Let’s Do, Dare and Dream… Together
In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with HN, veteran hotelier Amine Moukarzel talks exciting expansion plans, areas of focus and the key differentiators related to services across the regional hospitality industry
|How is the regional industry currently faring compared to other markets?|
The hospitality industry in the MENA region is pretty versatile, in part because the major players in tourism have, for years, demonstrated great ingenuity on all fronts. Hospitality establishments operating throughout the region have circumnavigated all regional pressures. The development of hotels has remained a focal point in the real estate sector, with the tourism industry a top employer and provider of gross domestic product across respective local economies. However, we will see a change going forward, as we need to strengthen the offering, delivery and performance of hotels to fully benefit from the partnerships between the private and public sectors.
What can you tell us about some of the most promising ideas and projects you are currently working on?
The MENA region remains the most important inbound and outbound marketplace. Saudi Arabia, in its entirety, represents the largest and most important market for the hotel sector. In Lebanon, the diaspora has played a major role in our economy and the country remains a target for future developments, offering plenty of expansion opportunities. Another country we are looking at is Syria, where we already have three developments underway. Iraq and Egypt are two equally important destinations that could benefit greatly from our versatile brand of Louvre Hotels, which range from two to five-star establishments.
What role does interaction and passion play in your work and how do you incorporate them into the establishments you manage?
Mergers and acquisitions are the order of the day. What are the advantages and disadvantages for both the establishments themselves and guests?
The advantages are numerous, ranging from synergy management and loyalty programs to the enhancement of continued productivity. Whether it will help the establishment become better is a matter that remains open to question. I do not want this statement to be misunderstood, since there are far too many moving parts, especially when considering political unrest, looming security issues, taxation and reductions in oil and gas prices.
What is the main driver in hospitality?
What are some of the key differentiators that are instrumental in adding value to the guest experience?