”I have never seen such expensive luxury cars in from of the Plaza-Athénée, it’s Middle East!” says François Delahaye, General Manager of the Plaza Athenee Hotel in Paris, owned by Sultan of Brunei’s Dorchester Collection. In July, Plaza Athenee reported a record occupancy rate of 95% and a record average nightly rate of 1.150 euros.
However, Plaza Athenee Hotel does not expect a similar performance in August, one of the reasons being the ealier debut of the Ramadan. Although it represents only 15% of the total number of guests, ranking behind US and UK nationals, guests from the Middle East book the highest categories of rooms and suites, sometimes entire floors.
Speaking of the impact of the earlier debut of the Ramadan,Vanguelis Panayotis, CEO of MKG Group specializing in hospitality, said that the impact could result in a 10% in Middle Eastern and Arab guests in Parisian hotels.
In an interview to CPP-LUXURY.COM, Christopher Norton, General Manager of Four Seasons George V in Paris, speaking on the impact of Ramadan said: ”We expect August to be at the same level as last year, July has been stronger than 2010, therefore the impact of Ramadan on the overall year is zero to us as we also replaced it with other business” Asked which were the fastest growing consumer groups in the first 6 months of 2011, Mr Norton said: ”In ranking order, I would definitely say China and Hong Kong first and then Russia and the former CIS countries, followed by the ME countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon etc”
As for travellers from Ukraine and Russia, Mr Norton highlighted ”if we compare 2011 to 2010, we notice that these consumers in Russia and Ukraine are booking higher room categories and more suites this year than last”.
Mention should also be made that 2010 represented a 30% increase in travellers from the Middle East arriving in Paris and estimates for 2011 are higher.
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