14COMMENT          Team building boosts hotel revenues          Viability director Guy Wilkinson says not only is experien...
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Team building boosts hotel revenues


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Viability's Guy Wilkinson writes a monthly column for Hotelier Middle East Magazine. This article originally appeared in January 2010.
For more information about Viability, please visit http://www.linkedin.com/company/2347942 or http://www.viability.ae/

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Team building boosts hotel revenues

  1. 1. 14COMMENT Team building boosts hotel revenues Viability director Guy Wilkinson says not only is experiential training beneficial for boosting confidence and team relations among your own staff, but that your hotel’s facilities could be opened up to bring in extra revenue from other companies investing in such activities about seven or eight courses out of 10 are day courses, with the remainder involving overnight accommoda- COLUMNIST tion. Nevertheless, Abami was the largest single revenue source at two t’s quite a sight. Normally staid of its sites last year. I clerks and secretaries, execu- tives and managers have today exchanged their suits for jeans, tee shirts and helmets, and are behav- ing more like trapeze artists, balanc- Above all, however, the experien- tial training sessions add an element of excitement to their host hotels. “We bring life, energy and move- ment to a hotel, and there is a real ing high up on a precipitously tall Abami Consultancy & Training can set up high rope challenges and climbing walls. buzz when we’re around,” claims timber structure in Hatta. Nugent, who adds that this buzz can It’s part of a hotel-based corporate team building day led by Dubai- STAGING EXPERIENTIAL TRAINING BRINGS be added to conferences and semi- nars too. “We do a lot of conference based experiential learning company EXTRA REVENUE TO A HOTEL work too and the addition of two or Abami Consultancy & Training. three ‘interventions’ during such For many of the participants, being An increasing number of people Al Quwain, and Al Ghazal Golf Club events can really pep them up.” dragged out of their daily routines to around the Gulf have found new near Abu Dhabi’s international air- In these difficult days, training clamber up a frighteningly high wall strengths within themselves this port, the latest to open. can be seen as a ‘nice to have’ budget is quite a shock to the system and way. In the last three years, Abami item, but wise companies are seeing it may not be their first choice for a fun has held 434 programmes for 240 cli- BENEFITS FOR HOTELS as an essential investment in human day out. But that’s the point. ents involving 18,000 participants. A hotel is an ideal venue for Abami’s resources, especially as staff are these “We all operate within our com- Operating in Kuwait for 13 years, experiential learning centres because days being asked to do more work, as fort zones, at home and in the office,” the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 10 it offers meeting rooms for year- workforces are reduced. explains Abami managing director years and Dubai for six years, Abami round indoor training activities, Although it is true that company Graham Nugent. “Our lives are bor- works with multinationals, banks, catering, toilets and other support budgets have been cut, training goes ing and predictable and most people oil companies and government insti- amenities. Abami also needs an area on, according to Nugent, with half- have not been exposed to a 50ft tutions, presenting learning and of land about the size of a tennis court day team building sessions often climbing wall. development programmes in both on which to build its high rope chal- being combined with half day strat- “You’re attached via a rope and English and Arabic. lenge and other outdoor structures. egy meetings, for example. In this a pulley to someone on the ground. The company has four ‘learning It is one of the few training compa- same economic climate, hotels need You need to use dialogue, communi- centres’ in the UAE. The original site nies with the capacity to design and to look at additional revenue sources cation and trust. is part of the Hatta Fort Hotel in the build such structures to international and experiential training can be a “You’re taken outside your com- Hajjar mountains, with such ameni- safety standards, as well to conduct surprisingly lucrative answer. HME fort zone, succeeding in a strange, ties as high rope challenges, the ‘leap the training itself. alien world thanks to your confidence of faith’ and a climbing wall. The Staging experiential training thus in another person. And the more we other learning centres are at Jebel Ali brings extra revenue to a hotel, with step outside our comfort zone, the Golf Resort & Spa (part of the hotel’s the firm’s UAE partner hotels earn- more we want to do so again. This Centre of Excellence, also including ing a daily delegate rate of around Guy Wilkinson is a director of Viability, a hospitality and property consulting firm in Dubai. experience thus gives us confidence the shooting club and football fields), AED 100 per person for catering, as For more information, email: guy@viability.ae to take on new responsibilities.” the Dreamland Aqua Park in Umm well as room bookings on occasion — January 2010 • Hotelier Middle East www.hoteliermiddleeast.com