The luxury hotel brand InterContinental returned to Dhaka’s hospitality landscape after a long gap in December 2018 and immediately grabbed the attention of the hotel enthusiasts. Marc Reissinger, the French General Manager of the hotel chain sat with Ziaul Karim just before COVID-19 pandemic lockdown about how InterContinental Dhaka regains its traction and USP.
Bangladesh has been this obscure attraction that few have ventured into. As a tourist location, Bangladesh has the longest uninterrupted sea beach in the name of Cox’s Bazar. ‘Bangladesh has something very unique like Cox’s Bazar. It has all the right attractions, it has to be made aware of only,’ Marc Reissinger identifies. Most travelers are unaware as to where Bangladesh is, let alone Cox’s Bazar. Presenting Bangladesh and Cox’s Bazar is key to gaining more tourist traction.
Marc Reissinger thinks selling someone the visit to Cox’s Bazar where s/he can enjoy is possible only when visitors are more aware. Due to its distance from the capital, Cox’s Bazar does get overlooked by business personnel. Letting people know and highlighting the natural sites that Bangladesh presents can happen when the areas get the right highlight and proper infrastructures.
Similar to French Polynesia, it was something that the natives were more aware of, and a small group of travelers. Over time, it became a tourist hub for all. That is the form of exposure Cox’s Bazar needs. To know the place holds natural uniqueness, unlike other places.
Bangladesh also has to concentrate on its domestic tourism. Marc Reissinger having worked in different countries, says that Jakarta did have internal tourism, having tourists from Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua. The tourism board of a country plays a critical role in terms of how tourism gets to be revamped and reinvented.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been able to revamp how internal tourism used to be, and now has significantly more tourism activities taking place than previously. All these help to highlight the tourism quality of nations, especially given that the presence in the digital space dictates the awareness of places to visit.
Ambitions and Offerings
The hotel and hospitality sector has increasingly become more competitive and standing out requires offering unique propositions. InterContinental Dhaka led by Marc Reissinger pushes to remain prominent, especially after an elongated time of inactivity. Activities, special provisions, and presence during social events attract visitors. InterContinental has had special packages for the New Year, for Valentine’s Month, as well as celebrating the birth of the father of the nation. With the 50th anniversary of the country on the horizon, InterContinental looks forward to celebrating the golden jubilee of the country that has attained amazing growth and promises for the future.
Covid-19 has emerged as a major hindrance to the global tourism and hospitality industry and is no different for InterContinental. With its reopening to the public again from June 2, 2020, Marc Reissinger and InterContinental plan to embrace the new normal. Just like all other industries, the hotel industry has been pushing to create services and provide visitors with such services. The new norm may have hindered the plans of InterContinental of the few months, however, creating opportunities is what everyone will be pushing for.
Return to Prominence
InterContinental Dhaka is a luxury brand and ensures that quality is maintained. Providing the best of spas, fine dining, and experience is prioritized throughout. The luxury expectations and responding accordingly is what Marc Reissinger and his establishment aim for. It’s dedicated to fulfilling expectations and ensuring that customer satisfaction is met as the establishment has been in work for years.
Marc says that first impressions should always leave a lasting impression. From the moment visitors enter the hotel, each step of the visit should be upholding the standards and expectations of the visitor. Amber Restaurant presents the most exquisite fine dining experiences across the board. And to ensure whether services met expectations, visitors are sent a survey, and accordingly, InterContinental Dhaka makes sure that services are dynamic. This results in understanding how satisfied visitors were and helps to analyze the scopes to improve and grow.
Marc Reissinger acknowledges that InterContinental Dhaka may be facing increased competition, mainly due to its geographical location, but the institute does not mull over it significantly. The business hubs may have shifted from Motijheel to Gulshan, however, the business hubs are not all centralized in Gulshan. Hubs are scattered all across Dhaka, and InterContinental Dhaka focuses more on the prime area of Dhaka, that accounts for more of the heart of the city.
InterContinental in essence prioritizes being a MICE hotel. Concentrating on meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions suggests that the hotel has a business-friendly environment. This in itself helps significantly to attract more public attention, as well as the public interest. Nestling in a location that may be far off from the airport, InterContinental still holds the glitz and glamour that had made it the novelty of Dhaka. As long as both old and new visitors become aware of the hotel giant being back operating and providing quality service that it is synonymous with. The tourism, hotel, and hospital industry tends to be both praised and downplayed for the positive and negative impacts it has on countries, the ecosystem, and the economy. The role that tourism plays is evident when tourism-dependent nations such as Malta, Iceland, Croatia, Thailand, and Vietnam climb the economic growth ladder because of its care and focus on tourism. For countries that have untapped natural sites and can use it to reflect the beauty they possess, they always tend to bounce back and bring back visitors even after hardship, just like InterContinental keeps doing.