Marriott sales mission underlines regional commitment
A 22-strong team of senior managers from Marriott International recently toured the region, underscoring the global hotel group's commitment to the Gulf and Middle East.The Marriott group's senior management sales mission includes general managers and senior sales and marketing officials from its hotels in the region as well as representatives from London, Paris, Brussels, Vienna and Turkey. The sales mission had three main objectives - to thank customers, validate relationship and update customers on new products, Samir Daqqaq, vice president of Marriott Global Sales, Middle East, Africa and South Asia said. He said the managers who attended the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, visited Bahrain, Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha and Kuwait as part of the regional sales mission. The team met local travel agents as well as the group's corporate customers during the visit. Daqqaq said Saudi Arabia was the group's biggest feeder market in the region and along with other GCC states had a key role in Marriott's sales growth. The group's Middle East sales office experienced an increase of 11.4 per cent last year while internationally, the growth was just a shade less at 11.3 per cent. The growth came at a time when the World Tourism Organisation estimated that global tourism economy dropped 1.3 per cent, said Daqqaq. He said the group was also active in developing new properties across the region. "We recently announced that our Ramada International brand planned to have 80 hotels in the Middle East, including 5 in Saudi Arabia," he said. "We are looking forward to the opening of our Madinah hotel this year. We also have other hotel openings taking place in Egypt and Jordan, in addition to a Courtyard hotel opening in Kuwait next year." Daqqaq said new hotels were in the pipeline in other GCC destinations such as Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.