Versatile management is key for Lebanese hoteliers

An overview of Horeca 2007

THE HORECA 2008 exhibition due to be held in Beirut from April 8 to 11, promises to meet the needs of all sectors of the hospitality and hotel industry, according to Nazmi Auchi, general manager, Le Royal, Beirut.

The strength and importance of this exhibition ensures extensive support of all relevant industry agencies and market leaders in the country, including the major hotels.
“The HORECA exhibition is one of the events that the Lebanese wait for on a yearly basis because it supports hospitality and food service industries,” says Auchi.
Lebanon’s hotel general managers recognise the need for trade exhibitions and are looking forward to HORECA to provide an interactive platform between suppliers, investors, operators and franchisors.
“The exhibition has become a trademark for hospitality professionals in the Middle East and a reputable forum to share experiences, exhibit products, and compete in food creations,” says Robert Zoghbi, general manager, InterContinental Mzaar, Lebanon.
“It highlights the richness of different cultures and variety of home grown products and industry related support services.” The demand on hospitality related services are constantly growing in the Middle East, which is experiencing a boom in hotel and restaurant investments.
However, Lebanese hoteliers live in an environment where stability is no longer the norm, which is why it is crucial for hospitality leaders to be versatile and prepared for any unseen events, according to managers of Lebanon’s top hotels. This versatility is the foundation of first-rate management and it is during times of crises that capable managers prove themselves, they say.
These managers have tailored sales and marketing plans to boost sales during the first quarter of 2008 in order to overcome the negative effect of the political and economical turmoil in Lebanon.
“Intensified sales calls are in place to target existing and prospects local pharmaceutical, banking and IT sectors; along with an active coverage in the GCC and Levant with sales trips to feeders markets such Kuwait, KSA, UAE, Jordan, Egypt and Cyprus,” said Zoghbi.
The mountain resort will also focus on emerging markets from the Lebanese immigrants in Africa, Australia, North America and Europe.
“Partnership deals with local and regional consumer products companies and sisters hotels in the city and the region, will strengthen the positioning of the resort with the merger of strong brands,” adds Zoghbi.
Another hotel in Lebanon is adopting a green strategy to motivate clients and to replant trees in Lebanon’s forests devastated by wild fires last year. Special packages and promotions are offered to clients and upon purchase the hotel commits to planting trees.
“To help this country, the hotel is out on a mission to replant Lebanon; guests can also be involved to make a difference,” says Auchi.
“Since the current situation in Lebanon does not excite tourists to come and visit, Le Royal, like all other Lebanese hotels, will be focusing on the local market and corporate clients.”