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March 28, 2023

Satisfying the customer and launching new happenings, the targets of 2012

Interview with Alex Oproiu, General Manager D&M Real Estate, developer of Époque Hotel.

How did the hotel market evolved in 2011?

In the hotel industry, we had increases in terms of both occupancy rate and ADR (average daily rate). I can however say that the emphasis was on occupancy, so customers were less budget-oriented, but yes, people started to travel more. As for the figures, in 2011, in Bucharest, we had a 7 pc increase in the number of foreign tourists, of overnight stays, we reached about 2,050,000, compared to 1,850,000. The recovery took place in terms of both occupancy and effective accommodation price. And we expect a further increase in 2012. Occupancy will probably continue to marginally increase in 2012, but on the other hand we hope that the market will tolerate slightly higher prices, so we can recover the losses of 2008 and 2009, which also translated into personnel losses and other things, because the hotel industry is all about people providing services.

What did year 2011 bring for your hotel? How did you end last year, in financial terms? What can you tell us about foreign tourists? In percent figures, how many tourists did you have from Romania and from abroad?

As far as we, Époque, are concerned, 2011 was the first whole year of operation, so there is no other year we can compare to. 2010 was a soft opening, with satisfactory results. I’d rather not give exact figures for the base year. In terms of percentages, we met our targets. I can say that, for an opening year, we slightly outreached our expectations, as we succeeded in having a good rate, from the very beginning, which allowed us to form a team. Compared to the level of the 5-star market, I can mention that, in terms of occupancy, we performed somewhere at 70-80 pc of the market average, with similar ADR results as well. For 2012, we want to be above the market and, judging by the signs we had in the beginning of the year, we will apparently reach this goal.In terms of segmentation, about 70 pc are foreigners, and the overwhelming majority of our customers are from abroad. First are those from the United Kingdom, followed by those coming from France and Germany. We also received tourists from Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands, Venezuela, Reunion. Additionally, we can see an increase in pleasure tourism, which is very well. Signs of recovery are present since August last year, and tourists told me that they did not know Bucharest is so beautiful.

What are your plans, your targets for 2012?What novelties do you have for your customers this year?

What is the number of customers you expect?For this year, we have many plans. The main objective is satisfying customers by an improved control of quality; the overwhelming majority of customers are already very pleased. And, as we believe in the principle that it is better to keep an existing customer than bring a new one, we envisage opening a customer satisfaction service that will exclusively deal with this segment. This is something new for a hotel of this size. The hotels that belong to big chains have such a service, and also benefit from the know-how of the chain, they come with well-established recipes, but their customer is different. So, we can say that this service is new in Bucharest.But we also have very concrete plans. For example, we opened the school of culinary arts with our cook Arnaud Dunand Sauthier- 1 Michelin star. We also want to invest in atmosphere, bring live music, a concept of social evenings featuring from society games to social club elements, in order to attract the community around us. Coming to gastronomy, we serve a menu created by the laboratories of our head-cook, Guy Martin – 3 Michelin stars. Now we are devising the spring menu, with French cuisine, without proposing fusion cuisine. In a few days, we will also inaugurate a business lunch, at a price of RON 75.

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