INTERVIEW: General manager, Fairmont Amman, Fadeel Wehbe

Fairmont Amman

The COVID-19 crisis has hit the region’s tourism industry hard, but industry movers and shakers are positive that things will improve. Sharing his thoughts, sentiments and updates with Tatiana Tsierkezou was Fairmont Amman’s general manager, Fadeel Wehbe.

TTG: During this unprecedented global situation, what has Fairmont Amman been focusing on?
Our primary focus has been and will continue to be the health and safety of our team members and guests. This includes many facets and begins with the maximising of the knowledge and awareness of all of our team members, strategic partners and suppliers. It has been vital to understand the new face of tourism and hospitality, and adapt in the best way possible in order to ensure the best experience for our guests while ensuring their well-being.
We have, of course, been coordinating closely with ACCOR in planning for a future in the new world of hospitality and this has included the implementation of the ACCOR ALL SAFE programme in coordination with Bureau Veritas and AXA.

TTG: As a tourism stakeholder, what are you looking forward to the most?
We have missed our guests and are thrilled to have opened our doors and to be welcoming them back now. We relish the opportunity to provide the luxury and comfort to which our guests are accustomed, while maintaining the highest levels of safety and assuredness.

IMEX Frankfurt 2020

TTG: In your opinion, what will the first steps be to rebuild Jordan’s tourism industry following the pandemic?
In the short term, the priority will be generating business from within and allowing the local community to enjoy our rooms, restaurants and facilities. Travel is expected to be limited for this period and we can provide an outlet for guests to enjoy an escape within their own country with the luxury of Fairmont Amman.
In the longer term, Jordan’s tourism players must act in unison to drive traffic back to the country.  It is important to note that Jordan has been a world leader in handling the pandemic and this can be beneficial in it becoming a primary destination for business and leisure travellers going forward. Structure as well as uniform guidelines must be put in place across the industry so that visitors to the country can feel comfortable and secure

TTG: What are Fairmont Amman’s plans in terms of initiatives and developments to further lure in customers post COVID-19?
For the near term, our focus has been on providing an escape for residents of Jordan within their own country at a time when travel is limited but they would still like to be pampered in a luxury environment.
We have opened our rooms, restaurants, pool and our beautiful Willow Stream Spa, and have introduced many attractive offers including our Staycation Offer, Celebration Package and several unique promotions at our outlets and facilities.
Going forward, and as travel resumes, we will reinvigorate tourism and business traffic from around the region and the world through our world-class sales and marketing and with our luxurious hotel offerings including accommodation, restaurants, meeting rooms, function spaces and the one of a kind Willow Stream Spa.  Several distinctive packages and offers will also be introduced in order to cater to the needs and wants of these groups.
Recognising that consumer priorities have drastically shifted following the global pandemic, Accor, a world-leading augmented hospitality group, has pioneered a new guest safety initiative that redefines the hospitality experience in the Middle East and Africa during these unprecedented times. The ALL SAFE programme highlights include tailor made operating protocols and cleaning products technology developed in partnership with hygiene solutions specialist Bureau Veritas, as well as intensive training of all team members on these new procedures.  The initiative is bolstered by Accor’s strategic partnership with global insurance giant AXA which, as of July 2020, will be providing guests at its 5,000 properties worldwide with free medical support that includes consultations with medical professionals by phone or in the location where they are staying.

TTG: Finally, please send a message of positivity to your colleagues in the global travel industry!
The past few months have been challenging and life is full of challenges, but working together we will overcome difficult times as we have done in the past and will come out stronger and more prepared.