Leading Hotels seeks stronger trade ties


Members of The Leading Hotels of the World, the  luxury hospitality organization representing more than 430 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and spas, is seeking to strengthen its relationships with industry partners at this year’s ATM, according to executive vice-preisdent and COO, Welf Ebeling.

Twenty one members of the consortium participated in a recent roadshow across the GCC that took in Kuwait, Riyadh and Jeddah. “The Middle East is extremely important to The Leading Hotels of the World, not only as a source market but also as a destination. It has always been a crucial source for business, primarily in Europe, but also to the US. In the past, business was often restricted to larger families traveling for leisure, but now there is much growth in business and corporate travel. The success of Dubai and the explosive growth in the luxury hotel sector prove the attraction of this destination to European and recently Asian clientele,” Ebeling said, speaking of the region’s importance for his organisation.
He said Leading Hotels, which represents more than 430 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and spas, has seen controlled growth in the Middle East, with a focus on the high-end luxury sector. Some of the more recent additions to its portfolio include The Chedi Muscat, Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa in Dubai, Le Royal Hotels in Amman and Beirut. “We are also currently evaluating a number of applications out of the Middle East. As with any developing areas of expansion, we will be careful to remain controlled in our growth.”
Headquartered in New York City, the organisation maintains a network of 26 regional offices in key cities around the world with Dubai as the regional office for the Middle East, where a dedicated reservation team looks after the needs of corporate and leisure customers.
In addition to its core function of providing marketing and sales support to individual hotels, resorts and spas, the company has also developed a range of joint ventures and ancillary businesses to offer increased value and service to its members. Beyond the reservations centres, it is able to provide a concierge-style personalized service through a network of partners.
Leading Hotels’ regional reservation centre has toll-free numbers in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and is open every day from 9am to 8pm and is closed on Fridays. Reservation agents speak English as well as Arabic.