How the chain performed in the Middle East: 2003 was a difficult year for the industry as a whole, particularly in the Middle East region but we had aggressive marketing plans for the region and, as a result, are seeing increased domestic business, and the tourism markets always rebound, said Jean Marc Buseto, vice-president Middle East of Radisson SAS.
Expansion plans: Currently our properties in Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, are undergoing extensive multi-million dollar refurbishments while the Radisson SAS Hotel in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, is now refurbished. These refurbishments bring the properties in line with our guests’ expectations and have allowed us to bring the unique European style of the Radisson brand to the properties, which we took over the management contract in late 2002.
The Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel, Bahrain, is also undergoing refurbishment, which will be completed in time for the 2004 Formula One Grand Prix, when the eyes of the world will turn on Bahrain. The rooms are already refurbished, and the final stages of the properties’ restaurants are just being completed.
In Egypt, we are constructing a brand new resort in Al Quseir, to complement the on-going success of our two existing properties. We have also announced plans to open two properties on Dubai’s Palm Island, a business hotel and a resort hotel. Radisson SAS is part of Rezidor SAS Hospitality, which owns a number of brands. These brands will eventually be introduced to the Middle East, when the time is right.
We have aggressive marketing plans in place to double the number of properties flying the Radisson flag within the next five years.
Strategy in the face of competition: We will continue to deliver “Fresh, Host and Easy” hospitality. This proprietary concept is about doing things differently, being open-minded, unconventional and sometimes adventurous. Our guests want service that is welcoming, warm, attentive and caring. The ‘Easy’ value focuses on the practical side of our products and services, any guest experience with Radisson SAS should always be uncomplicated, informal, flexible and reliable.
Is Radisson SAS bullish about 2004 and, if yes, why? In terms of this region, we are positive that our strong European heritage and unique service values mentioned above will continue to attract those tired of the increasing similarity of some of our competitors.
What guests can look forward to: Guests can look forward to better service, better facilities, more hotels under the Radisson SAS flag, and more pleasure as we constantly strive to exceed our guests’ expectations. In this highly-competitive market, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. As a result of this constant drive to stay ahead of the competition, fast wireless Internet access is being rolled out across all of our regional properties and will be available everywhere by the end of the year. As more and more people choose to book their accommodation on-line, we offer global ‘hot deals’ and special offers exclusive to www.radisson.com. 2004 will see more offers under the World of Experience concept, which allows guests to experience a thrilling combination of accommodation, romance and celebrations, adventure and a host of leisure activities for one all-inclusive package.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.