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Kerzner International

Leading global hospitality group creates engaging travel connections during pandemic

Travel and Hospitality EMEA

Category Winner

Most Intelligent Content Optimization

About

The impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry has been catastrophic. And yet despite lockdown and with the help of Sitecore, Kerzner International, a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, ultra-luxury resorts and residences, innovative entertainment and gaming experiences, managed not just to stabilize, but increase interest in its resorts and stay connected to their guests. Under its four main brands – Atlantis Resorts and Residences, One&Only Resorts, Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort and SIRO Hotels – Kerzner continues to build a legacy and enrich lives by connecting people, places and meaningful experiences, delivering amazing experiences and everlasting memories.

CHALLENGE

Catastrophic impact of COVID-19

In March 2020, at the start of the peak holiday season, the hospitality industry heard what they never thought possible. The world went into a global lockdown and all but essential travel stopped overnight. Not only did revenue streams stop, guests started to demand refunds on reservations, impacting the bottom line even harder. Like many, Kerzner guests faced a dramatic lifestyle change with isolation, social-distancing and homeworking.

The brands of Kerzner quickly realized they had to shift focus from driving sales and providing experiences for their guests at their resorts, to maintaining and building brand awareness, nurturing guest loyalty through guest connection, engaging in the well-being dialogue, and deploying an omnichannel approach to connect with guests in different ways.

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Solution

Sitecore harnesses creativity

Kerzner has used Sitecore Experience Platform™ (XP) and a portfolio of other Sitecore solutions in a managed cloud environment to adjust marketing activities, harness creativity and technology, and overcome reduced budgets and COVID-19 challenges. It focused efforts on its Atlantis, The Palm and One&Only Resorts.

Atlantis, The Palm used Sitecore to implement A/B testing, CRO and personalized messaging to keep guests engaged. It identified highly engaged guests, popular content and aligned guest profiles with Sitecore ones. For example, families who expressed an interest in Aquaventure Waterpark received a reminder on next site visit.

One&Only used data to better understand guest needs, developed an omnichannel content marketing communication strategy (social, print and email) to deliver highly tailored guest experiences. For example, the One&Only at Home program included luxury activities at home and content to help guests “dream” about future holidays and stay engaged with the brand with no tactical messaging.

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220%

uplift in engagement

59%

higher email open rate

42%

more time on website

Outcome

All resorts outperform pre-pandemic

Sitecore has enabled Kerzner resorts to remain at the forefront of their guests’ minds despite the pandemic lockdown. The websites of all resorts outperformed the previous six months.

One&Only has remained authentic, demonstrated brand value and purpose, and supported its guests. Between October and December 2020, One&Only achieved a 23% increase in sessions per user, 42rise in time spent on the site and a 7.3% increase in pages per session. In December 2020, average email open rates rose 59%, with one resort hitting 175%. Click rates increased by 46.5%. Average open rates also grew by 46.5% with the highest increase in a single resort of 184%.

Atlantis, The Palm’s personalized messaging provided relevant rates and offerings, and the family profile initiative delivered a 220% uplift in engagement. A/B testing on offer pages helped increase bookings by UAE residents, while personalization helped to reduce the bounce rate by 5%. Bookings increased and some even sold out, including Nobu restaurant.

Kerzner has achieved numerous awards including winning six Forbes Travel Guide 2021 Star Awards, inclusion in Travel+Leisure World’s Best, Conde Nast Traveller’s Hot List, and Travel+Leisure’s It List during the pandemic.

Hershna Langworth, Director, Global Ecommerce says, “Our work with Sitecore is a best-in-class strategic deployment of content at scale, personalization and agile digital marketing. What we’ve learned during the pandemic has established a test-learn-refine methodology for the whole group.”

Launch Site
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Like Digital & Partners is an award-winning agency with offices in London and Dubai, offering expert digital transformation services to the world’s leading luxury brands. Like Digital & Partners is driven by business growth and innovation for our clients; from strategy and development to design and content marketing.