REPORT FROM ISRAEL—Dan Hotels has a long legacy of luxury hotels in Israel, and now the chain’s leaders are planning to take the brand beyond the country’s borders.
The company, which started with one guest house in Tel-Aviv in 1947, plans to open a 250-room business hotel in Bangalore, India, this year.
VP, marketing and sales
It’s also expanding its footprint in Israel. Last year in response to the need for more beds in Jerusalem, the Dan chain purchased a fourth hotel in the market—the Dan Jerusalem (formerly the Hyatt-Regency).
“We are in an excellent leaping position in the large group movements, especially the faith- based pilgrimages,” said Rafi Baeri, VP for marketing and sales at Tel-Aviv based Dan Hotels.
The company owns 14 hotels with 3,669 rooms, a convention center and a hotel training center.
The increased tourist figures to Israel during the past two years have been reflected in sales figures, Baeri said.
The No. 1 challenge is to ensure clients get the best stay experience to ensure repeat and loyal customers, he said. “Our motto is ‘to deliver a customer experience slightly above our guest's expectation.’ We are succeeding in doing so and enjoy an unprecedented returning guest ratio of more than 30%.”
Dan Hotels’ free loyalty club, e-Dan, has served as an excellent tool to honor our repeat clients while delivering a truly personalized service, Baeri added.
The company also is putting money back into its properties—recent renovations have been carried out in the King David hotel (its flagship property and member of the Leading Hotels of the World), Dan Panorama Tel Aviv and Dan Panorama Jerusalem.
A view from the terrace at the King David, Jerusalem.
Tourism and the hotel business in Israel, however, is a very challenging area, Baeri said.
“We are influenced by a very wide spectrum of events, be it the global economic situation, the geo-political events in the countries around us, economic situation in Israel itself (with a relative strong economy and strong currency that makes receipts in foreign currency, namely U.S. dollars, shrink in value),” he said. “All those influence hotel results and make us work harder on the marketing of Israel and our hotels.”
Dan Hotels strategizes with a “long-range” focus. Policies are enacted with the long-term
Despite these immediate challenges, the company operates with a “long-range” focus, enacting policies and strategies that best fit the long-term needs and preferences of guests, Baeri said.