THE Landmark Amman Hotel and Conference Centre has recently undergone a major rebranding, general manager FIRAS MNEIMNEH spoke to MAYSA ZUREIKAT about what has been happening and the year ahead.
How do you evaluate the rebranding process?
Before I begin, I would like to point out that our overall hotel renovation will be completed soon with JD5.5 million ($7.75 million) spent on the renovation process so far and JD1.5 million on the rebranding process’ advertising campaign.
The rebranding was very successful, in a very short period of time the Landmark Amman Hotel became well known (around 60 per cent of people noticed the rebranding). This has been achieved by engaging in many big events, sponsorships and hosting exhibitions. In 2010, we will be spending more money on three new outlets, the ballroom and on renovating certain floors.
How was your hotel’s occupancy rate in 2009?
We experienced a slight drop in occupancy (around 10 per cent) which was due to the Gaza events in the beginning of 2009. However, overall, we had an increase in revenues as we hosted more exhibitions than last year.
How do you evaluate the past year in terms of tourist arrivals and the achievement of the industry?
The number of tourists was lower than the previous year due to both the Gaza events and the economic situation which affected the first three months. If not for these reasons, we would have had a much better occupancy than last year. The drop was not too high for our hotel because we took more Mice business instead.
Was your business affected by the international Swine flu epidemic?
Only two conferences were cancelled at our hotel.
What is the main factor that distinguishes your hotel compared to local competition?
We have variety in our conference facilities and a number of alternatives from which our customers can choose. We have two ballrooms, one hall room and ‘the venue’ which includes an exhibition hall and a ballroom.
In addition to that, we have a distinguished quality of service which exceeds our guests’ expectations. We also guarantee 100-per cent guest satisfaction to the extent that when a guest files a valid complaint, I make sure that their charges are waived.
Did you launch any promotions in 2009? What do you have in store for 2010?
We did not launch any particular promotions; however, with the decrease of taxes by the government from 12 per cent to eight per cent it made for a very good promotion.
Where do you see the tourism and hotel industry going in 2010? What do you think needs to be done to enhance its performance?
I believe people all over the world are hungry for travel even if the economic situation is affecting them. I also believe that the Mice business will become much better. Tourism for leisure is not that strong yet but Mice is promising for next year.
I also believe that if the government maintains tax levels as they are for next year, it will help promote Jordan abroad.
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.