Olesya Pyrsheva: «Potential of exotic destinations on the Russian MICE market is huge, Kerzner`s goal is to fulfil it»

Moscow office of Kerzner International — a leader on the world hotel market — was opened in 2010. Its aim is to promote resorts on the markets of Russia and the CIS. And now having obtained the ABT partner status, it aims to facilitate business travel industry development.

Despite the fact that the Kerzner has been working in Moscow for 3 years only, it has managed to grow into one of the largest hotel chain offices in Moscow. One of success factors may be popularity of luxurious Kerzner resorts on the Russian market. Olesya Pyrsheva, head of Kerzner International Moscow office, tell us about their features that are so attractive for companies.

— Olesya, Kerzner International includes three different brands. They probably have in common the high service standards that the company pays so much attention to. What do you think, is this the reason for the success of Kerzner resorts on the MICE market as well?

— You are absolutely right, Kerzner International runs three brands: Atlantis, One&Only and Mazagan.

The One&Only brand includes seven luxurious resorts in RSA, Dubai, Mexico, Mauritius, Maldives and Bahamas. It is important to note that this brand is preferred by the guests who wand to hide away from ruffle and excitement, everyday affairs and seek privacy. They hardly meet each other on the hotel territory, probably at breakfast, lunch and dinner only — so comfortable and well-planned the resort’s facilities are. Each of our resorts has a large territory and offers numerous activities.

The Atlantis brand includes two resorts: Atlantis, The Palm Dubai and Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas. On the contrary, it is popular with active tourists who prefer active sports and entertainment programs. The two resorts are embosomed with legends about the sunk Atlantis and look like an underwater kingdom. Each has its own oceanarium, aqua park and a dolphinarium. They are absolutely free for our guests.

The Mazagan brand includes one resort in Morocco, an hour away from Casablanca. This is a colourful Moroccan resort with seven kilometers of beaches and a territory of 500 hectares, half of which is covered with wilderness. The hotel offers 500 rooms, 250 of which are twin rooms. Tourists have SPA, horse riding, quad bikes, 2 football fields, a farm and a mini zoo at their disposal.

That is only three brands offer 10 deluxe resorts. They do have in common the highest service standard, which is the calling card of Kerzner International. In general, there are three to five staff members per one guest.

But apart from outstanding design and exceptional service we offer a wide range of activities, which is very convenient and simplifies the work of event organizers. And it lets our guests enjoy the unique atmosphere of an exotic country.

We should take into consideration particular features of each brand. For example, if we speak about One&Only, it has its own features — privacy, sophistication and elegance, we try not to disturb other guests` rest. The maximum group size here is 60-80 people, except for the One&Only Royal Mirage resort, where we can accommodate groups up to 300-400 people on various grounds in the open air and inside in the hall that can hold up to 2,5 thousand people.

Atlantis and Mazagan resorts are more suitable for MICE events. Atlantis, The Palm can accommodate the largest business traveller groups in one building in Dubai — up to 600 rooms — and offers the highest service standards in organization of events of various themes and scale.

A unique ground is Asateer pavilion that can hold up to 2,5 thousand people. It is situated on the beach and its front is made of glass. You can enjoy a wonderful view of the bay from there.

Atlantis, Paradise Island in Bahamas can be used to accommodate large groups — the hotel capacity is 4500 rooms. Here the largest conference hall on the Caribbean Islands is situated.

The Mazagan resort offers you an unforgettable dinner in the Moroccan style — in a tent, in national clothes with appropriate music, with fakirs, dancers and snake charmers.

Event-departments have worked out special teambuilding programs that take account of the facilities of the resorts. Here you can find professionals who can organize yoga classes, cooking or dancing master classes that can become part of the group’s program.

Many resorts have golf fields, let alone SPA centers and heated or cooled swimming pools (it may be very much in demand in Dubai).

Another success factor of the resorts is a relatively short flight. It refers to our basic MICE destinations in particular: Dubai and Morocco. Travel time is not more than 5-6 hours, which is not much at all for exotic countries.

— In your opinion, which is a more convenient way of work: directly with the buyer or with a TMC?

— We work both with companies and agencies. When the contact with the customer has been established, it is much easier to understand what he really wants.

In my opinion, it is much better to work in tandem. This is the most efficient way for all the participants.

— Does you company hold activities aimed at attracting MICE groups?

— We have special offers that are more focused on professionals: travel and event organizers and agents.

I am speaking about special seasonal packages. We can offer competitive prices for resorts that can accommodate groups during a certain season. This was the situation in Mazagan in Morocco: the room rates on certain dates did not exceed 150 euro per day there, including full board and all day long conference facilities. This offer will probably be valid again from October 2013 till April next year.

We can also offer special incentive programs for travel coordinators and agencies who have sent groups to our resorts.

— Do you face competition in the deluxe hotel segment? If so, how do you manage it?

— If we speak about MICE, we have to deal rather with competition of destinations. The Mazagan resort in Morocco usually competes with Turkey that is so loved and known to everyone. And few people know how interesting Bahamas or Morocco are from the point of view of MICE. But we are working on it, especially because the potential of this destination is huge. And we hope that the Russian Association of Business Travel will help us in this work!

Besides, now we are waiting for three new resorts to open: One&Only Sanya, One&Only Montenegro and One&Only Jeddah. We are sure they will be a perfect supplement to the Kerzner International hotel chain.

Marina Osipova