Rankings

Today’s word: Ranking

What does a number on a list tell you? Who is to determine the quality of products or services you deliver? This is what I’m thinking about today. I’ve been contacting around 30 potential clients. With clients I mean General Managers of 5-star hotels in Dubai. Before sending them emails, I’ve looked at their ranking on tripsadvisor.com. I was surprised by many and some were quite expected. Madinat is of course ranked nr 1. Followed by Le Royal Meridien (unexpected) and Grosvenor House. Burj Al Arab is only ranked on number 19. Isn’t that ironic? The world’s “only” 7-star hotel doesn’t live up to its standards. Why is this? Is it because we have higher demands on a hotel like Burj and is it impossible to live up to those expectations? Maybe it’s an icon of the ultimate vacation and once you stay there, you realize that now “it’s over”, you’ve stayed at THE hotel, what’s next?

It’s like with the opening of Atlantis last fall. The expectations were huge. Press coverage and speculations were a never ending story. People wanted to be part of “the party of the year”, get a glimpse of Oprah and Kylie and have an invitation in your hand. The day came, Oprah cancelled, the evening passed and it was all over. Altantis’ management team created such fuzz about the opening that afterwards, the sweet story of Atlantis was only a memory. Occupancy and sales dropped and people talked about the resort being cursed. It’s ranked as 100 out of 344 hotels in Dubai.

So it makes me wonder. In the end, what’s important? Back to old school genuine hospitality with heavy keys hanging in the reception or waterparks, whale sharks and Kylie Minogue? Genuine hospitality will always overshine factors used to “make up” for poor management and customer service implementation.

I say; give us heavy keys, staffed receptions, true guest recognition and let’s welcome back passionate hospitality!

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