By Karen Leigh
Sellouts, high occupancy rates make for first quarter optimism, says Laurent Chaudet
The global hotel business made a full circle to recovery at the end of 2010, particularly in Dubai, according to Laurent Chaudet, general manager of the Pullman Hotel in Mall of the Emirates.
“Globally the business has seemed to recover at the end of December,” he told Arabian Business. Within the Pullman Group, “we were extremely busy everywhere”.
He said Dubai hotel prospects now “seem to come back to previous times”.
Though he said forecasting was difficult as “visibility less than previous years”, the first quarter of 2011 “seems promising”.
In November and December, the luxury hotel, which opened mid-year as a symbol of Dubai hospitality’s resurgence after several years of downturn, hit a 51 percent occupancy rate for its 481 rooms.
“The bookings we’ve taken give us good prospects for quarter one and the whole year 2011,” Chaudet said. “We’re close to Mall of the Emirates, so whenever there are big days in the GCC countries we’re sold out. On December 31 we were sold out for all our rooms. It’s very assuring for the future.”
He added that last-minute bookings are common for business and leisure travelers, adding to the bottom line but making it difficult to make long-term predictions on occupancy.
“People are waiting till the last minute to book, but when there’s events in Dubai, people book way in advance. This is classic [behaviour] for the big nice hotels,” he said.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.