4 - 10 November 1999
Issue No. 454
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Egypt Region International Economy Opinion Culture Features Profile Travel Living Sports People Time Out Chronicles Cartoons Letters
Green awardsAt an exciting ceremony in the Semiramis Inter-Continental, the hotel received Egypt's first Green Globe Certificate, presented by SGS/Egypt (Société Générale de Securité). "We are proud to be the first hotel in Egypt and in the Middle East to obtain this award, which means that the company's environmental management systems and environmental performance comply with green globe agenda's 21 standards," said Michel Tourniaire, general manager of the Semiramis Inter-Continental.
Also keen to demonstrate its environmental awareness, the Sheraton Miramar teamed up with hotel guests and diving centre instructors to collect waste and garbage from Mangrove Island, a protected sanctuary for birds and unique Red Sea mangroves, situated in front of the hotel. The occasion was the worldwide annual PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) AWARE day. AWARE stands for Aquatic World Awareness Responsibility Education.
Due to these efforts and contributions, the hotel won the shield of distinction at the annual Green Hotels competition, which is held under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Environment.
Sheraton festivalNot to fall behind on the environmental trend, the Cairo Sheraton inter-school festival recently started its activities. The festival aims to teach students how to preserve the natural wealth of their country by enriching their environmental awareness. The festival will continue through November in the Community Centre at the Cairo Sheraton.
The activities at the centre are divided into four sections -- a cinema, where students view films about different destinations in their country; a gallery containing photographs of the Egyptian environment; a media centre providing computers and CDs on various flora, fauna and extinct species; and a workshop for drawing and artwork. Students learn about the country's natural resources and some of the malpractices that can lead to environmental deterioration. The centre also maintains a comprehensive, but specialised, library.
This centre is the result of a joint effort by the governmental and private sectors.
Hotel expansionAntoine Cau, chief executive of Forte Hotels, is confident of Egypt's ability to draw tourists. "We're starting to have a strong presence in Egypt," Cau said. "There is a market for us here. Egypt, as a destination, has become fashionable and we're going to attract new customers here."
Forte Hotels is one of the leading hotel companies, with over 450 hotels in some 52 countries, employing 47,000 people. The company operates four hotel brands: Le Méridien, Posthouse, Heritage and Travellodge. On a recent Egypt visit, Cau and Bernard Lambert, president and managing director of Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts, expounded on the philosophy and strategy of their chain.
Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts have chosen prominent locations for development in Egypt. By the year 2002, the total number of rooms operated will exceed 5,000 in over 15 properties in Cairo, Hurghada, Luxor, and Sinai, as well as Makadi Bay (on the Red Sea coast), Ain Al-Sukhna, Marsa Alam, and the city of the Tenth of Ramadan.
Cau commented that his organisation is encouraged by the stability in the area resulting from the peace process. He advised: "More privatisation will drive more business to you."
New hubBass Hotels and Resorts has established Cairo as its regional headquarters for the Middle East and Africa. The designation comes as part of a global reorganisation of corporate structure intended to reinforce the company's position as the world's leading hotel group.
"The establishment of a new management structure in Cairo is based on our belief that the hotel business is becoming more global and that the multi-brand aspect is essential," said Raymond Khalife, the company's president for the Middle East and Africa. Khalife, who is in charge of the Inter-Continental and Crown Plaza Hotels and Resorts, added that this new structure allows them to marshal their strengths towards the best product for the market.
MTF 2000The head of the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) recently extended invitations to 300 chairmen of tourist outfits, tourism industry decision-makers and travel agents around the world to take part in Egypt's Mediterranean Travel Fair (MTF). The three-day fair, beginning on 1 March 2000, is being organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions Corporation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, the Egyptian Travel Association, Hotel Association and EgyptAir.
Five charter airline companies in Cairo discussed with Reed Travel Exhibitions and the Ministry of Tourism the possibility of hosting a charter plane coming from Cyprus, Turkey or Greece on the first or second day of MTF 2000.
New resortEgypt's Mediterranean coastline will boast a new resort next summer, thanks to the signing of a management agreement with Makka Companies Group in Alexandria this month. The new resort, Sheraton Hanoville, is expected to boost tourism in the area by providing 254 rooms and suites, in addition to villas, other units and time-share chalets. The hotel will also have a private beach and numerous facilities, including three swimming pools, a health club and a conference centre for 1,200 people.
"The construction of new Sheraton Hanoville Hotel, the biggest project of its kind in Alexandria, underlined the continued expansion of tourism in the north of Egypt," said Sami Zoghbi, president of the Africa, India and Middle East division of Starwood Hotels and Resorts worldwide, who will manage the property.
Sheraton Hanoville will be Starwood's eleventh property in Egypt, following next month's opening of the Sheraton Sharm resort and villas at Sharm Al-Sheikh and the Royal Garden Hotel in Giza next January. Compiled by Rehab Saad