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May 19, 2009

Park Inn brand proves meetings success

The Rezidor Hotel Group is predicting success with its first regional forays into the mid-tier lodging market.


The group opened its first Middle East Park Inn properties in March – one in Muscat, Oman and one in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia - specifically geared towards the meetings market.  


Yigit Sezgin, regional director sales and marketing, said: “These are our first two products in the Middle East and will act as a benchmark as we present Park Inn to potential owners and investors as we expand the brand.”


A third Park Inn, located in the Red Sea port of Sharm El Sheikh and acquired as a takeover, is also operational, with Rezidor also looking at two pipeline Dubai properties as well as UAE-wide possibilities.


Commenting on the brand diversification, Sezgin said: “For our first two projects the business opportunity was there and it was a win-win situation with the products the right fit for the Park Inn brand.”


He is confident about future levels of demand for mid-tier meetings space as the brand extends its reach further into the region. “There is a lot of demand in this sector and both our Muscat and Al Khobar properties have very nice meeting facilities. In the past, everybody was coming to this region for the luxury product but what we are seeing now is a shift in focus and there is a strong market for brands such as Park Inn.


“The brand is already extremely successful in Europe with over 100 hotels and I believe that very soon we will see Park Inn surpass our core Radisson brand in terms of numbers, and we would like to follow that trend in the Middle East as well.”


Sezgin confirmed that the group is also looking at further expansion into the Saudi market with projects in both Makkah and Madina, for both the Radisson and Park Inn brands, on schedule for 2010. The Egypt market is also of key strategic interest with Radisson openings in Alexandria and Cairo in 2009, with Park Inn “definitely to follow”.


“If you look at Park Inn’s competitive set, every market in the Middle East is open and of interest to us,” he concluded.

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