MUCH attention has been directed to the north coast of Egypt, especially its western stretches, as an increasingly popular resort spot. In the line with this trend, the fourth conference of Alexandria University's Faculty of Tourism (17-19 April), is devoted to "the north coast on the map of global tourism", with speakers holding forth on issues of development and tourism in the area between Alexandria and Salloum on the Libyan border: policy and strategy and the environment; the tourist industry.
Presided over by faculty Dean Mahmoud Sami Gamaleddin, the conference will be held under the auspices of university President Mohamed Abdallah, Minister of Higher Education Amr Salama, Minister of Tourism Ahmed El-Maghrabi and governor of Alexandria, General Abdel-Salam El-Mahgoub.
Comprehensive information on the conference can be found at www.eun.eg/alexfth/index.htm.www.eun.eg/alexfth/index.htm./i>
Hotels & resorts
SHERATON hotels Egypt recently hosted a delegation of 30 travel agency and tourist company representatives from Germany, Italy, France and England. Held in cooperation with Emeco Travel and the Egyptian Tourist Authority, the event provided for tours of Cairo as well as the Red Sea resort spots of El-Gouna and Soma Bay.
... and light breakfast
TO ENCOURAGE e-commerce, Sheraton Montazah, Alexandria, now offers free breakfast to guests who book through the website, www.sheraton.com/montazah.
Hotel of the year
EL-GOUNA'S Sheraton Miramar Resort has recently been chosen as the Hotel of the Year 2004 over all Starwood hotels in the division of Europe, Africa & the Middle East.
The Sheraton Miramar Resort had an overall 2004 performance and in particular in each of the five major key metrics (margin improvement, GSI, RevPar yield index, StarVoice, and Brand Assurance compliance) achieving the best all-around position and improvement in those key metrics measured for this special award.
The hotel's financial results also have been equally impressive, achieving a REVPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) growth of over 125 per cent.
"It was a great honour that our efforts were appreciated and prized by Mr Vos with this great success to be the chosen hotel among all the EAME region as best hotel of 2004." said Alexander Bieber, general manager of the resort.
MOVENPICK El-Gouna -- "resort and spa" -- recently established an extension to its highly successful Angsana Spa, developed by the award-winning company Banyan Tree Spa. To open in spring, the extension provides for 115 additional rooms, a large swimming pool and an Italian restaurant. Launched in 2000, the Angsana Spa covers an area of over 600 square metres and offers, as well as Jacuzzi and spa shop, 12 "treatment rooms", including one for couples and one for "water treatment". It embraces the latest "garden spa" concept, marked for its holistic approach to health and the emphasis it places on natural, especially native ingredients -- flowers, fruits, herbs and spices, not to mention the elements.
THE RITZ-CARLTON Sharm El-Sheikh recently celebrated its fifth anniversary in a fun-filled evening with live entertainment. "2004 was a great year for us," the hotel's General Manager Thorsten Ries declared, "full of achievements and honours." Among which: the prestigious DEPA Awards in May announced the Ritz-Carlton Sharm El-Sheikh "the best service hotel in the Middle East"; occupancy increased by over 23 per cent since 2004; according to comment cards, guest satisfaction increased by 10 per cent; while, in the relevant surveys, employee loyalty scored an extremely reassuring 98 per cent.
Members only opening
A FEW months after the soft opening, InterContinental Heliopolis has finally inaugurated its Club floors, which provide 82 rooms and 11 suites, the latter featuring a separate working area as well as a master bedroom. With separate check-in and complimentary use of the exclusive Club lounge as well as office support services and a dedicated meeting room, the floors will cater to high-profile business guests, who will also be offered (lucky them) a complimentary buffet breakfast and cocktail hours.
The Poles' descent
IN AN EFFORT to promote tourism, the Amphoras Holiday Inn Resort, Sharm El-Sheikh, recently hosted a Travel Ways Egypt fam trip on which 60 travel agents from Poland -- a potential tourist market -- gained firsthand experience of what the resort has to offer. A prime beach spot, the resort occupies a seafront location overlooking the famous Amphoras diving site; it has 272 rooms, 24 suites, 38 sea-view villas and 152 chalets.
In the air
Lufthansa in private
AS OF THE START of its summer flight schedule (29 March), Lufthansa offers passengers who value time and flexibility a unique service -- Lufthansa Private Jet, operated exclusively by NetJets. The service allows passengers to board private jets to the company's Munich hub from over 1,000 airports in Europe. At Munich, passengers can board connecting flights in first or business class to destinations around the globe. In addition, long-haul flight passengers arriving in Munich can board private jets to their final destination on the continent. The service's 1,000 plus individualised options are intended to complement Lufthansa's worldwide network.