• December 2012/January 2013 : Talk of the trade

    Jumeirah gets ravenous for China

    Talk of the trade | December 2012/January 2013

    By Karen Yue

    Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts’ move to install a MICE specialist in late-2011 to woo business events from China for the company’s properties in Europe and Dubai has reaped a good harvest.

    Speaking to TTGmice, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, vice president sales & marketing, Asia Pacific, David Loiseau, said: “Tony Ma’s (associate director of sales) job is to help the group seek and qualify MICE business from main Chinese gateway cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou, and emerging markets such as Dalian and Chengdu. Since (his appointment), we have seen good results.”

    Loiseau noted that MICE business out of China had leaped 40 per cent between 2011 and 2012 as a result, with 90 per cent of events being incentives.

    He said: “We have been very successful with 10-to-200-room scale of events, but we want to go for more of the mega types that are attended by 1,000 to 4,000 participants. We can easily handle events of such scale in Dubai, where we have many hotels. And that is what we are doing – marketing Dubai as a destination for mega business events.

    “We have been bidding for three or four events of such scale out of China for 2013 in Dubai, and two of them are confirmed.”

    Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts has nine properties in Dubai, including the world-renowned all-suite Burj Al Arab.

    According to Loiseau, Burj Al Arab is immensely popular with the Chinese market, which makes up 25 per cent of all bookings at the hotel in 2011 and 2012. However, leisure bookings are dominant.

    He said: “We will introduce an aggressive MICE offer for Burj Al Arab in 1Q2013, targeting small and mid-scale events out of China. We want to show the Chinese that it is possible to have a luxury MICE event at reasonable prices. It makes good sense to debut this offer at such an iconic hotel. If successful, we may roll out the same programme at other properties.”