How would you evaluate 2020 and what are your expectations for this year? (in broad terms)
The year 2020 had really been unforeseen and unprecedented. Each industry had to face new challenges and adapt their business approaches. It had been a year of learning, to adapt quickly, to review the offerings and to create new experiences while ensuring the health and safety, both of the guests and colleagues. As of today, with the worldwide vaccine campaign and the local measures implemented by the government, the year looks promising. In addition, the United Arab Emirates remain a safe destination for travellers and we could already experience an increase of tourism and interest from worldwide travellers. The Expo 2020, starting in October 2021, will as well bring new business opportunities to the region.
Which are the challenges of the pandemic you are still experiencing? What about the opportunities?
Nowadays, the health and safety measures are becoming the main concerns of guests whom want to travel. Due to the worldwide situation and effective measures, such as border closing, the reactivity of the team and strategies adaption remain crucial. This pandemic is, as well, an opportunity to create and innovate with new experiences and offerings that cater to new guests’ needs and expectations.
With some of the key feed markets absent, how has your consumer profile changed? Are you targeting a different consumer? (other nationalities)
Bvlgari Resort Dubai always had diversified feed markets from different world regions. With the travel restrictions, we had to adapt our sales strategy mainly towards Europe, CIS and local markets. However, we keep strengthening our relationships with all our main travel partners from our historic main feed keeps to maintain the hotel positioning and remain the top choice for travellers in the near future.
With fewer ultra luxury properties planned to open in the near and mid term in Dubai, how do you see the positioning of Bvlgari Resort Dubai?
Bvlgari Resort Dubai positions itself as a true urban oasis in the city. Situated on the exclusive Jumeira Bay island, the property is the ultimate location for travellers looking for an array of exclusive offerings. From the white private sandy beach, to the dining venues and its signature restaurant Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, to the luxurious Bvlgari Spa and the Bvlgari’s first-ever Marina and Yacht Club worldwide, Bvlgari Resort Dubai is set to be an exclusive destination not only for in-house guests but as well for non-hotel guests looking for the ultimate escape from the city.
How has the perception of consumers about luxury branded goods & services changed? (if in any way)
Luxury, and especially luxury hospitality, have always been linked to relationship and guests’ engagement. The customers’ expectations remain similar with high quality personalized services, but with a new concern: their health and safety. Therefore, we adapt our customer services approach by remaining close to the guests while ensuring the social distancing. Our aim remain to interact with our guests, to gather their personal feedback and expectations in order to create lifetime memories.
Have guest become more knowledgeable and demanding about the Covid-19 safety and hygiene measures?
Guests become definitely more demanding about the Covid-19 safety and hygiene measures. We are experiencing additional questions related to these measures during the booking process. Our Sales & Reservations teams are directly informing guests and sales partners on the local restrictions and measures implemented at the resort. During their stay, our colleagues remain available at any time for further requests and a nurse is available on site for Covid tests.
How do you ensure these measures are firmly implemented on a consistent basis?
Safety has always been one of our top priorities at the hotel and procedures are reviewed on a continuous basis in line with the directives from the UAE health authorities. Thanks to the structure of the Resort, with most of its public areas being outdoor, a factor which lower the risk of contamination, the property has successfully positioned itself as a ‘safe island’ in Dubai. Furthermore, in order to maximize the protection of both guests and colleagues’ health, all the possible sanitary measures have been taken, including a system of regular Covid tests to all staff and temperature check at the entrance.
How important is the domestic market?
The domestic market have always been important for Bvlgari Resort Dubai. Keeping in mind the needs and expectations of guests during the pandemic, Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts launched during the summer 2020 the Bvlgari Staycations, a contemporary collection of experiences designed for the local community to enjoy a well-deserved short stay, to regenerate and reset after months of staying in – while responding to the current restrictions and limitations.
What novelties shall we be expecting at Bvlgari Resort Dubai this year?
Bvlgari Resort Dubai has many activations scheduled for this year. With the aim to deliver unique experiences and remain a destination within a destination, the property will enhance its dining offerings with new menus and special experiences for the Holy Month of Ramadan, starting mid-April. To be closer to our local community and enlarge the Bvlgari experience, we are pleased to announce as well our Bvlgari chocolates e-commerce for customers to receive the Bvlgari handcrafted chocolate gems in the comfort of their house.
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