WorldHotels goes toll free in Mid East

WorldHotels, a Europe-based hotel group for independent hotels and regional hotel brands worldwide, announced two initiatives at ATM designed to increase the number of Middle Eastern properties represented under its umbrella by offering improved, localised services specifically for the region.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  June 12, 2006

WorldHotels, a Europe-based hotel group for independent hotels and regional hotel brands worldwide, announced two initiatives at ATM designed to increase the number of Middle Eastern properties represented under its umbrella by offering improved, localised services specifically for the region. The company, which provides a range of sales, marketing, distribution and related services to its 500 member hotels around the world, has tied up with European service and hospitality industry consultancy, IFH, to provide training and mystery shopping services. Member hotels in the Middle East will be able to take advantage of these services through IFH’s Dubai office. “IFH has the industry expertise and local knowledge to deliver regional benchmark standards against which WorldHotels’ member properties can measure themselves, allowing them to measure the performance of staff, rooms and facilities,” explained Thomas Kraft, chief executive officer of IFH. “The Performing Excellence Programme guarantees customers that the unique properties in the WorldHotels portfolio will meet unified standards of quality throughout the region,” he added. WorldHotels also unveiled four toll-free hotel booking numbers for customers in the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The service is available in Arabic during the week and calls are forwarded to English-speaking operators after hours and at weekends in order to deliver 24/7 coverage. “We believe Middle Eastern travellers are a significant target market for us, and by introducing toll-free numbers in the region we’re making it easier for our customers to book the hotel of their choice, at a time suitable to them and in their own language,” said Ingo Guerges, WorldHotels’ senior director of business development & relations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The company’s global portfolio currently includes nine properties in the UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Tunisia, but Guerges believes demand from independent hotels in the region will grow following the addition of these new services, and as the region’s tourist industry continues to develop.

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