What is Four Seasons’ plan for 2005?
During 2005, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts will continue its expansion programme throughout the Middle East, further confirming our commitment to the region.
Our new property in Qatar, Four Seasons Hotel Doha, will open in the second quarter of the year and provide a new experience in luxury for the Emirate and its visitors. This will provide 232 rooms and suites and have the unique offering of being both a business and a leisure hotel. It is nearing completion in the West Bay development just 15 minutes from the city’s international airport and will feature a 110-berth marina, private beach and a spa offering a wide range of treatments, some unique to the region.
In the third quarter of the year we will open Four Seasons Hotel Damascus, an exciting new mix-development in the heart of the city, which will comprise our 303-room hotel with restaurants and extensive banqueting facilities as well as furnished apartments. Hotels are currently under development in Alexandria, Beirut, Kuwait, Dubai and Marrakesh – they are currently in various stages of construction as we continue our strategic plans for the region.
What’s the company’s strategy in the face of competition?
The strategy really does not change to a great degree and they are made-up of three key elements: We are expected to provide the finest physical facility in the given destination. Generally speaking, we would provide upscale residential spaces offering the finest in furniture and fixtures (commensurate to what may be found within the target markets’ homes).
The food and beverage outlets must represent the finest restaurants within the given destination. Our in-room dining service allows individuals and families to enjoy a high quality culinary experience within the confines of their respective accommodation. Our banqueting and catering facilities will provide the highest quality food and beverage product provided, with a high degree of service.
The most important of the three elements is service. Four Season’s delivery of service is unique to its brand. This stems from a culture that empowers employees to engage in intuitive service standards as well as to respond immediately to the needs of a guest. Four Seasons service standards represent the greatest differentiator when compared to other brands.
Is Four Seasons bullish for 2005? If yes, why?
As expected, the hotels within the Middle East benefited from an improved global economy. In 2004 we began to realise an increase in demand from Europe, Japan and to a certain degree the US. We would expect this trend to continue in 2005. A very significant factor is the high degree of intra-regional travel in both the business and leisure travel sectors and, again, we would expect this level of demand to grow in 2005 as the Four Seasons Brand gains momentum within the region – from the recent opening of our second hotel in Cairo coupled with the openings in Doha and Damascus this coming year.
What can guests look forward to in the new year?
“In addition to the new regional developments mentioned earlier, the company will be providing new hotels in strategic locations such as Hong Kong, Langkawi and Hampshire, England (all opening in the first quarter of 2005). The regional market will continue to comprehend our key global strategy that is comprised of consistency; that is to say, service standards will remain constant from hotel to hotel – although each physical plant will compliment the given destination,” said David Crowl, vice-president, sales and marketing, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
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.
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Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.