With digital technology fast becoming a part of everyday modern life, hotels in the Middle East and around the world are increasingly embracing new channels to connect with their guests, from Twitter concierge services to smart phone applications for check-in services.

As the Middle East Hotel Awards opens for 2012 entries, the organisers of The Hotel Show predict a surge in nominations for the Best Technology Integration Category, one of the seven awards that recognise excellence in the region’s hospitality industry.

“Hoteliers are recognising the importance of investing in state-of-the-art technology systems, from smart phone technology offering guests the comforts of home by providing downloadable custom apps, to international virtual meetings systems and online games to encourage hospitality recruitment. We are really looking forward to receiving nominations for the innovative technologies being implemented in this region,” said Frederique Maurell, Events Director, The Hotel Show.

In a recent report highlighting global trends in the tourism and travel industry, Euromonitor International branded the infusion of game mechanics to engage audiences and social media as two integral developments to be watched.

The findings released this month included the incorporation of game elements and mechanics into non-gaming websites to make them fun and engaging, known as gamification, as significant for all in the travel and hospitality industry. Gamification is used to encourage consumers to share their experience, photos and videos to help generate brand awareness and loyalty, and identified as one of the biggest trends for social media and mobile devices for 2012.

Social media has also been highlighted as a continuous force in the report, for its role in allowing hotels to further engage with their guests in an intimate and time efficient manner. According to the report, hotels are consistently tapping into the power of social networks and the strength and influence of friends and ‘followers’, to drive bookings and loyalty.

The Middle East Hotel Awards  recognise excellence from concept design to product and supplies within a hotel environment, and continue to look into the deepest intricacies of hospitality to acknowledge all participating factors in the perfect stay.

Categories for 2012 include: Best Lobby, Reception & Guest Lounges; Best Restaurant/F&B outlets; Best Convention, Conference and/ or Banquet Facility; Best Hotel Suite; Best Fitness & Leisure Facilities within a hotel; Sustainable Initiative; Best Technology Integration; and Best Outdoor Area.

“Success in the hospitality industry rests on attention to detail, whether in the soft furnishings and music in the lobby, the thread count of bed linen or the ambience of an outdoor terrace.  The Hotel Awards recognise and reward the region’s finest initiatives and through this, constantly help to elevate standards in the regional industry,” added Maurell.


Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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