By Kamran Hashim / Rafiq Vayani
KARACHI: Amara Ashraf, Marketing & Communication Manager (Marcom Manager) at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in Karachi was speaking exclusively to correspondent of BizToday at the first Pakistan Travel Mart (PTM) which was held at the Expo Centre from 24th November 2017 ~ 26th November 2017.
Mövenpick Hotel, Karachi is the only internationally managed hotel in the hospitality industry of Pakistan and this unique selling point creates plenty of opportunities in the comparatively small hospitality industry of Pakistan. Due to much improved law and order situation business has improved throughout and with events like PTM, hospitality sector will definitely get boost too, this was stated by Amara Ashraf.
Speaking about PTM, Amara Ashraf said; “as a first step it’s a good initiative by Sindh’s Ministry of Tourism and these type of events should be encouraged and supported by all the stake holders like concerned authorities, aviation sector, international and local airlines, tour operators and hospitality sector. All of us should move together so that our tourism gets the required boost and flourishes. We have the potential to build a positive image of Pakistan and we are looking forward welcoming all the delegates, guests & participants of PTM.
Amara Ashraf further said that; “currently Mövenpick Hotels only operates a 407 room Mövenpick Hotel Karachi, which is the largest five star hotel in Karachi and with this interview I would like announce that Mövenpick Hotels is planning to open two more properties in Pakistan, these properties would be 310 room property in Lahore to be named as ‘Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Lahore’ and 361 room property in Islamabad to be named as ‘Mövenpick Hotel Centaurus Islamabad’.
‘Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Lahore’ will feature 260 rooms and 50 serviced apartments for longer periods; five restaurants and lounges; 1,500 m² of meeting & event space, including a large ballroom; a 700m² spa and fitness area; and a kids’ club and business centre, whereas Mövenpick Hotel Centaurus Islamabad’ is scheduled would be operational during first quarter of 2018.
When asked about opening any properties in popular tourist destinations of Pakistan, Amara Ashraf replied that; “the brand Mövenpick focuses on their forte which is ‘business travellers’, due to this reason why Mövenpick chooses to operate in metropolitan cities or main cities of Pakistan like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad”.
The PR team also promotes restaurants more in order bring in more foot fall into Mövenpick Karachi. There are seven F&B outlets in Mövenpick Karachi which are ‘Al Bustan’ for all day dining followed by four specialty restaurants ‘Lotus Court’ (The Chinese Restaurant), ‘Kabab-ji’ (Lebanese Restaurant), ‘La Mamma’ (The Italian Restaurant) and ‘The Pakistani’ (Traditional Pakistani restaurant) in addition to ‘Fanoos Coffee Lounge’ (24/7 coffee shop). Besides these restaurants they also cater to indoor and outdoor catering services. Pretty recently La Mamma Restaurant hosted Italian Food Festival which was in collaboration with Italian Consulate in Karachi. Italian Consulate had arranged a special chef flown in from Italy to bring more authentic flavour to the Italian Food.
On the concluding note Amara Ashraf said; “during last couple of years law and order situation has improved a lot which has resulted in creating business opportunities also. Pakistan is a gateway to many neighbouring countries and any traveller/guest willing to travel to Pakistan must come visit and experience themselves rather than by judging. Pakistan is a country with warm hearted, hospitable and friendly people who are always willing to welcome visitors”.