A
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B
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C
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D
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E
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French Version

Young leaders in perspective : Mazen Kawar

The word Petra to Jordanians and tourists alike resonates of history and brings to one’s mind images of the rose stone-city carved by the ancient Nabataeans centuries ago; however, Petra to Mazen Kawar is a word that ardently interweaves with the family business ever since his father established Petra Tours in 1965.

“Tourism runs in the family, it has been for forty years now. Our involvement in the travel and tourism business dates back to our school days, going through Tawjihi and university and even during the military service,” commenced Kawar, managing partner at Petra Tours, “you know, when you grow around the same profession, love is bound to develop hence continuity of the business.”

Over the years Petra Tours developed to become more than a travel and tourism company, it has become a large organization with specialized employees providing a comprehensive range of services as an inbound tourism business in Jordan, in addition to representing travel companies from Europe, the United Stated, Canada and the Far East. Kawar, who graduated in Business Administration and Economics from Richmond University in London in 1984, said when it comes to running the business his father, 74, who is the managing director, is still going on strong.

Kawar further says that he and his two brothers, who also have continued through the family business, complement each other. “My older brother Aouni, has a BA in civil engineering, while my younger brother Wael, has a degree in law so this helps in increasing the business’s efficiency.

Like for instance my older brother, who is an engineer, is in charge of the hotel chains we own like the Aqaba Gulf Hotel and the Petra Panorama Hotel, in addition to the Dead Sea Medical Center, which we are partners in,” said Kawar. Stressing again on the importance of having members of the family working in the same business, Kawar went on to say that his older brother helped in the technical aspects regarding the construction process of their hotels while his younger brother dealt with the paper work related to legalities and contracts with companies. “Each hotel we own constitutes a company of its own, a separate entity and we here at Petra Tours produce offers that includes our properties within its package deals just like any other hotel. We even own ten percent of Alpha Transport Company, which is one of the largest tour guide companies that we helped in establishing six years ago,” added Kawar.

According to Kawar since its establishment, Petra Tours has grown increasingly, they now have their own building in Shmeisani. They now have specialized departments and are also general sales agents for flight agencies that have their own independent offices like the Romanian airlines, Austrian airlines, Cyprus airways, China airlines and South African airways, in addition to providing airfreight services. “We also have a special department for arranging exhibitions and conventions held in Jordan for both international and local companies.

One of the latest conventions that we arranged for their logistics and complete transportation was the World Economic Forum in the Dead Sea,” said Kawar. Resorting to modern times technology, Petra Tours has established its own website, which offers information about its services, in order to provide for worldwide clients, in addition to developing its own computerized software to make all hotel, transportation and meal bookings easier plus an accounting department that is directly linked to banking services to guarantee efficient financial transactions.

According to Kawar this helped a lot in boosting the business, knowing that in the past it took more than three days to contact Petra tours; however, now things have changed especially now that Jordan’s infrastructure has progressed a lot. “The competition in all sectors is quite good and survival is always for the fittest.

Competition at the end of the day is not about prices as much as it is about quality and how much you can deliver. Some people might promise you everything and when you are off on your holiday a big annoying surprise is only what you get,” explained Kawar, who further added, “Of course with us this is impossible; for here at Petra Tours, we have a special department for Petra Holidays.”

Kawar, who has been working fulltime at Petra tours for more than 18 years, says that inbound tourism in Jordan has greatly developed especially during the summer, thanks to the Ministry of Tourism and the Jordan Tourism Board that developed programs like the Magic of Petra, which allowed Jordanian citizens the chance to visit places like Petra and Ajloun. “We have a division specialized in marketing; however, we do not resort to placing ads in newspapers thanks to our reputation in the market and abroad. We depend mostly on word of mouth,” concluded Kawar, “We are leading in this business, which is not an easy task.

It takes a lot of money and time, as there are a lot of investment related issues to this line of work especially on the political level in the region. Yet we are definitely planning to stick to our line of work all the way into the future, to leave a legacy to our children.”

Amman,06September2004
Mike Derderian
The Star


Geography
Some Marks
To see in Jordan
Overview
Fairs & Exhibitions
Useful Addresses
Media of 1stjordan
Impact of 1stjordan
The 'First Jordan' Card
Press Book
Exotica - Flowers - Shopping on line
www.exotica.com.lb
Engineering Consultants Lebanon
www.spectrumlb.com
Nsouli Jewelry Lebanon
www.nsoulijewelry.com
Hotel Beirut Lebanon
acropolishotel.com
Rent Villas France for Holidays, Seasonal Rentals France
www.rent-villas-france.com
Sole Agent for Philips & Whirlpool in Lebanon
www.azelectronic.com
Arab Printing Press Lebanon
www.arab-printing-press.com
Hotel Beirut Lebanon
www.hotelcavalier.com
Arabic Music, CD Arabia
www.cd-arabia.com
Hotels Syria
www.chamhotels.com
Groupe PMR
www.groupe-pmr.com