In Brief

Fantastic Phuket

Guides at ITE HK to get accredited
HONG KONG: On the second day morning (June 11, 2004) of the 18th International Travel Expo HK (ITE HK 2004), over 100 tourist guides from member agents of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC) will gather under one roof.

With a view to improving tourist guides’ service quality, the TIC has decided to set up a tourist guide accreditation system on July 1, 2004, under which all tourist guides assigned by member agents to receive visitors to Hong Kong are required to have a valid Tourist Guide Pass issued by the TIC. To mark the accreditation as a milestone of the industry, the TIC will hold a Quality Launching Ceremony at ITE HK 2004, with pledge-taking as part of the programme.

Marriott Phuket in Conde Nast list
PHUKET: JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa won its second Conde Nast accolade this year when it hit the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler (USA) Magazine’s 2004 Hot List published in May.  This follows the Resort’s previous award in the UK February edition for “Best Hotel Spa in Asia”. The 2004 Hot List is the definitive guide to the hottest and hippest getaways around the globe, reaching over three million of the most affluent, well traveled and discerning readers.

ILTM raises serious question
CANNES: “Exhibitions are tiring, take you away from your workplace, away from your family, and eat into your precious leisure time.” A strange sentiment from an exhibition organiser, David Hammond, MD of International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM). However, he continues that they are still the most effective and time efficient means of doing business; his contention is that at present we have to attend too many. “I firmly believe that a good exhibition should supply all your annual business needs over a three-day period. This is what we have created at ILTM,” he added. Indeed when you examine the event, it certainly endorses this point of view. The exhibitor list reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ spanning the global luxury accommodation industry through to the wild and extreme such as space tourism artic safaris.

Mina adds massage tents
DUBAI: Sunbathing at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina just got even easier, with the addition of a SoleSenses massage tent just yards from the sea and sunloungers. There’s no need to stroll too far from the waters of the Arabian Gulf, thanks to the discreet tent, which is veiled with flowing muslin for privacy. On offer are reflexology treatments, Indian head massages, back massages and other relaxation methods to help ease the pressures of every day life while you unwind in the sun.

EMITT 2005 to grow bigger
ISTANBUL: The number of signed contracts for East Mediterranean International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (EMITT 2005), which will be held from February 24-27 at Tuyap exhibition centre, Istanbul, has risen up to 20 from ten countries. The exhibition is likely to attract more than 1,000 exhibitors from over 50 countries.

Accolades for InterCon Group
DUBAI: According to business travellers, InterContinental Hotels Group is their first choice when travelling in the Middle East. The hotel group received the award for Best Hotel Group in the Middle East at Business Traveller Middle East Awards. In addition to the main award, the InterContinental Phoencia in Beirut won the best business hotel in the Middle East as well as a second award as best business hotel in Lebanon. Riyadh and Jeddah were also singled out as the best business hotels in their local markets by readers of the magazine.

Top award for Sheraton Doha
DOHA: Business travellers voted Sheraton Doha Hotel & Resort as ‘Best Business Hotel in Doha’ for a second year in a row. This recognition is a result of Business Traveller Middle East’s annual top hotel chain survey of the publication’s readership. The Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) also won the ‘Best Hotel Loyalty Scheme’. In addition, Sheraton Abu Dhabi and Sheraton Cairo have been designated as ‘Best Business Hotels’ in their own cities.

MHR Collections selects InnPoints Worldwide
ATHENS:  MHR Collections has selected InnPoints Worldwide to provide GDS and Internet processing for all 260 of their affiliated hotel properties located throughout the world. Through its Albuquerque CallPort reservation centre and its Web-based Hotel Factory central reservation system, InnPoints Worldwide will process GDS and Internet booking requests. MHR Collections is a service provider to all its affiliated Hotel partners offering assistance in both marketing and sales, promotion and advertising.

Metropolitan chefs awarded
BEIRUT: A total of 18 chefs from The Metropolitan Palace Hotel Beirut Palace participated in different categories of the culinary competition of HORECA 2004 and won as many 16 medals. Once again, this was proof of the high level of quality provided by the hotel’s chefs.

Industry leaders to address
Seatrade conference
DUBAI: International shipping industry leaders from upwards of 15 countries are to address Seatrade Middle East Maritime conference, to be held from December 6-8 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Global experts from around the world are to take the platform at the most powerful shipping industry meet yet seen in the Middle East. “Speakers will be of the very highest calibre,” said Chris Hayman, managing director, Seatrade. Seatrade Middle East Maritime will feature four distinct conference streams – General Shipping, the first Dubai Commodities Conference, the fourth Seatrade Middle East Cruise Conference and a one-day conference on the expanding Super Yacht market in the region.

Sheraton Heliopolis receives Green Globe certificate
HELIOPOLIS: Sheraton Heliopolis Hotel has recently received the Green Globe certificate from the Preservation of Nature Beauty Association for the excellent conservation of green area and outstanding gardens. The achievement shows the hotel’s great concern for the environmental.