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Swiss-Belhotel SVP on how to max the ‘work from hotel’ trend

  • Swiss-Belhotel SVP on how to maximise the ‘work from hotel’ trend

    Laurent A. Voivenel lays down ways to make ‘workation’ offers stand out

    Swiss-Belhotel International's Laurent A. Voivonel has highlighted the importance and potential innovations of the working from home (WFH) trend.

    The senior vice president – operations & development, EMEA & India; senior vice president – group human resources & talent development spoke at the recent Global Hotel Data Conference organised by STR, saying WFH has the ability to become ‘work from hotel’.

    He said: “Combining business with pleasure is not new but is now becoming increasing common practice. WFH has taken a new meaning, that is ‘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.

    “Essential to recovery is understanding and responding to consumers’ changing behaviours. Zoom stylist, business butlers, tutors for children studying online are just some of the services that hotels could offer guests on a ‘workation’.”

    Many hotel groups in Dubai and the UAE have been repurposing some of their rooms into office spaces during the pandemic. Rove Hotels for example has its own Live + Work package to draw in remote-working residents.

    Speaking about the industry on a wider scale, Voivenel shared his confidence for the future. He said: “We have all been through a 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.

    “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 October 1 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.”

    He also took the time to commend the recently-announced Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which seeks to increase land used for hotels by 134 percent. He added: “Vision 2040 is absolutely remarkable and will open new opportunities for our industry by reinforcing Dubai’s competitiveness as a global destination.”

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