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Sun 15 Apr 2007 10:24 AM

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Kempinski planning Syrian ventures

Hotel chain sees Syria's 'healthy future in business and tourism' as green light for development.

Kempinski Hotels has revealed plans to develop two new hotels in Syria following the successful entry of the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea into the Levant market.

According to Duncan O'Rourke, regional director & general manager, Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, the chain is planning two hotels in the Syrian capital; a new 110-room property with meetings facilities and several F&B outlets; and another hotel in a restored khan in downtown Damascus in the Old City, which will comprise around 60 rooms and suites.

"Modern day Damascus is a bustling city with a healthy future in business and tourism and is therefore a natural choice for Kempinski to enter into the Syrian market," he explained.

"The new properties will compliment our presence in Jordan and the Levant bringing together a strong Kempinski network in this area."

He says that while both properties will appeal to the top end of the market, the restored khan will appeal more to small incentives groups or luxury travellers, whereas the new-build will cater to general leisure travellers and business visitors thanks to its central location.

"Plans are also underway to create dual country packages to include the hotels in Jordan and Syria for leisure travellers that want to visit both countries," he added.

O'Rourke said that the chain's main competitors would be the existing Four Seasons and Starwood properties.

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