A Quick Sneak Peek at WTM London 2022 with Team RateTiger

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Team RateTiger has visited WTM London after 2 years. A lot has changed, but the industry’s resilience to turn around remains constant. Our Global Sales Manager – Joita Ghosh shares her experience.

WTM (World Travel Market) is the largest global community bringing the travel and tourism industry together. Visiting any of the events organized by WTM is always a new book to explore. This year, I had the opportunity to visit WTM London held at Excel from 7-9 November. The energy and vibes of the travel professionals coming together after nearly 2years of virtual meetings rekindled the passion for business and growth.

With an unexpected number of travel professionals participating, WTM London 2022 was fantastic. 55 nations representing their culture and tourism reflected the true spirit of WTM of bringing global travel together. The traditional dance, music and performances were a cherish to see. Welcoming an attendee list of 35,800 plus the aggressiveness for travel expansion was clearly evident.

Making New Connections

Meeting small and big hotel owners, B2Bs, OTAs and destination management companies I can tell that the travel industry is in full swing. None of the hotels present at WTM are ready to wait for the new year to plan their next move. The industry has already taken geared up to the race. It demonstrated the appetite among travel professionals to recover the losses of the pandemic.

The representatives at every stand were keen on explaining the new tools and trends for the travel sector to prosper. Hoteliers wanted to learn about customer expectations and ways to fulfill them using the latest hotel management technologies.

The conference sessions spoke about the challenges faced by the hospitality industry not only in the last 2 years but in regular days too. It helped me learn about the stones in the way of B&B owners not just in terms of technological hindrance but also in customer relationship management.

It will be wrong on my part to say that the fear of uncertainty is gone. But what I witnessed is that the professionals at WTM London were determined to use this unique networking event to maximize their business potential.

Everyone I had a chance to chat with whether he/ she was from Egypt, Malaysia, Mauritius, Croatia, Qatar, Oman, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Greece, Cyprus, Middle East, Europe, Creech, USA, London was passionate about reshaping the travel business post-pandemic.

Reuniting face-to-face with hotel owners, partners and new prospects at WTM helped me explore the travel market better and understand their needs. Glad to come back home with new learnings, technologies, trends, connections, and especially new contracts on my plate. Now, it’s our time to work together to improve and innovate the tourism industry!

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Qatar’s Hotel Booking is Flying with Fans & Travelers

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The largest sporting event of the year is around the corner and Qatar is hosting it. With less than 2 weeks left for it to begin, fans and followers from all around the world have started their packing leveraging the country’s occupancy rates. Though the hotel bookings have ramped up since last month or earlier, these last few days come as a bonus to the hotel owners.

Sports matches always bring fresh energy and vibes with them, especially to the venue it is being played at. Qatar is expected to welcome 1.2 million tourists in the last 2 months of 2022. Considering the number of air and rail tickets to Qatar being sold for the last quarter, this tournament is expected to bring a net positive impact on the hotel revenue for Q4 of 2022. This increase in demand is going to increase the occupancy rate and the ADR (Average Daily Revenue).

Demand is Increasing, Rooms are Sold, Still You Have a Chance

Yes, you read that right. Still, there is a chance for both visitors and hoteliers to book a place for themselves. With entry restrictions to the country, the government has made sure that every guest gets a roof and the rising demand gives the hoteliers the chance to maximize their revenue.

Being a hotelier, you must have reserved 15 or 20% of the rooms in your property for peak-time last-minute sales. So, this is your chance to capitalize on the demand surge and race ahead of your competitor hotels.  Mega events would boost the 100% occupancy rate, but the target is to maximize your RevPAR along the way. The ADR for both local and international hotels in Qatar and nearby areas is expected to reach the peak during this season.

Where is the Demand Trend Going?

One of the first countries to recover from the pandemic, hotel industry in Qatar has been maintaining above-average occupancy and ADR consistently since last year. Given the short distance between the stadiums, hotels closer to the hosting venues are expected to see greater demand and as a result higher ADR.  With this upcoming mega event, STR Forward Star predicts an average occupancy rate of 70% for hotels and B&B providers of the country in the last 2 months of the year.

With neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia pitching in, the lowest occupancy of the region in 2022 is expected to go 53% with a highest of 83% in the last week of November. Given the steady rise in demand for rooms, the occupancy on the books is expected to grow further in days to come.

In the last quarter of 2019, the year before the pandemic hit the world the occupancy graph showed a minimum of 65% with the highest touching to 86%. Seeing the current demand trends Qatar is expected to set new levels this peak season.

It’s Your Chance to Score

On the ADR front, Qatar has always shared a healthy relationship with it. During the first three quarter of 2022 the country witnessed an average ADR of USD 115,87, 13.4% higher than that in 2019. So, undoubtedly Q4 of the year is expected to soar higher.

Sporting events are always a win-win solution for hotels with average room rates soaring higher and higher. These events drive players, fans, spectators, event management team and staff to the venue with everyone needing room to stay. Altogether it is a golden opportunity for hoteliers and other departments in the hospitality sector to score the goal.

However, tournaments like these also go a long way to building better relationships with potential guests. There are several case studies that have shown how prices can fall dramatically after a major sports event. By all means, utilize the high demand to raise profitability, but give attention to the shoulder seasons as there are expected to be leaner periods. Trying to earn ‘quick bucks’ at the expense of long-term customer value and loyalty can cost dearly to the hotel industry. Do not abandon the guests, contracts and operators who have supported you during difficult times – you will again need them for long-term success. And more importantly, don’t compromise your tomorrow for a quick return today.

Therefore, while it’s the perfect time to score your goal, don’t ignore the defence. Leave the booking management tasks on RateTiger Hotel Channel Manager and Rate Shopper and set your focus on welcoming guests with the best services.

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