Hotel chain Hilton International says its worldwide reservations call centre in Dubai handled a record number of calls in 2002.
Anish Bhatia, manager of Hilton Reservations Worldwide, said the high volumes were achieved during an industry downturn.
"The increased volumes of inbound calls has allowed us to boost capacity of existing lines, add new dedicated lines for Oman and Jordan, plus increase our agent levels by 100 per cent in order to cope with the increased demand," Bhatia said.
"We also expanded our scope of operations last year, and set up dedicated toll-free lines to service our 95,000 Hilton HHonors loyalty programme members in the region. We now average 700 calls a month, primarily covering redemption bookings and enrolment for these members in the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt."
Hilton says the response from travel agents, corporate bookers, and the public has topped expectations. Further growth is expected this year as users get familiar with the booking processes.
Hilton Reservations Worldwide was set up in Dubai in 1996. It is current based at Hilton's regional headquarters in the Dubai Internet City. The reservations hub offers toll-free access to hotel bookings at over 2,400 Hilton hotels in more than 65 countries worldwide.
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