TTME SEPTEMBER 2018 -PG -10

Recipe for success in hospitality

Being proactive, conducting careful research and analysing factors of importance of the target market are some of the traits that hold the flag up high for Ramada Beach, Ramada Ajman and Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche. Expert hotelier Iftikhar Hamdani, Cluster General Manager of the three properties engages in a tête-à-tête with TravTalk

TT Bureau

It has been just two months since the Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche opened and it is already recording 96 per cent occupancy. When it opened in June, many were skeptical about the regular off season. Hamdani’s game plan was different as the strategies he initiated to market this property were already implemented even before construction started.

Early bird catches the worm

Hamdani’s unstinted work strategy has secured him a sustainable role in his career as a hotelier. In an interview about two years ago at an international travel event, Hamdani conveyed about the new project which at the time was not even in its piling stages. He shared the concept with his travel partners who book the properties. His careful research into new markets ensures that he keeps his head high no matter what the tide may roll out; so in good times and bad, he has tricks up his sleeve to ensure that his stakeholders, owners, partners, guests and even staff are kept happy right throughout the year. “I started marketing this new property over one and half years ago as I had a vision in my mind. I also conducted my research on new markets, their needs to attract them to the emirate, ensure sustainability and avoid affecting the other two properties. It was of paramount importance to uphold the same occupancy at all three properties. Wyndham Garden is now open for business since June and has been running at 96 per cent occupancy despite summer. It was great to have received an overwhelming response from the German and Scandinavian markets. Tapping the right market with the correct price point and careful research is a way forward. As hoteliers, our aim is to increase ROIs for the properties.”

Hotel owners vs managing companies

The partnership between the owners and the management companies of various properties have been suffering a great deal of miscommunication over the past few years. Hotel owners are the key investors who not only invest their finances in business but also entrust various hotel management companies to take care of their business. The past few years have been one of rift between the owners and management companies due to various reasons. Hamdani’s shares, “The relationship between owners and management is purely commercial as we must understand that the owners have provided us everything on our request and if we fail to deliver, it is up to us to make the right decision. We, in the UAE, are blessed to have the best rulers in the world as policy changes rapidly here to enable successful trade and tourism bonds. With the visa-on-arrival resulting in a tremendous influx of new visitors to the emirate, we as hoteliers should be able to get our piece of success in it by making use of novel strategies to get bulk business. It’s important for hoteliers to become good businessmen too. If the owners are happy and they receive their ROI on time, we in turn will reap many benefits to the management and staff as they can receive good increments, bonuses and promotions.”

Many facets of sustainability

In today’s context, sustainability plays an important role in all fields – be they hospitality, human resources, travel, tourism, technology, trade and commerce, etc. Hamdani shares the relevance in terms of hospitality. “The sustainability initiatives at Ramada Ajman were solely started as a revenue generating process as we were looking out for a new plan. It eventually turned out to be successful and made us go an extra mile and achieve certifications for our efforts. As management, we need to understand that human sustainability is very important in the hospitality trade. Before the launch of our sustainability programmes, a few staff wanted to resign for various reasons but we somehow managed to work out our revenues and provide them bonuses and increments; today, we have staff working for longer period at our properties. We believe that the core value of business is to give appreciation. TT Bureau Being proactive, conducting careful research and analysing factors of importance of the target market are some of the traits that hold the flag up high for Ramada Beach, Ramada Ajman and Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche. Expert hotelier Iftikhar Hamdani, Cluster General Manager of the three properties engages in a tête-à-tête with . Recipe for success in hospitality his head high no matter what the properties.”

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