Horeca expected to be a grand draw this year


Organisers of the Horeca 2003 (hotel, restaurant and cafe), Lebanon's largest hospitality and food event, are anticipating more than 17,000 visitors. Horeca 2003 is being held under the auspices of president Emile Lahoud at the Beirut Central District from April 1 to 4 this year.

Now in its tenth year, Horeca has witnessed a tremendous response from participants, including first time participation from Jordan, UAE, Thailand and Austria. Jordan will be represented through a national pavilion and aims to boost trade and tourism between the neighbouring countries.

Ms Jumana Dammous SaLame, the organiser of the event, said: "We know how important tourism is to the Levant countries and Horeca 2003 makes a positive contribution to this industry by profiling the latest trends and developments in hospitality, food and drinks and attracting visitors from the Arab world and from around the globe.

Commenting on Lebanon being the destination for hosting the event, Salme said: "The choice of the country stems from the fact that last year both the Arab Summit and the Francophone Summit demonstrated confidence in Lebanon by selecting it as the host country".

"Lebanon is presently brimming with new investments from major industry players: Landmark, a leading Kuwait firm has plans to invest $150 million in building a 5-star hotel and a complex of residential apartments and commercial offices. "she explained.

"The Hilton Group is building a $60 million, 170-room project and the Solidere Group has announced deals for hotel projects worth up to $200 million to be built in the next two years in Beirut. This is in addition to Saudi prince Al Waleed Bin Talal's undertaking of a multi-million dollar project - The Four Seasons and Marina Towers", she added.

Each year, HORECA draws participation from nearly 50 countries, including Armenia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Syria, Turkey and the UK to name a few.

Organised by Jumana Dammous Salame and her father, Nouhad, the event aspires to boost the growth of tourism in the Levant countries, while providing an ideal environment for professionals to develop new business partners and share best practices with industry colleagues.

"Beirut has seen a sharp rise in restaurant and hotel activities during last year, while this year is expected to be even better.

The number of Horeca exhibitors and foreign visitors this year is also anticipated to rise by about 20 per cent over last year's numbers", Salame said.

This year the event is to be divided into two key elements. The Levant trade show for hospitality and food service industries, which showcases equipment and services for supermarkets and mobile units and the international food and drink exhibition for displaying food and beverage products like gourmet specialty food, beverages, food packages and chocolate.

Horeca 2003 is also scheduled to feature various events such as the hospitality salon culinaire, Lebanese bartenders competition, E-job meeting point, place setting contest and hospitality workshops.