GLOBAL APPETITE, LOCAL TASTE: DELIVERING 3D EXPECTATIONS OF 21ST CENTURY UAE TRAVELLERS
Dynamic debate at InterContinental® Dubai Festival City highlights the need for global coherency and local relevance in Food and Beverage outlets for today’s travellers
17th June 2014, Dubai, United Arab Emirates: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) brought together industry experts to define the key trends and issues shaping travel and hospitality in the UAE and globally at an exclusive event at InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Part of IHG’s ‘3D Connected Traveller Series’ taking place across New York, Dubai and China, the event brought to life the findings of IHG’s 2014 trends report, Creating ‘Moments of Trust’: The key to building successful brand relationships in the Kinship Economy.
IHG’s latest Trends Report reveals that the fast-growing number of international travellers from emerging markets, such as the UAE, Brazil and China, are driving demand for personalised experiences which resonate with the local culture but are delivered by trusted global brands. In fact, 60% of United Arab Emirates (UAE) travellers now expect global brands to be relevant in terms of local tastes, customs and culture.
The ‘3D Connected Traveller Series’ expert panel in Dubai explored the reasons behind this emerging trend, focusing on the role that food and beverage play in delivering the ‘3D’ brand experiences (local, personalised, trusted) that travellers want.
Hosted at Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire at InterContinental Dubai Festival City, the panel of five high profile travel and food industry leaders included three Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire, who founded and runs a number of restaurants including Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire; Phil Broad, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Asia, Middle East and Africa, IHG; Andrew Day, Group CEO, MMI and Emirates Leisure Retail; and Mohamed and Peyman Al Awadhi, the social entrepreneurs behind Emirati street food business Wild Peeta and travel TV show Peeta Planet.
The panellists shared views on a range of topics such as combining local tastes with global consistency to create restaurant menus that cater to Dubai diners – one of the most cosmopolitan audiences in the world. Phil Broad, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Asia, Middle East and Africa, IHG observed, "UAE travellers have an optimistic opinion about the ability of global hotel brands to deliver a combination of localised and personalised experiences, and hotels in the UAE are are leading the way when it comes to delivering quality dining concepts. The acclaimed offering of restaurants at IHG, such as Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, helps ensure it is locally relevant not only in the UAE but also in the other 100 countries and territories that IHG hotels are present in around the world."
With a total of 5,400 restaurants and bars globally, IHG is the largest casual dining chain in the world.
IHG’s 2014 trends report, which surveyed more than 7,000 international travellers, reveals that:
• More UAE consumers would rather stay in a global hotel brand than any other market (77% UAE travellers vs. 55% on average across markets)
• People in the UAE take more business trips than any other market surveryed (15.3 days per year vs. 10 days per year on average across markets)
• UAE travellers are more likely to travel only for business rather than combining business and lesiure trips (34% of all trips from UAE vs. 23% average across markets)
• People in the UAE travel more internationally than all other countries surveyed (37% of all trips from the UAE are international, vs. 21% of all trips on average across markets)
Pierre Gagnaire commented: “There’s a wonderful aspect of intimacy in hotels; they encourage human interaction and make the world a better place. Paying tribute to local cultures is of upmost importance and something I try to embody in all my restaurants, both through my Executive Chefs and my own technical skills, and by taking local sensitivities into account.”
IHG is focused on building and developing its diverse portfolio of brands to meet changing consumer behaviours while delivering quality guest experiences. Last year, IHG published: ‘The New Kinship Economy’, highlighting a transition from brand experiences to brand relationships in the hospitality sector. This year’s report builds on this work to help IHG gain a deeper understanding of what it is that travellers around the world are likely to want from their relationships with hotel brands.
For more information on the 2014 IHG Trends report ‘Creating Moments of Trust’ please visit: www.ihgplc.com/trends_report
IHG has 18 hotels in the UAE, with another seven to open in the next three to five years. This includes the upcoming InterContinental Dubai Marina, where Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton will open his first restaurant in the Middle East.
*This report is based on proprietary research conducted by The Futures Company for InterContinental Hotels Group between July and December 2013. The first phase was twenty four qualitative interviews with business and leisure travellers in four countries: US, UK, Russia and China. The second phase was a quantitative survey of just under 7,000 business and leisure travellers from seven countries: US, UK, Germany, Russia, Brazil and the UAE, with a sample of approximately 1,000 travellers in each country. In total, 6,931 online interviews were completed with a representative sample of travellers who have stayed 1 or more nights in paid accommodation over the past year.
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts.
IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with nearly 79 million members worldwide. The programme was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,700 hotels and 688,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories, with more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.
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About the speakers (please see separate Panelist Biographies document for full details and speaker photos):
Phil Broad, Vice President, Food & Beverage, Asia, Middle East and Africa, IHG
Phil oversees more than 800 IHG restaurants and bars across Asia, Middle East and Africa which serve 40 million customers a year across the network of IHG brands. These include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites.
Pierre Gagnaire, three Michelin-starred chef
Pierre Gagnaire was born in Apinac, France in 1950. He has opened multiple restaurants worldwide, in cities such as London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Dubai and is revered for his ability to maintain impeccable standards at his range of restaurants scattered across the globe. He opened Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire in 2008.
Andrew Day, Group CEO, MMI and Emirates Leisure Retail
Andrew Day is Group CEO of MMI and Emirates Leisure Retail, subsidiary companies of the Emirates Group with businesses spanning beverage import, sales, marketing & distribution, hospitality, food and beverage across the Gulf, South East Asia, East Africa, the Indian Ocean and Australia.
Mohammad Al Awadhi and Peyman Al Awadhi Founders of Wild Peeta
Mohammad Al Awadhi and Peyman Al Awadhi are the founders of Wild Peeta, the game-changing restaurant in Dubai serving 'Modern Emirati Street Cuisine' with recipes influenced by the rich cultural diversity found across the UAE. The restaurant was designed to reinvent the humble shawarma, and its food is nutritious and hand-prepared using natural ingredients that are sourced from the Middle East.