Cairo, Egypt, May 8, 2002: Six Continents Hotels today officially launched a Middle East reservations hub to bring convenient and instant toll-free telephone bookings at the company’s hotels and resorts worldwide.
The Six Continents Hotels Middle East Central Reservations Office, based in Dubai, is now fully operational following a soft opening last month, the company announced at an official press conference on the second day of Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
Business and leisure travellers, and travel agents, can make instant hotel bookings by using new toll-free phone lines in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. The toll free numbers are: UAE 800 4642, Saudi 800 8 971 465 , Qatar 0800 971 234, Bahrain 800 880, Kuwait 473 2100 ext. 6233.
With a free phone call to the Reservations Office, business and leisure travellers, and travel agents, can make real-time bookings of rooms at any hotel and resort managed by Six Continents Hotels around the world. Dedicated Six Continents Hotels reservations agents will also make them aware of any special promotions available at each destination.
Six Continents Hotels plans to introduce toll-free lines in other parts of the Middle East and Africa region in the near future. Initially, callers from other countries in the region can contact the Reservations Office using a dedicated non-toll-free line - 9714 3311732.
The company owns, manages, leases or franchises over 3,200 hotels, with 515,000 guest rooms, in nearly 100 countries and territories. Its brands include Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Inter-Continental, Express by Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites by Holiday Inn.
“For the traveller booking independently, it means instant, toll-free reservations made through a central point,” said Raymond Khalife, President, Six Continents Hotels, Middle East and Africa. “Instead of having to contact hotels individually, Middle East travel agents will conveniently be able to use the Reservations Office to provide superior travel services to their clients, free of charge.”
“Our commitment to this facility and indeed the growth of additional reservation facilities across the Middle East and Africa, reflects the value of this region’s travel volumes regionally and internationally.”
The setting up of the Six Continents Hotels Middle East Reservations Office follows the company’s successful consolidation of reservations systems previously in operation for both its Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, and separately for the company’s most recent worldwide acquisition, Inter-Continental Hotels and Resorts.
“The operation to create a global spread of quality accommodation, and conference and event facilities, to suit the widest spectrum of tastes and requirements, and bring them together in one central reservations system, has been a major undertaking,” said Mike Martin, Vice President, Worldwide Reservations and Guest Relations.
Six Continents Hotels chose Dubai as the location for the Middle East Reservations Office in view of the emirate’s central position and its technologically advanced infrastructure. The Reservations Office is located on the 6th floor of the Commercial Tower, Crowne Plaza Holiday Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.
Currently managing 62 Inter-Continental, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn hotels and resorts in the Middle East - with 11 more currently under development - Six Continents Hotels has the strongest presence of all hotel groups in the region.
During the period of consolidation of its reservations systems, the company has taken a technological lead with its dedicated web sites for most of its international brands.
Dedicated sites for guests’ convenience.include: www.intercontinental.com, www.crowneplaza.com, www.holiday-inn.com, www.hiexpress.com, www.staybridge.com, and www.priorityclub.com.
“These web sites remain invaluable tools for providing travellers with direct on-line information, booking and payment,” said Denis Johnson, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Six Continents Hotels, Middle East and Africa. “The toll-free lines and central reservations facility adds to the convenience we are committed to achieving for our guests, and for travel agents. They will not even need a computer to make reservations, and can use a mobile phone from any location to confirm bookings toll-free.”