RISING STAR

Lebanon 2014 | TOURISM & RETAIL | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Anna-Maria Keyrouz, Deputy General Manager of Etoile Suites Hotel, on the tourism sector in Beirut and promoting Lebanon to overseas visitors.

Anna-Maria Keyrouz
BIOGRAPHY
Anna-Maria Keyrouz graduated from the LAU Lebanon with a degree in interior design, and a diploma in History of Art from St. Luc Ecole Superieure Des Arts. She began her career in interior design with JLM company (Jean-Louis Mainguy Architecture Interieure sal). Later, she earned her MBA in international hospitality and service industry studies from the Glion Institute of Higher Education, and went on to manage the family business Etoile Suites Boutique Hotel in 2011.

What are the special characteristics of Etoile Hotel?

Uniquely set in one of Beirut's oldest and most charming districts, the “Place De L'Etoile" of Solidere is rich in history and entertainment. The Etoile Suites Boutique Hotel is only 10 minutes from Beirut International Airport, 2 minutes to Beirut's famous beach fronts, and a few meters to major Beirut areas including businesses, shopping, government buildings, historical mosques and churches, and archaeological sites, with easy access to major mountains and seashore destinations.

How do your rooms differ from each other?

Each of our 21 spacious private suites and rooms is designed to offer ultimate comfort in a practical refined setting of comfortable elegance with a high standard of service for both business and leisure.

What changes in tourism trends have you seen since 2006?

The tourism industry in Lebanon has been historically important to the local economy, and remains to this day a major source of revenue for the country. But unfortunately, since 2006 due to political instability, leisure tourism has been decreasing leaving space for business, medical, and cultural tourism, and it also relies on the large number of Lebanese living abroad who return regularly to the country.

Are any of your suites residential?

Although we have long-term rentals, they are for approximately two months at most. Some diplomats and Lebanese politicians choose to stay at the Etoile Suites hotel for a couple of months at a time, since the location and services are very convenient for them.

By what means are you trying to promote tourism yourself?

We are always sending special offers to our clients to encourage them to visit Lebanon.

Who is your target market?

Arab tourists are our main target. They used to come because they liked the hotel for its large suites. They all have a nice character. However, since May 2012, we have been dealing a lot with corporates —we moved from tourism to corporate guests since leisure tourism was decreasing.