Radisson SAS aims to triple presence

The Diplomat Radisson SAS in Bahrain ... a recent addition to the group's portfolio in the region

Award-winning Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts is mounting a delegation of its Middle East executives to Arabian Travel Market 2001, the region's premier travel and tourism exhibition, as the chain's plan to triple its regional presence by 2004 is well under way.

With three hotels due on line in Egypt this year, one more scheduled for 2003 and a recently launched activity holiday package, which promotes seven regional destinations, Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts' Middle East operation is now focusing on the Gulf's and Africa's booming leisure markets.

"With upcoming hotels in Sharm El Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada and Al Quesir in Egypt and our World of Experiences holiday package featuring exciting stays in Bahrain, Baku, Kuwait, Jordan, Turkey, Oman and South Africa, we are shaping up for what looks certain to be a few productive months ahead," said Thorsten Kirschke, Regional Director Middle East & China, Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts.

Present in the Middle East since 1980 and having grown from one property in 1995 to currently 12 managed hotels throughout the region, China and Africa today, the Radisson SAS flag will soon be flying over additional properties in North Africa.

"The Middle East continues to be one of the world's fastest growing travel and tourism markets with a 17.5 per cent increase in international arrivals registered last year," said Kirschke.

"By the end of the year we will have expanded our regional capacity by almost 1,000 rooms to 2,365 in order to meet projected increased demand. Before the summer, we will see the opening of our Sharm El Sheikh and Taba properties, with Hurghada and Al Quesir following," he said.

Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts has been present in the Arabian Travel Market since 1997.

"ATM remains the premier regional business forum for inbound, outbound and intra-regional tourism, and our presence there has boosted our brand awareness, establishing Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts as one of the premier hotel chains," said Kirschke.

And while the new Egyptian properties will boost the Radisson SAS regional presence, the company plans to attract greater numbers of leisure travellers across its wider Middle and Near East portfolio, thanks to 'World of Experiences' intriguing packages.

They include treks to mud-throwing volcanoes in Azerbaijan, cruising in Istanbul, desert picnics in Kuwait, turtle and dolphin-watching trips in Oman, desert golfing in Bahrain and Red Sea diving in Jordan.

"This is a unique concept which provides the ultimate for both individual or group travellers," said Kirschke.

"The World Of Experiences is targeted at guests who enjoy the daring, the challenging and the unforgettable.

"For the Meetings, Conventions and Incentive (MICE) sector, the opportunities are exciting and virtually tailor-made. The package mix provides for memorable experiences, relaxation, excitement, romance or sheer exhilaration.

"The programme is being marketed throughout 30 countries and this gives added exposure to the Middle East."

Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts will enjoy high visibility during the ATM with a delegation of more than 20 senior executives, including Fredrik Korallus, Sr. Vice President Sales & Marketing, Farida Blok, Director Corporate Communications & PR and its Middle East based team led by Kirsche.

Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts currently operates 12 properties in the Middle East, China and Africa. Two more Egyptian properties, in Hurghada, and Al Quesir are due on line soon.

Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts currently has 106 hotels in operation and 27 under development in 38 countries.