InterContinental’s New Manager Upbeat

InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) recently appointed Micheal Koth to the positions of Director of Operations for the Levant, and the of InterContinental Jordan. The industry veteran is confident he can maintain his group’s leading position in the Kingdom’s fast developing hospitality sector.

Will you be taking a different direction from your predecessor?

Our general direction has been established for decades. Therefore, the general overlying policies are already set. But every leader brings their own personality and style to the organization. As general managers, we are not in competition with each other, rather we strive for the same goals as a team.

Are there plans underway to offer new services to your guests?

We are currently embarking on a series of learning and development opportunities, redefining service excellence and delivery to our guests. One small touch we will add is the discrete lobby pianist’s background music to delight our guests starting at breakfast time.

Several new luxury hotels are under construction in Amman. How is the IHG preparing to face this growing competition? Is there really enough demand at this end of the hospitality market?

Amman keeps growing. As this process unfolds, it is also normal that the city’s hospitality sector witnesses a rise in the number of its facilities. We believe in the benefit of competition as a way to improve our services. I am confident that we have advantages over our competitors—both current and future ones—in light of the hotel’s unique qualities, like its excellent and secure location. Also, having been the first five-star to ever open in Amman, our client base is wide and loyal.

How badly has recent regional unrest hit your bookings?

We witnessed postponements of social and corporate events in February and booking cancellations from concerned clients across the globe. Despite the apparent safety and security of Jordan, we have to accept that diverse, wrong perceptions about the country are created daily in our key markets. Travel alerts and corporate risk governance of multinational organizations in conjunction with aggressive global competition can cause temporary decline in international traffic. This gives us an opportunity to instead focus on inter-regional and national travelers, and adjust our commercial plans and services according to the current prevailing needs.