Hilton Worldwide reveals growing Middle Eastern market for hotels

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United arab emirates

One in four guests welcomed at London Hilton Park Lane is from the Middle East (17 per cent of the total occupancy in 2011)
One in four guests welcomed at London Hilton Park Lane is from the Middle East (17 per cent of the total occupancy in 2011)
The Middle East is becoming one of the fastest growing markets for the London hotel sector, with research from Hilton Worldwide revealing that one in four guests at London Hilton Park Lane come from the region. 

The hotel has increased its visitors from the top five Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by 21 per cent. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the top producing market with a 33 per cent increase in occupancy levels year-on-year, followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

This compliments recent research by VisitBritain, which found that total visitor numbers from the UAE increased by 11 per cent in 2011. According to London and Partners, from quarter one to quarter three 2011, total spend was £259 million (Saudi Arabia and UAE) with an average spend of £1770 per person, compared with a £600 average for other overseas visitors.

It is believed that the main reasons for the increased popularity of London among Middle Eastern travellers include shopping, the safe environment, a cooler climate and medical tourism.

Following the study by Hilton Worldwide, a statement from London Hilton Park Lane listed the following ways in which it is responding to the trend: - 

  • The provision of a dedicated Guest Relations teams with Arabic-speaking team members
  • Arabic TV channels  and Arabic newspapers
  • 24-hour room service with an Arabic menu
  • Facilities for the private chefs of guests to cook within the hotel’s kitchens and serve to their employees
  • Trained staff to provide the ‘Middle Eastern welcome’ that visitors have come to expect, and the necessary skills with which to handle tailored requests

Chinese tourists

Hilton Worldwide’s research follows advice earlier in the year that the UK hotel industry should also be prepared to welcome a greater number of Chinese and Brazilian tourists, as increasing numbers plan to spend more on holidays than in 2011, according to a recent survey. 

The survey, by Wyndham Hotel Group, found that over half (58 per cent) of Chinese travellers and 41 per cent of Brazilians admitted to an increased holiday budget this year.

It is now one year on since Hilton launched its own tailored experience for Chinese travellers. ‘Hilton Huanying’ is a global initiative which sees a number of Hilton’s UK properties offering Chinese travellers more authentic experiences with tailored amenities and services.  

Marking the one-year anniversary of this global welcome program, Hilton Hotels & Resorts today unveils limited-edition Water Dragon slippers designed for Hilton by international fashion designer Vivienne Tam.

Dave Horton, global head of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, said: “Vivienne Tam’s East-meets-West signature design philosophy aligns with the authentic and contemporary experiences we share with our guests around the world.

“Caring for travellers with a global perspective and providing a warm welcome through programs such as Hilton Huanying are at the heart of who we are.”

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