The Preferred choice

Preferred’s Moukarzel, Lewis and Ueberroth

THE Preferred Hotel Group aims to be associated with up to ten hotels in the Middle East by the end of 2006.

The consortium is in discussions with several independent properties as well as small hotel chains such as Habtoor, said group chairman and CEO John Ueberroth. “The marketplace needs us,” he said.
The group services more than 300 luxury independent hotels and resorts in over 50 countries with its four brands, Preferred, Summit, Boutique and Sterling. It offers hotels in the region access to a global reservation system and a sales network of 21 offices, accrual benefits from its marketing and brand-building, and technology, revenue and profit management support. Thus, joining Preferred helps local operators stay abreast of the industry, said Ueberroth.
“Hotels in the region want business from Europe, the USA and Asia, where we have offices, and customers there want to visit the Middle East,” said the group’s regional representative, Amine E Moukarzel, who heads up the Flamingo Hotel Management Company, which handles Preferred’s regional sales. “An international network helps members share learnings, so a Japanese manager can advise on changes to attract more Japanese guests, while hotels in Europe, can learn from local associates what Arabs want.”
Added Preferred’s area managing director Richard Lewis, “Our number one core value is integrity. We won’t just take a hotel if we can’t deliver business – that’s built into our revenue structure. Since half our revenue comes from fixed fees and half from transaction fees, if we don’t drive business to our member hotels, we’d go bankrupt.”

By Keith J Fernandez