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Maybourne secures ME representation

B2B arm of landmark London hotels names Al Geziry for marketing

The Maybourne Hotel Group, which owns and manages The Berkeley, Claridge’s and The Connaught in London, has stepped up its Middle East marketing activities with the appointment of a regional representative and a GCC tour.

The UK group named Mohamed Al Geziry Consultancy, based out of Dubai, as GCC sales and marketing representative for its three properties in mid May. Senior delegates from Maybourne and Al Geziry then went on tour of the GCC, to meet with media, travel trade and brand partners in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia as a show of commitment to the region.

“This marketplace is very important to us. We made a lot of inroads [when we launched] last year, and have seen a 30% increase in Middle East business,” Paul Reynolds, vice president of sales and marketing, Maybourne Hotel Group, said.

The Maybourne Group was launched in 2005, following the acquisition of The Savoy by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and the dissolution of The Savoy Group. Maybourne is the B2B marketing arm of the three London properties, and is therefore not a brand that is visible to the consumer.

Within the Middle East, Al Geziry is now charged with promoting The Berkeley, Claridge’s and The Connaught direct to travel agents and key accounts. “They have the confidence to sell the product,” Reynolds said.

According to Reynolds, the main difference between the three properties under the Maybourne umbrella and international hotel chains is the level of service and the history behind each hotel. “We are blessed to be guardians of hotels with over 100 years of heritage,” he said.

However, despite offering historic buildings, The Berkeley, Claridge’s and The Connaught are all undergoing renovations and refinements to bring the products in line with the modern traveller.

The Berkeley is busy promoting its new terrace spaces for the summer. Meanwhile, David Linley has been brought in to design two new suites at Claridge’s with a modern twist. Each suite offers Bose sound systems, flat screen televisions and Ipod ports.

The Connaught is to be extended, with 37 rooms, a spa and meeting space being added by 2008. Work on the extension will begin early 2007.

Meanwhile, back in the Middle East, Reynolds is confident of success in the region. “We are adopting a more tactical approach. We plan sales trips to Saudi Arabia and aim to increase the number of high-rated suites business [from this region],” he said.

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