Radisson SAS seeks to be choice of travellers

The Diplomat Radisson SAS in Bahrain.

Luxury hotel group Radisson SAS Hotels and Resorts aims to position itself as a "first choice" of travellers visiting the Middle East.

The hotel group, which is taking part in this month's AIBTM, says it sees very positive growth for the meetings, conference, incentives and exhibition sector and aims to see it representing 35 per cent of the group's business mix.

"We want to project our image of an innovative and active hotel chain in the Middle East, catering to business and leisure travellers as well as to the MICE segment," said a spokesman.

"Our fresh and easy approach to customer service and properties facilities will be highlighted during the show."

Radisson SAS will launch its first regional MICE brochure early this year, targeting the GCC countries and Saudi Arabia in particular, as part of its efforts to increase its share of the MICE market.

The group also recently launched into the Middle East a network-wide initiative offering MICE bookers 1,000 euro ($877) off any event.

"We are actively pursuing MICE growth through our exciting 'World of Experiences' action holiday packages including innovative products with strong regional flavour such as dolphin watching, 4X4 desert drive, diving and desert golf in Oman, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain," the spokesman said.

He also said that the group had increased its share in the markets it operates in this year.

He said that while the group saw a downturn in business soon after the attacks in the US, the situation had almost returned to normal.

"During the first few weeks following the events, network-wide occupancy levels dropped to their lowest levels since the Gulf War, yet business recovered gradually but steady to the point that our systemwide full year revenues will see a slight 5 per cent drop compared to last year," he said.

Radisson SAS which operates eight properties in the region, offers extensive banqueting and conference facilities including the world's record-setting, 1,200 sq m Al Hashemi II wooden dhow boat at Radisson SAS Hotel, Kuwait.

The portfolio also includes The Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel, Bahrain; the column-free, 2,000 guest, Royal Hall - the largest and most prestigious ballroom in Jordan; and the 'King Tut' Ballroom and 200-seat open theatre at the new Sharm El Sheikh property.