Laurent A. Voivenel Says ‘Travel’ is Everyone’s Number ‘One’ Wish at Global Hotel Data Conference by STR
Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President – Operations & Development, EMEA & India; Senior Vice President – Group Human Resources & Talent Development, Swiss-Belhotel International participated earlier this week in the Global Hotel Data Conference organised by STR.
Speaking on the Middle East & Africa Executive Panel, Laurent highlighted how Dubai’s tourism strategy is paying off. He stated, “We have all been through an unprecedently challenging year. However, travel is everyone’s number one wish as the world waits for the new normal. What is commendable is how Dubai is getting tourism back on track with its pro-active policies, advanced technology, and preventive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The emirate has set an example for the entire world with the way it swiftly reopened its borders and economy to welcome international travellers while developing domestic tourism.”
The UAE’s extensive Covid-19 vaccination drive is one of the fastest in the world. Laurent said, “We are extremely grateful to the authorities for making the vaccine available so quickly and readily to all of us. We are confident, with the vaccine currently being rolled out, Expo starting on 1st October and the UAE’s 50th year celebrations, a rebound will occur, and hotel performance matrices will begin to return to much healthier levels before the close of 2021.”
Talking about the future prospects for the hospitality industry, Laurent stressed, “Vision 2040 is absolutely remarkable and will open new opportunities for our industry by reinforcing Dubai’s competitiveness as a global destination.”
Commenting on the latest industry buzzwords such as ‘Work-cation’ Laurent said, “Combining business with pleasure is not new but is now becoming increasing common practice. Work from Home (WFH) has taken a new meaning i.e. Work from Hotel. If working remotely, why not do it from a pool side or a beach and enjoy a change of scenery. Hotels in Dubai have been quick to join the trend.”
Laurent believes, “Essential to recovery is understanding and responding to consumers’ changing behaviours. Zoom stylist, busines butlers, tutors for children studying online are just some of the services that hotels could offer guests on a ‘work-ation’.”