Airlines & airports
BELIEVING in the importance of kids and their views, British Airways invites young travellers to join an advisory board created to develop its brand and services in line with young people's thinking.
The British Airways Kids' Council will consist of 12 young people (aged eight-14) from across the globe and will be chosen by a panel of British Airways marketing and brand experts.
"The aim of the advisory board will be to influence the way in which British Airways as a brand develops its services for this group of people," Mervat Alfi, British Airways' commercial manager, said. "Children have great imaginations that are free from constraints, so they can provide valuable insights and creative ideas. And above all, kids are very honest so will be able to teach us a lot about what really matters when moving a business forward and being in touch with the customer. As such, we'll be looking for honesty, good and unusual ideas, and a sense of fun when recruiting the members."
Alfi added that children are very important to British Airways, both those who fly with their families and on their own. "We have seen an increase in the number of young people flying in recent years. The children of today are the travellers of tomorrow and we take them seriously as a consumer group in their own right. Forming the Kids' Council will help us shape our service to them."
THE Cairo-based office of Lufthansa German Airlines recently sponsored a quiz by the German Embassy in Cairo asking the Egyptian readers of its website at the beginning of this year: "How good do you really know Europe?" The price for 50 correctly answered questions was a weekend trip to Germany sponsored by Lufthansa. The lucky winner of the quiz was Tarek Khalifa, who will travel to Berlin for a weekend at the end of June. The quiz was conducted on the occasion of Germany taking over the EU presidency during the first half of 2007.
Hotels & resorts
Catering the Marriott way
THE JW Marriott Hotel Cairo was recently chosen to do the outside catering for the launch of "Audi Bank".
More than 2,500 VIP guests enjoyed a luxurious three-course meal at the foot of the Sphinx served by 500 waiters.
The team had set more than 250 banquet tables on top of which were 14,500 pieces of chinaware and 19,250 pieces of silverware.
EVERY Sunday night, Steaks Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza offers its clients an all-you-can-eat South American feast. Savour eight different types of mouth- watering meat including chicken leg, duck breast, veal sausage, whole beef tenderloin, beef medallion, beef sirloin, beef rib eye, and lamb leg served on skewers right at the table by the courteous Steaks team. To add to the South American ambiance, Steaks offers an appetisers and desserts buffet, serving a wide variety of international delicacies. Latin music completes the picture.
"Churrascaria" is a Portuguese steakhouse very popular in Brazil. It is a unique way of cooking, derived from the Portuguese term "churrasco" which means barbecue. What makes Churrascaria distinct is the way it's served. Servers hold the different meats on separate skewers and cut it right at the guests' table.
"We are delighted to be offering our guests a new and unique way of dining that can only be found at Four Seasons", says Olivier Masson, Four Season's general manager.
US officials in Rotana
GRAND Rotana Resort & Spa Sharm El-Sheikh recently hosted a US Congressional delegation headed by the leader of the US Democratic majority in the House of Representatives Sen Steny Hoyer, accompanied by the US Ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone.
Hoyer and his accompanying delegation were received by President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm El-Sheikh. His visit to Egypt reflects Washington's keenness to become acquainted with the Egyptian viewpoint on a host of issues in the region.
The congressmen heard the Egyptian analysis of the situation in Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur and Somalia.
New Belvedere chef
FRENCH Chef Thierry Papillier has been appointed by Jean-Pierre Minardi, general manager of the Nile Hilton, as chef in charge of the Rotisserie Belvedere.
Papillier, from Brittany, was trained at five restaurants in France, all recognised by Michelin and awarded star ratings.
Every morning Papillier visits the markets in Cairo to select the finest fish and produce. "I examine each for their freshness and quality. They have to be cooked and presented, as with all ingredients, exactly right," he says.
Papillier's new menu card, coupled with impeccable service and a glorious view of the Nile, has made the Rotisserie Belvedere Cairo the preferred rooftop restaurant.
SOL Y Mar Makadi Sun Resort on the Red Sea has won the Thomson Green Medal for 2006. The award is considered one of the highest in tourism, given as it is to the best achievements in sustainable environmental development.
ASHRAF El-Manawati has been appointed director of marketing at the soon-to-open Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano, Egypt. El-Manawati moves to Alexandria from Four Seasons Sharm El-Sheikh where, for the past five years, he headed the resort's marketing department and was instrumental in positioning the award winning property as the first Four Seasons Resorts in both Egypt and the Middle East.
A native of Egypt, El-Manawati's career in the hospitality industry began in Cairo where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in hotel management at the Faculty of Hotel and Tourism. Prior to joining Four Seasons, he held several management and executive positions in sales and marketing with InterContinental hotels.
The 118-room Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria, due to open this year, is the first Mediterranean property for the Toronto- headquartered Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Adjacent to the hotel and within the San Stefano complex is a shopping mall and entertainment centre.
Fresh out of college
THE EGYPTIAN Hotel Association recently announced the launch of its training project for fresh graduates in five-star hotels in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, South Sinai and the Red Sea under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism.
The Alexandria Hotel Association took the initiative in cooperation with Sheraton Montazah, Hilton Green Plaza, Al-Salamlek, Acasia Resort, Cecil and Mercure Hotels. The hotels will start training new graduates in the different sections of operations: food and beverages, housekeeping, front office, kitchen and stewarding as a preliminary step to helping them get hired.
Sheraton Montazah hosted the interview of 100 applicants. "It's not the first time we involve ourselves in youth employment. The hotel organised two job fairs and another is scheduled for 24 June," said Atef Wilson, general manager of Montazah Sheraton.
Mega fam trip
FOUR hundred heads of renowned international travel agencies met in Cairo on 25 and 26 April accompanied by a high- level media delegation in the biggest ever fam trip to Egypt. The trip was organised by Aton travel affiliated to the Spanish Arizona Group. The delegation flew directly to Abu Simbel, south of Egypt, to attend the Son et Lumiere performance at Abu Simbel Temples where they attended a special gala dinner and a Nubian folklore ceremony held near the temples. The following day they visited the Egyptian Museum where they had breakfast in its garden and at noon they took a felucca ride. At night a cocktail party and an international press conference were held in Mena House Oberoi Hotel attended by Minister of Tourism Zoheir Garana, head of the Egyptian Tourist Authority Amr El-Ezabi, Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawass and head of the Arizona Group. A gala dinner was held at Son et Lumiere at the Pyramids accompanied by folkloric dancing.
THE INAUGURAL session of the Hotel Information Programme, the first educational seminar in Egypt on the importance of the Internet for the tourism sector, was opened recently by Mohamed Hani Metwalli, governor of South Sinai. The programme is part of the USAID project. "While in Egypt stay connected" which stems from the vital role the tourism sector plays in turning the wheel of development and generating job opportunities.
The programme was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Hotel Association. Together, they collaborated to create a touring educational seminar to inform Egypt's three-, four- and five-star hotel operators about the importance of international tourism and the new norms required by the Ministry of Tourism.
"We believe that Internet services is one key step among many needed to further advance this vital sector. The aim is to provide wireless Internet services everywhere in Egypt, to add to the existing wired Internet services already widely available," Ismail Abaza, senior tourism adviser to the project, said.
Abaza said the launching of the Hotel Information Programme in major tourist areas was aimed "at helping tourists stay connected while visiting Egypt. Internet access enables them to stay in touch with family and friends back home, find online information for vacation planning and activities, and much more."
Starting in Sharm El-Sheikh, the hotel information seminar will travel to seven major tourist areas up to the end of May: Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Aswan, Taba, Alexandria and Cairo.
Promoting Egypt in India
AN EGYPTIAN delegation headed by Minister of Tourism Zoheir Garana and including heads of Egyptian travel chambers and a number of travel agents and hotels recently visited India in response to an invitation by the Indian minister of tourism to discuss means of joint cooperation.
A seminar on tourist investment in Egypt was conducted by Garana during which he discussed investment opportunities in Egypt and the facilities offered by the government in that respect.
When meeting with his Indian counterpart, Garana discussed means of mutual cooperation which would include exchanging visits by tour operators and media men and the participation in travel fairs, encouraging investors in tourism in addition to cooperation in training human resources and exchanging experiences in marketing and promotion.