Falak Hyat (February 24, 2014)
Winning the bid for expo 2020 has brought Dubai in the limelight and will naturally result in massive economic growth in all sectors and industries. According to a latest report by Ernst and Young, there was an 80% occupancy rate in hotels of Dubai. The hosting of the Expo 2020 event will particularly bring amplified growth in the tourism and hospitality industry.
According to an estimate, Dubai will see an entry of 25 million visitors for the Expo, out of which 19 million will be from outside of Dubai. This will stimulate the tourism industry, which is known for its impeccable hospitality and customer service. This will also bring in revenues from the retail industry since the industry will be attracting tourists to shop at the glorious world famous malls of Dubai.
The expo 2020 will allow Dubai to display the standard of customer service it offers in the tourism and hospitality industry and build its image as a global tourist destination. The influx of international visitors into the UAE will reinstate its position as world leaders in tourism, setting a benchmark for the future of tourism industry in the UAE.
The government will be taking initiatives of planning, road projects, travel infrastructure, setting up more hotels to accommodate the tourists and guests traveling for the Expo. A forecast of projects and investments worth Dh 25 billion has been given for the event over the coming years.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri said: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the Tourism Vision for 2020, a strategy which sets a clear path towards developing Dubai’s tourism industry and furthering its contribution to Dubai’s economy. In our journey to achieve our target, we will can now leverage the hosting of Expo 2020 and the focus it will place on Dubai as a means to attract visitors to Dubai, not just during the six months of the Expo itself, but in the seven years leading up to it.”
The challenge which Dubai needs to prepare for is hosting and accommodating the visitors who will be entering the city to be part of this grand exhibition. This will require solid strategies and strategic planning, which will include expansion of hotels and resort, improved road and transport infrastructure and facilitating the influx of such a large number of people.
When looking at the tourism industry, the customer service provided by the hospitality sector cannot be ignored. Dubai is known in the world for delivering experiences in the hospitality industry and providing the “wow” factor for the customer. However, the accommodation and management of such a large number of visitors and maintaining high level of customer satisfaction and experience will require detailed planning.
In light of the Expo 2020, here are some useful customer service tips that can improve the experience your hotel offers its customers.
Since the inflow of guests at hotels will increase, so will the need for the staff that will be catering to them. It is necessary that the staff goes through rigorous training and is able to deliver to each customer on a personal and individual level. Visitors of the expo 2020 will be foreigners coming from all over the world, with their own set of cultural habits, exposure and a certain expectation that Dubai will look after them well.
The option of hiring multilingual staff will also keep hotels at an advantage, since the staff can converse easily with visitors, to overcome the communication gap as many might not be fluent in English or Arabic. It will also be an advantage to have tourist literature and guides printed in multiple languages.
The restaurants in these hotels or even those that run independently will need to focus on creating authentic as well as diverse menus so they can capture everyone’s palates and look after the preferences of the customers.
Proper arrangements of getting the guests to the various destinations from the hotel should also be delegated well by the hotel staff, making sure the customer doesn’t have any discomfort in his or her traveling experience.
Informative and helpful guides should also be available in case a customer wants to explore Dubai, or even neighboring emirates.
Having a full equipped and self sufficient information desk is important for the guests, so they feel they can approach the hotel management whenever they want, be it regarding their booking details, inquiring about things to do in the city or even reporting a problem, such as a lost camera or reservation concerns.
The information desk should have the control and authority to be solution providers for the guests.
Undoubtedly the Dubai Expo 2020 is set to be a major event in the region and will bring many challenges in terms of catering to the needs of the visitors by the hospitality sector.
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