which have helped hotels stride towards recovery. He said: “After some challenging times, it is great to finally see some very positive news coming our way.

"A lot of effort was put in place by the government and all the local authorities to guarantee a very safe and smooth reopening process of all our hotel and F&B activities. Dubai is finally open to tourism and travel in general, and these are indeed long-awaited great news.

"This reopening phase is being supported by some great marketing and PR initiatives that confirms Dubai is one of the safest and most desirable destinations to travel to.”

Alfio Bernardini

While Bernardini conceded it will take some time for Dubai to turn to pre-pandemic levels, he echoed the reports of last week where bookings were on the up. He said: “We are slowly witnessing some initial improvements, and positive signals keep increasing on a daily basis. Moreover, we understand that like any other business, embracing change, being resilient and becoming more agile have become key factors to respond and be ready for the future challenges.”

Other campaigns rolled out by Dubai Tourism include more than 350 influencers being deployed to take the Dubai story in 14 different languages to a global audience spanning 18 markets, which yielded over 21 million engagements across multiple social media platforms.

Indian Hotels Company Limited area director – Middle East and general manager for Taj Dubai Ranjit Phillipose believes Dubai has hit a new milestone in this post-COVID-19 landscape. He told us: “Taj Dubai has continued to operate during the last few months and has successfully and quickly adapted every step of the way by adopting measures in an agile manner.

"With the implementation of stringent health, safety and hygiene measures; using the latest technology across both properties, we are committed to providing a seamless guest experience grounded in warm Indian hospitality. We remain optimistic on Dubai’s Tourism reopening and believe that this is a key milestone in the road to recovery for the hospitality industry.”

Ranjit Phillipose

Tourism resumption and social media campaigns which have touched millions have not just helped Dubai’s long-standing establishments, it has also given a helping hand to the emirate’s newcomers. Sofitel Dubai Wafi is slated to open later in the year and has given a sigh of relief as tourism ramps up again. The property’s GM, Omar Souab said: “As we actively prepare for the opening of the largest Sofitel in the region, Sofitel Dubai Wafi; we are taking the time to build a very strong and skilled team.

"We are very excited to be welcoming business and leisure travellers again to Dubai, and we will be opening the hotel with Accor’s ALLSafe certification as well as the government’s health regulations to ensure that guests can fully immerse themselves in an unrivalled and safe experience.“

Omar Souab

Souab concluded: “In the shape of an obelisk adorned with a gold pyramid on and a chic address in the epicentre of luxury, Sofitel Dubai Wafi is set to welcome tourists this September 2020.”

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