Tour operators back Gulf appeal of Crowne Plaza Beirut
Lebanon’s first Crowne Plaza hotel, the Crowne Plaza Beirut, is shaping up to become a big new “close to home” attraction for business and leisure travelers from the Gulf region when it opens early in the New Year.
A group of international tour operators interested in promoting Lebanon as a destination visited the Crowne Plaza Beirut recently in the company of Raymond Khalife, President, Six Continents Hotels, Middle East and Africa, reported a company press release.
The 198-room hotel is being built to strict new international standards, creating an attractive new upscale destination offering top-class conferencing facilities at the heart of Beirut’s bustling Hamra Street.
Lyndon Mendonca, Qatar Airways Holidays Business Development executive agent, said: “I find this location great for business, tourism and shopping – it’s in the middle of everything. I’m very glad I came here, and I’m convinced my clients will be too.”
Referring to the predicted shift in regional travel habits toward staying close to home, Raymond Khalife told the visiting tour operators: “We fully expect Gulf visitors to choose destinations such as Lebanon over Europe and North America in the post September 11 era, and our timing and positioning is right on target.”
“This hotel was designed specifically to appeal to the Gulf leisure and business traveler, and is perfectly equipped to handle an influx of traffic from there. The management team at the Crowne Plaza Beirut has spent years developing all-important contacts in the Gulf, and understands the personal style of doing business there.”
Six of the hotel’s 21 floors are now completely fitted-out, and with final touches being put to the grand staircase, the hotel has already begun taking bookings. Standing in Hamra Street, a trendy avenue of shopping arcades, offices, cinemas and restaurants, the Crowne Plaza Beirut offers guests superb views over the Mediterranean from its rooftop restaurant, indoor pool, and many of the stylish guest rooms.
The hotel has a range of conference halls and restaurants, as well as its own underground car park, and is a short stroll from the corniche, and 15 minutes from Beirut International Airport.
It will become the fifth Lebanese hotel managed by Six Continents Hotels, joining the Phoenicia Inter-Continental, Le Vendome Inter-Continental, Mzaar Inter-Continental Resort and Holiday Inn Beirut Dunes. The company currently operates a total of 120 hotels and resorts in the Middle East and Africa, including other Crowne Plaza properties in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Johannesburg, Zimbabwe and Morocco.
The United Kingdom’s Six Continents Hotels company owns, operates or franchises more than 3,200 hotels and 510,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. Six Continents Hotels was formerly known as Bass Hotels & Resorts. — (menareport.com)
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