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Traditional house on view  - Apr 6 , 2001
Established in 1998 and owned by Platinum International of Lebanon, 360O Travelscape is attending AWTTE to continue its efforts in promoting Lebanon on an international scale.
Due to the increasing number of international trade visitors  and hosted buyers, the travel agency selected the show as a strategic event in its newest marketing campaign: Rediscover the world -- Rediscover Lebanon -- The New destination.
The Rediscover Lebanon sand features a typical Lebanese red-roofed house with traditional seating and ornaments. 
360O TravelScape is promoting the oriental side of the country to create an identity for its ongoing campaign and  to promote Lebanon as a new and exciting destination .
"Our aim is to increase the awareness of Lebanon as a top tourist destinations in the region for its charming attractions and exciting activities for all seasons.
Once known as the pearl of the Orient, we believe it is our duty to position Lebanon back on the international tourist map," said marketing manager, 360O TravelScape, Joumana Oweida.

TTG Magazine, Sep. 2000 
Travel agencies throughout the GCC and Saudi Arabia will be invited to participate in Platinum International's Rediscover project, which will offer free room nights for their clients.

Travel agents can sell any Platinum product to a Gulf or Saudi national and be able to give the clients a free stay vacation at no cost to the agent or the consumer.
"Rediscover is a project managed by Platinum International to offer unique new income source to its strategic partners, who are all travel agents and hotels and deliver great consumer benefits," announced chief executive officer, Platinum International, Mike Tolan.
Rediscover offers a 50 per cent discount on selected hotels of the normal rack rates to members of the www.rediscover.com discount club.

"Travel agents may enroll at no cost and receive Rediscover vouchers to reward any one of their clients that they wish, even to encourage new sales", said project leader and global marketing director, platinum International, Richard Trevithick. The Rediscover voucher will then offer the user up to three free room nights in Lebanon, between October 1 and April 15, 2001. Platinum expects to also have offers in Bahrain and other areas by the year's end.

The company also acts as marketing agents for World Class Vacation Club, a vacation membership franchise system with properties in the UK, Spain, Lebanon, Australia and the Philippines and is adding new locations in the Gulf region. Travel agents may also become agents for the accommodation-based club, world Class, and continue to service clients with fights and other travel services.

Hotels may enlist to sell off room nights that may otherwise remain empty in this discount scheme and will benefit whenever the hotel is less than 75 per cent occupied. Travel agents may participate simply by registering their agency on the www.rediscover.com website, or by contacting membership central in Manama. 


TTG Magazine, July 2000 

World Class Vacation Club has appointed Platinum International  in Bahrain to act as the customer service arm for its clients in the GCC. With resorts properties in the UK, Austria, Lebanon, Spain, the Philippine and Australia, World Class launched its family oriented timeshares vacation club in the Gulf almost one year ago. Platinum markets World Class from its Beirut headquarters, and from Prague for Europe and beyond, providing information to hoteliers and property developers. "Expansion in the Middle East region is very much our current strategy," said director, Middle East marketing, Platinum, Richard Trevithick. "We will now seek new partners or franchisees in all GCC territories and throughout the Arab world, as well as recruit top managers with sales and marketing experience to train and employ local staff. In the meantime, responsible developers are banding together to work with lateral thinking government officials, in order to create trading policies that encourage trade and customer satisfaction, according to Trevithick. "Bahrain has taken the lead, in [my] opinion, on legislation, and other countries will soon follow their leaders' pioneering lead."


TTG Magazine, July 2000

 The timeshare industry continues to gain new adherents in the regional hospitality trade as its credibility rises, with further expansion predicted for the next decade. The industry has witnessed growth of over ten per cent a year on average over the past decade, according to the Travel & Tourism Intelligence report, Timeshare: Coming of Age, and big hotel brands with properties in the region are beginning to sit up and take notice. Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Four Seasons all featured in the top ten companies by sales in 1998, the last year for which figures are available to date. The increasing acceptance of timeshare is mirrored by developments within the industry itself, which is focusing increasingly on the ongoing value of individual customers, rather than the traditional view of accommodation being perceived as the main form of income. The report points out that using sophisticated points clubs, for example, allows for increased branding opportunities, differentiation of resorts and the development of a range of ancillary products against which points are redeemable. Other schemes can be linked to hotel and online loyalty programs and options, such as cruises or gaming. This ability to market  additional services to the customers is drawing the attention of the major leisure groups. The travel trade has traditionally avoided timeshare, which it saw as a competitor to holiday purchases. But now, according to the report, the advantages of a high-value, long-term customer, coupled with the necessary infrastructure of distribution systems, customer databases and brand recognition has overcome any lingering doubts. "Timeshare continues to be a hot topic for hotel companies looking for   incremental business opportunities," said CEO, global operations, Resort Condominiums International (RCI), John Russell.  "In its most basic application, timeshare can be a growth driver. For example, by adding a timeshare component to a resort, a hotel owner can spread the development costs over several years. But the impact continues on the operations side, as well. Timeshare opens up a new avenue for building long-term relationships with customers and better utilizing built-in leads from existing guest lists," Russell added. The Middle East still has a lot of catching up to do, though, if it is to benefit  from the timeshare phenomenon, according to RCI: in a company report entitled, Timeshare's Growing Global Impact, published last November, the region was not even mentioned.  However, according to  figures quoted in Timeshare: Coming of Age, the Middle East was projected to have 105 timeshare projects underway by the middle of last year. While this is only two per cent of the global total of 5,200, it compares favorably with Australia's share of 1.9 per cent with 100 projects. The US and Europe led the way with 32 per cent and 26 per cent respectively. Major timeshare companies, such as Interval and Platinum, are already established in the region and plan to expand even further. Interval, for example, has 18 properties in Egypt alone, while Platinum's marketers of its World Class brands are expecting to have six new locations throughout the Middle East and GCC in the next five years. "Timeshare is growing in popularity throughout the region and we are working with a number of well-known hospitality brands which are currently studying the market with a view to developing either mixed-use or stand-alone timeshare resorts within the next few years," said marketing communications assistant, Interval International,    Sarah Scott.  There remains, though, a certain amount of skepticism to overcome, as president, Platinum International, Michael Tolan, explained: "We have the job to reassure our new clients [in the region] that we are actually  a legitimate company selling a valuable and worthwhile product, but once our new clients have used the system and return home, many rave in surprise on how nice a holiday experience they actually had! Comments like that make it all worthwhile. "We see a continued trend for the next twenty years and beyond with the right legislative environment to foster growth. With a population of over 300 million in the Arab world, we have barely touched the surface of market potential."