InterContinental Aqaba, scheduled to open doors this month, is all set to embark on a major promotional campaign participating at most of the major European trade shows on the Jordan Tourism Board stand for 2005 and 2006 and, utilising the ‘muscle’ of InterContinental Hotels Group, plans to reach out to existing and potential tour operators currently using IHG hotels in similar destinations.
“Already we are managing an advertising campaign to target different market segments and geographic source markets with potential. Aqaba is a destination that has developed swiftly during the past six years and InterContinental Aqaba occupies an ideal point in the development of this all-year-round destination on the Red Sea,” said Mark Timbrell, area director of sales and marketing, Jordan.
The hotel will have six F&B outlets. Bourj Al Hamam, already a successful restaurant in Lebanon and also at the InterContinental Jordan in Amman, will be one of two la carte restaurants. The Cote d’Or will offer fine French dining, the Corniche is the all-day dining coffee shop serving buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while Martini’s will be a smart piano bar and lounge. All these four outlets have superb views overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba with both indoor and outdoor terrace seating. Just off the main lobby will be the Deli Café and Lobby Lounge offering snacks, pastries and homemade bakery items, whilst down by the pool and beach, the Beachfront will be serving snacks and refreshing drinks all day, outdoors.
With a superb beachfront location, the hotel will offer wide array of water-sports, fully equipped gymnasium, squash court and spa facilities. Nearby, guests can enjoy snorkelling on the coral reefs and charter motor cruisers or yachts for cruises, parties and fishing. The swimming pool will be almost 200 m long, the largest in Aqaba, and will span the entire breadth of the hotel. For the business traveller, there will be a business centre, high speed internet access from the rooms and wireless in the public areas besides Club InterContinental will be offering unparalleled luxury in Aqaba with a private lounge affording magnificent views over the Red Sea.
The opening of this luxury development will further bolster the Jordan’s status as a premier destination in the Middle East. “The tourism industry has grown steadily in recent years and opening of high-quality properties like the InterContinental Aqaba will further encourage future development. Crowning the peak of the Red Sea, the hotel boasts the longest stretch of private beach in Aqaba, with more than 300 meters of white sand,” added Timbrell.
For the first three to six months of operation InterContinental is expecting majority of business from the local market. “Both holiday makers in the summer months and at week-ends, as well as corporate and some conference business out of Amman. It is anticipated that some special groups from West and East Europe will come, but this business will probably only start once we send out the winter 2005/2006 brochures,” Timbrell points out.
InterContinental Aqaba has been built with the MICE segment very much in mind. This property has tremendous potential and the hotel boasts a ballroom capable of accommodating 750 guests for a formal banquet as well as a number of smaller function rooms and plenty of small breakout rooms. The beach location, facilities on offer, elegant yachts and motor cruisers and the superb nearby tourist sites, combine to ensure organisers have an unparalleled offer for a highly-successful event.
“The aim of InterContinental Aqaba is to be the premium beachfront property, a benchmark for high standards and quality as Aqaba grows and expands. The hotel will certainly aim to maintain its profile at the high end of the market in whatever segment and the hotel product has been constructed to reflect this,” said Timbrell.
By Sarmad Khan
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.
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