Dan Hotels wants more Canadians at its 14 hotels in Israel
At a Dan Hotels event in Toronto were Ami Allon, Consul, Director for Canada, Israel Government Tourist Office; Raffi Sadeh, President Dan Hotels Ltd; Dinah Kutner General Manager El Al Israel Airlines; Rafi Baeri, VP Marketing and Sales Dan Hotels; and Eitan Sasson, Director of Marketing and Sales North America, Dan Hotels.

Dan Hotels wants more Canadians at its 14 hotels in Israel

TORONTO — Dan Hotels wants to entice more Canadian visitors to stay at its 14 properties in Israel which include some of most prestigious hotels in the country such as the King David in Jerusalem where royalty and heads of state often stay.

Dan Hotels representatives met with the media, travel agents and tour operators in Toronto this week to outline the chain’s multi-million dollar renovations; improved service levels; and a program that offers discounts for travellers staying seven nights at any of its hotels.

The chain is investing the equivalent of $28 million a year in renovations and updates, according to Rafi Baeri, VP Marketing and Sales Dan Hotels. The company has four hotels in Jerusalem, three in Tel Aviv, three in Haifa, two in the southern resort area of Eilat, and two others that are currently closed for renovations.

“We try to plan renovations and renewal of hotels on an ongoing basis,” Baeri told Travelweek. “In 2004 we did the Dan Panorama Jerusalem, then the Panorama Tel Aviv. In 2012 we completely gutted and rebuilt the Dan Carmel (in Haifa) and the plans are for additional major renovations which started this week at Dan Eilat and a major change including adding a big spa and interesting chalet and gardens at the Dan Caesarea, which is the only hotel with a golf course in Israel. We started this week with long term renovations of the rooms. In about a year we’ll finish the renovation of the hotel then turn to the public areas.”

The chain also encourages employees to be attuned to the needs of guests and do a little more to create a ‘wow’ effect. Baeri said that every month they collect stories from the general managers about examples of service that went beyond expectations and then reward the employees.

Meanwhile, to encourage travellers to stay at more of its hotels, the chain is offering discounts of about 15% through its ‘GOLDan 7’ program. “The idea is the longer you stay the better the rates,” said Baeri. “So the seven night rate is very advantageous rate compared to one night, but because it’s not that common that people stay in one hotel for seven nights, we created a program that enables you to pick and choose and stay at different Dan Hotels throughout the country.” The company believes the idea has traction because the typical North American visitor spends eight or nine nights in the country.

Also worth noting:

• the three-year-old Dan Gourmet Culinary Centre is the first gourmet kosher cooking school and offers classes to travellers

• a loyalty program called the e-Dan Club includes special offers, discounts on services, upgrades, a welcome gift and points redeemable for free nights and meals

• the chain will open its first hotel outside of Israel in Bangalore, India at the end of 2016.

“The North American market has always been important to the Dan Hotels,” said Baeri, adding that the hotels were built to meet North American needs and preferences in terms of room size, type of service and food.

“Of course generally we’re speaking of the largest source, the United States, but Canada has been very important both for individuals, FIT travel and for groups. And we’re coming here to put an emphasis on the Canadian market.”