Destination Trends in a New Era

By 31 March 2021May 3rd, 2021Trends

Destination Trends in a New Era

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By Julie King

Interview with Issam Kazim

In this final blog, Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), updates on how Dubai partners are supporting the needs and trends of future travelers in a new era and how they are adapting to new trends. Issam concludes this blog with his advice, from Dubai’s experience to destinations preparing for opening.

From the research that we’ve conducted, I know that there is still a lot of concern around, booking far in advance and the ability to have flexibility in cancellation and booking policies. Is that something that Dubai and the partners have addressed in relation to these travel concerns? 

Over the past few years, the ecosystem and facilities within Dubai have been accommodating to these situations. And from the pandemic onwards that became even more obvious that they understand the long term gain over the short term gain and I believe that’s where it becomes very important for us. 

We’ve been focusing on ensuring that our industry stakeholders understand what I’m hearing from the trade and our offices around the world and the trends and changes that are happening. Because we’re not the only destination in the world, and we’re aware of that. 

“We know that if we take a bit too long to decide or make a change, potentially travelers will go elsewhere. We want people always to have the knowledge and understanding that Dubai is ahead of the game, and it will be accommodating in any which way you look at it. It’s good to see from our partners, and the regular dialogue that we have with them, that this has an impact with them here on the ground so we can make those changes as and when needed.”

We are seeing a shift from competition to collaboration. I know that Dubai collaborates exceptionally with industry stakeholders – Are you seeing more collaboration within the same sectors in Dubai taking place and are you collaborating with other countries to exchange best practice and innovation and understand their challenges?

Of course, you said something absolutely correct. Dubai’s success has been built on collaboration between the private and public sector. That is one of the biggest advantages that we have, and I am sure that will be the case going forward as well. As you mentioned, there’s a lot more collaboration across the different players within the ecosystem during the pandemic and the sessions that we’re having with these groups on a broader ecosystem level as well. Everyone is aware of the conversation; it is the same message that goes across to all of them at the same time. 

But of course, we also give them the opportunity to have that one on one discussion with us, as well. What we’ve also done a lot in the past but more so lately, is to have these discussions with the different tourism bodies and the various government bodies across the world. This is for them to understand, transparently, what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been working on it, what has worked for us successfully as well. And of course, hearing from them on what they’re up to and what’s in their plans. 

I think I can safely say that in the past six months I have met my counterparts from around the world, much more often than I did over the past few years. 

What advice would you give, from your experience of reopening early and being operational for a few months, to destinations or countries that are in that stage of waiting for their governments to allow the borders to open 

The biggest thing I would say is, you need to understand what the changes are economically around the world. You need to align with their expectations, not what your bottom line expectation is. Sometimes where a lot of us fail is when we’re looking at our numbers, and trying to match whatever we push out there to meet our numbers. It gives you a very isolated view. I believe it’s more important for you to look at what’s happening around the world, specifically within your target audience, within your segments, and then try to see what’s realistic, and you might need to adjust your own bottom line aspiration, so that’s one side of it. 

The other thing I would say is also looking at the travel trends. If you are expecting to get bookings well in advance and also making sure that you lock them in in advance, that might not be the case going forward. You need to be willing and ready to make last-minute offers. 

You also need to look at domestic tourism because regardless of how much confidence any destination might instill in potential travellers, some travellers would rather be at home during this period because they just feel more comfortable within the spaces they know. So try and entice domestic travellers to encourage them to come in and maybe leave their homes to have a nice offering within your hotel.

I think it’s very important for us to step away, sometimes far away from the way we used to do things, and seek a fresh approach. Change perspective or change your mentality and try to understand and get into the psyche of every opportunity at your doorstep.

In Part 2, Issam describes how Dubai has shifted marketing and introduced exciting new initiatives in preparation for international tourism, moving into the ‘new normal.’

“As an industry we weren’t solving the problems that really mattered. We were disconnected from each other and not leading the way.”

Julie King
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  • Weekly webinars on growth and sustainability
  • Access Bob Earth webinars
  • Learn from Bonailie thought leaders
  • Access Bonailie research and insights
  • Access Innovation House
  • Connect with Bonailie global tourism community
  • Learn from other industries via BoB Earth
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  • Access to the BoB Earth annual summit
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Plus

  • Find Your Formula (4 modules (facilitated)
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Additional

  • Access to Travel & Tourism Summit (2022)
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In addition to the Find Your Formula, Audit Your Business For Growth (4 modules) you will have access to the Business DNA and Personal DNA curriculums, you will also join the flagship L&D Program that has been designed specifically to support business owners navigate the global pandemic of 2020/21 to drive them into growth.

These are live facilitated programs so that your business is ready to fully optimise the trends that tell us that there will be a 10-year period of fast growth in the economy from 2022 onwards. The program is designed to be intensive and collaborative.

  • Weekly webinars on growth and sustainability
  • Access Bob Earth webinars
  • Learn from Bonailie thought leaders
  • Access Bonailie research and insights
  • Access Innovation House
  • Connect with Bonailie global tourism community
  • Learn from other industries via BoB Earth
  • Tools to transform your business
  • Access to the BoB Earth annual summit
  • Access to global travel media – Coming soon
  • Each subscription provides donation to L&D foundation

Plus

  • Find Your Formula (4 modules - live facilitated)
  • Business DNA (live facilitated)
  • Personal DNA (live facilitated)
  • L&D Program (live facilitated)

Additional

  • Access to Travel & Tourism Summit (2022)
  • Annual Trends E Book

Find Your Formula is an Audit that covers four key areas of your business: your Brand, Products, Channels, and your Sales Systems.  By the end of the module, you will have an overview of the current state of your business and the numbers that make up your current business model. You will have Audited your business and will have a view on where the gaps are in the business and where things need to change to a 21st Century Business Model

As part of this one-month extensive programme you will have access to a Bonailie and BoB Earth 12 month subscription.

  • Weekly webinars on growth and sustainability
  • Access Bob Earth webinars
  • Learn from Bonailie thought leaders
  • Access Bonailie research and insights
  • Access Innovation House
  • Connect with Bonailie global tourism community
  • Learn from other industries via BoB Earth
  • Audit business brand and path to growth
  • Tools to transform your business
  • Access to the BoB Earth annual summit
  • Access to global travel media – Coming soon
  • Each subscription provides donation to L&D foundation

In addition to the Find Your Formula, Audit Your Business For Growth (4 modules) you will have access to the Business DNA and Personal DNA curriculums, you will also join the flagship L&D Program that has been designed specifically to support business owners navigate the global pandemic of 2020/21 to drive them into growth.

This is a self-guided programme where we will provide support in the form of accountability groups, so that your business is ready to fully optimise the trends that tell us that there will be a 10-year period of fast growth in the economy from 2022 onwards. The program is designed to be intensive and collaborative.

  • Weekly webinars on growth and sustainability
  • Access Bob Earth webinars
  • Learn from Bonailie thought leaders
  • Access Bonailie research and insights
  • Access Innovation House
  • Connect with Bonailie global tourism community
  • Learn from other industries via BoB Earth
  • Tools to transform your business
  • Access to the BoB Earth annual summit
  • Access to global travel media – Coming soon
  • Each subscription provides donation to L&D foundation

Plus

  • Find Your Formula (4 modules - live facilitated)
  • Business DNA (online)
  • Personal DNA (Online)
  • L&D Program (Online)

Additional

  • Access to Travel & Tourism Summit (2022)
  • Annual Trends E Book