Nurturing new-age trends

With over three decades of experience across Europe & Middle East, Belgium national Eric Seso was entrusted with the reins of Mövenpick Downtown Dubai as its General Manager.

Shehara Rizly

The selection of the industry to work in was really a choice made from the heart by Seso. His endearing passion was to become a hotelier with the right foundation. He shares, “I have always been a hotelier at heart, and I couldn’t really imagine myself veered away from the industry. I have graduated with a degree in Tourism & Leisure from Hautes Ecoles Charlemanges in Leige, Belgium. The degree was a personal choice as my passion has always been towards the hospitality and tourism industry.”

Career in a nutshell
Seso has spent almost three decades in the hospitality industry, spearheading operations for Ibis and Novotel across Europe and the Middle East. Seso shares his views on the industry and his experience, “Hospitality and tourism are a varied and buoyant industry to be in. There is always something new to experience, learn, meet, and encounter everyday. It is an industry that is always evolving, yet the focus is always ensuring that travellers and guests alike receive a welcoming, genuine and a warm experience; this I believe is what lures me to this industry.”

Hospitality in UAE
Hospitality has been a key contributor towards the economy in the UAE, Seso says, “We all acknowledge that Dubai is one of the busiest airport hubs in the world. Travellers flock to the UAE for a quick stop or genuinely travel to experience UAE as a destination. As a country, UAE offers varied experiences for travellers from different walks of life and we highly appreciate the efforts from the Department of Tourism in promoting Dubai as a destination to different source markets. These promotional activities in the hospitality industry are beneficial. The growing number of hotels opening up also create jobs for both the expatriates and the locals.”

Challenges overcome by resources
Taking over during summer is a challenge to a certain extent, but the advantage for Seso is that he has the necessary team and resources to back him in ensuring a very good balance. He shares his plans, “Our focus during summer is to generate commercial awareness to key source markets, mainly, in the UAE and other GCC countries. The property is located in Downtown Dubai with proximity to The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, which makes it an ideal stay for leisure and family travellers alike. The property also has great meeting and events facilities, a key area where we want to drive more awareness locally.”

Market strategies
Hotel apartments is a fastgrowing trend, especially in the GCC and Dubai in particular. Seso shared some of the market strategies that will come in handy. “Our property perfectly matches the needs of the GCC travellers, most specifically families looking for a place to stay that offers more space for them and their kids.” He shares his views on attracting new clientele to the property, “We are now considering penetrating our marketing efforts into other potential markets such as CIS and China. The property is a perfect fit for Chinese travellers, who wish to shop as we are a few minutes away from the world’s largest mall, The Dubai Mall, among others.”

Trending today
Travel, tourism and hospitality has evolved over the years. Seso shares, “Travellers are more receptive to real experiences and majority base their travel plans on what they deem would be social media-worthy.” They like to maximise experiences and at the same time, be in line with their travel budget. The shift in travel needs is what urges changes in the hospitality and tourism industry. There is a blatant growth in mid-scale and budget hotels in the industry to meet the changes in travel behaviour.”


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