Marriott looks to expand Middle East operations


Marriott's Middle East sales office is expanding its operations in the region, said Samir Daqqaq, vice-president of Marriott Global Sales, Middle East, Africa and Subcontinent.

He was speaking while on a GCC tour which covers Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Doha. He was accompanied by a delegation of over 20 general managers and sales directors from Marriott hotels around the world, including London, Paris, Austria, and the Middle East.

Daqqaq noted that the Middle East had seen a 32 per cent increase in business transient sales activity, largely generated by the emphasis placed by Marriott on strong relationships with clients.

"This annual trip helps us develop our strategic account relationships with our high value accounts, where our effort and focus is effectively used. The General Managers' Mission helps us to open new avenues and opportunities for each of the individual hotels, and for the regional sales office.

"As Marriott, we have very clear sales goals and strategies, and we firmly believe in fostering relationships in each country and region.

"In the Middle East, we have embraced the local culture, and I believe this is behind our success."

He added that Marriott Global Sales was expanding in the region, and had recently opened new sales offices in India and North Africa, with offices also planned to open soon in East and West Africa.

Marriott Global Sales has also opened a sales office in Baghdad to tap demand in Iraq.

He added that Marriott's Hotel Excellence! programme for travel agents had grown by 200 per cent over the first quarter of last year, reflecting the emphasis Marriott places on the role of travel agents.