JS Anand, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LEVA Hotels & Resorts, highlighted the significance of developing effective pricing and promotional strategies to maximize spent at the Hospitality Leadership Forum at The Hotel Show. Participating in a panel discussion on strategies of promoting hotels recently, he spoke about the significance of digital marketing and search engine optimization in the current times.
Responding to the question ‘How can new brands strategize their offers for guests?’, Anand stressed, “The cost of doing business is far more for independent brands such as ours when compared to global brands. When it comes to promoting ourselves we must first of all look at the location. LEVA Mazaya Centre is strategically situated in close vicinity to some of Dubai’s biggest landmarks and attractions such as the City Walk, Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa to name a few. We know our source markets and prominent among those are Saudi Arabia, Russia, France and Germany. Therefore, our marketing strategies are defined around growing those markets while tapping new ones.”
So, how can international travellers find brands such as LEVA which are new in the market? Anand stated, “We have a lot happening on social media right now and we are also very well positioned on major OTAs such as the booking.com In addition, we are working very closely with strategic travel agents and DMCs in key markets. Is it a challenge for us to position ourselves? Absolutely, since we don’t have the colossal marketing budgets of international brands or the giant loyalty programmes. What is essential is to understand the consumer behaviour and what they want. Equally important is the online reputation management which has a direct impact on demand.”
How is Airbnb affecting your market? Anand said, “Airbnb has taken a major share of the market, that is for sure. Does Airbnb affect short-term stakes? Totally, it does because the accessibility of the app is brilliant.”
In reply to ‘So, what do you do about it?’ Anand stressed, “Give them a hug, work with them. You have so many players in the market, you need come up with strategies that benefit your brand. We know it is a highly competitive market. Dubai is a fantastic market to learn from … where it is, where it is going, it is just making it affordable for everyone and it will keep growing as a destination.”
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