Mideast hoteliers hasten digital transformation to deliver superior services

22 Jun 2016

JEDDAH – Hotel owners in the Middle East are embracing digital transformation initiatives to create unparalleled guest experiences, and stand out from competitors, Avaya said Tuesday. With occupancy levels and average daily rates declining across the region, hoteliers are tapping solutions from Avaya, a global leader in business communications software, systems and services, to modernize their services, produce new revenue streams and enhance operational efficiency.

Avaya’s regional hospitality business grew 40% in the first half of the company’s fiscal year, even as the Middle East and Africa were the only regions worldwide to post declines in occupancy and average daily rate (ADR), according to research firm STR Global, with ADR in the Middle East dropping 10.8% in April. Weak oil prices, geopolitical instability and reduced demand are weighing on results, leading to hoteliers seeking solutions that can reduce total cost of ownership while still delivering superior guest experiences.

Frederick Sabty, Vice President Hospitality Solutions, World Wide Avaya, said: “With the region preparing for major events such as Expo 2020 in Dubai and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022, hotels need to offer compelling experiences and differentiated services to stand out from the crowd. Today’s traveler is no longer satisfied with the traditional Hotel Experience – they expect seamless connectivity across multiple devices, real-time access to information and services, customized in-room entertainment and an individualized experience that meets their own unique needs.”

Minor Hotel Group (MHG), owner and operator of hotels and resorts in 22 countries, has deployed innovative unified communications, contact center and networking solutions from Avaya across its hotels in the region, as part of its plans to increase its footprint in the Middle East.

Hari Nair, Director of Technology Middle East, Minor Hotel Group, said: “Minor Hotel Group is committed to delivering the perfect guest experience and exceeding our visitors’ expectations every time. With Avaya, we are able to deliver the mobile, interactive, secure experiences that our guests deserve, meeting their needs today and for the future. Avaya solutions allow us to deliver innovative services quickly, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce total cost of ownership, while powering our digital transformation journey.”

The digital transformation drive is across the industry, with Avaya seeing an increasing range of hotels investing in digital strategies to enhance their guest experience, while hoteliers are also looking to consolidate their ICT infrastructure and resources, and focus on total cost of ownership.

Digitally transformed organizations in the hospitality sector can benefit from:

  • Mobility solutions to enable employees and guests to access their preferred services securely from anywhere on the property, and on their preferred mobile devices.
  • Social integration to enable customers to ‘share’ their experience on the go. Hotels are also able to build up data banks based on customer feedback and fine-tune their service to further improve the guest experience based on their profiles.
  • In-room experience, with a shift from guests having to dial multiple numbers for services to being able to interact with a single agent who is contextually aware of the guest.

In the GCC, more than 80 percent of all local hotel brands work with Avaya on transforming the guest experience, and globally, eight out of every 10 hospitality brands use Avaya solutions.

This article appeared in Saudi Gazette, June 22, 2016