The Chedi Muscat looks for ways to plug summer gaps

The Chedi Muscat has emphasised the need to promote summer business to Oman and is calling on airlines, DMCs and tour operators to create packages and promotions for 2007 that will beat the summer slump.

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By  Gemma Greenwood Published  November 19, 2006

The Chedi Muscat has emphasised the need to promote summer business to Oman and is calling on airlines, DMCs and tour operators to create packages and promotions for 2007 that will beat the summer slump. “My wish is that with their help, we can create demand for the summer months; that’s the only way to achieve growth in Oman in the short term, because we are limited with hotel inventory for the next three years,” said Lore Koenig, the five-star property’s director of sales and marketing. “If we can all make a concerted effort, we can plug the gaps.” Occupancies at The Chedi slumped to a disappointing 30-40% this summer, but started to pick up in mid-September. “It continued to pick up and by October 1, our forward bookings for Novemberwere unbelievable – we were already at 85% [occupancy],” said Koenig. Occupancies typically hit the 90-100% mark during the winter she added. This seasonal bust and boom cycle is witnessed by most Muscat hotels, and the key to altering the summer slow down is to lure both GCC ex-pats and Europeans, according to Koenig. “There is a perception that it’s 50 degrees across the entire Middle East in the summer, but this is not true. In Muscat, the average temperature was 31 to 33 degrees this year and at The Chedi, we have a wonderful breeze too,” she said. Koenig is currently devising summer 2007 deals – five nights for the price of four, eight for six and 10 for eight – but would like more airlines to partner with the hotel to create packages. She said weekend bookings from the GCC market were picking up and “plugging the holes” left by longer stay European guests. “A lot of bookings result out of the GCC too because many tour operators use DMCs there that now have Oman-based offices – Desert Adventures, Gulf Ventures and Travco,” she explained. The Chedi Muscat is currently preparing to open a new restaurant on the seafront that will predominantly serve seafood and seat 70. The hotel also recently introduced complementary use of iPods for guests staying in Chedi club suites.

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