First National Tourism Forum Opens on Tuesday

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Compiled by K.S. Ramkumar

Published — Saturday 24 May 2003

Last Update 24 May 2003 3:00 am

JEDDAH, 24 May 2003 — The Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry in association with the Higher Tourism Commission (HTC) is organizing the first three-day National Tourism Forum at Jeddah Hilton from Tuesday. The forum, to be held under the auspices of Prince Sultan, second deputy premier, minister of defense and aviation and chairman of the board of directors of HTC, aims to project tourism as an industry and its vital role in contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP) and diversifying revenue resources. The Kingdom’s tourism potential and marketing of all related services and products, and investment possibilities available in the sector will also be in focus. Participants include ministries, government, agencies, chambers of commerce, banks, travel agents, summer resorts, hotels, expo companies and Umrah firms. Promotion of domestic tourism and an exhibition will form part of the event.

New Guide on Saudi Tourism Published

JEDDAH, 24 May 2003 — The first issue of Saudi Tourism News (STN) has been published. Described as the monthly issue for internal tourism, the 36-page bilingual issue in Arabic and English is a glossy color publication. It covers news and features related to tourism, hotels and airlines. Aside from a diary of important events taking place in different parts of the world such as exhibitions and conventions, the guide lists carnivals and festivals, and carries special interviews and hotels. The inaugural issue runs a feature on Jeddah as a city for “all seasons and reasons,” interviews with Cameron Smith, Jeddah manager of International Air Transport Association’s industry distribution and financial services, and Jeddah Hilton’s general manager Hagop Doghramadjian, a tourism report on Saudi Accor Hotels based on an interview with its Kingdom-based operations manager Abdul Rahman Belgat, and the impact of terrorism and war on the industry.

First Saudi Chef Joins Le Jeddah Meridien

JEDDAH, 24 May 2003 — Saad Saleh Al-Shamrani is the first Saudi chef to join the Moroccan team at Le Jeddah Meridien’s Tagine restaurant. During a party organized by the Moroccan Consulate General recently, Consul General Abdul Kalim Deniya expressed his appreciation of the high quality of Moroccan dishes prepared by Al-Shamrani. Dietmar Kielnhofer, hotel general manager, spoke about their efforts at Saudizing the staff. “Most of the employees in departments like reception, security, support and administration are now Saudis and the kitchen is a new specialized area that Saudi youths are showing interest,” he said. “The management is committed to support Saudi talents and develop their skills,” he said, adding that Saudis can undergo an extensive functional training over a three-year period under the hotel’s management program “that is equivalent to a hotel school education program.” The local hotel is hosting a Moroccan food festival at its Tagine restaurant for six days from Monday in conjunction with its sister Le Royal Mansour Meridien Hotel in Casablanca.

Holiday Inn Offers Weekend Breaks

JEDDAH, 24 May 2003 — Holiday Inn hotels and resorts in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East are offering families a wide range of value getaways this summer. Twenty Holiday Inn hotels and resorts in the Kingdom, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Oman, Bahrain, the UAE and Yemen are presenting “highly attractive” weekend room rates as part of the “2003 Weekends” program, with room rates as low as $40 per night up to Sept. 30. For visitors to Saudi Arabia, special summer weekend rates start from $60 at select Holiday Inn hotels in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Alkhobar, Hafr Al-Batin Najran and Yanbu, as well as the recently opened Half Moon Bay Holiday Inn Resort. The Weekends packages are aimed at families. Children under 19 stay for free in their parents’ room and if they are under 12 the whole family is entitled to a free breakfast daily. Up to two children aged 12 and under can choose one free dish at lunch and dinner when accompanied by a family member eating at the same time. Those taking advantage of the Weekends offers have three summer getaway options on Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera. These are the Holiday Inn Resort Safaga Palace, the Holiday Inn Resort Sharm El Sheikh and the Amphora Holiday Inn Resort Sharm El Sheikh.

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