May 22, 2024  

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Ihab El Barghoot

The insight he exhibits by integrating what is thought to be one of the best hotel chain in the world, The Hilton, is right on the mark and he has managed to bring a new flavor to Alexandria. Here, Ihab El Barghoot talks exclusively to DG about his love for the tourism industry and his love for Egypt. Read on for a rare glimpse into the thoughts, hopes and ideals of the man behind the mission to make Egypt a better place.

Who is Ihab El Barghoot?
I am the current General Manager for Hilton Green Plaza Alexandria; I started working in the hotel industry since I was 18 years old as a reservation clerk at the Marriott hotel then as a regional manager for Marriott in the Middle East at Amman and then Dubai. Then I moved to JW Marriott for four years and from there to the states and then came back to my current position and moved from Marriott to Hilton.

Is there a difference between the Marriott chain and Hilton?
Well the International chains in general are so alike except for slight differences concerning the sales.

What is your management strategy to get the best results from the hotel?
As a General Manager I have many responsibilities towards various things; the management company, the owner, the staff and their families. I have to compromise between all that and to maintain a healthy atmosphere and best results. I only prefer and apply one strategy which is transparency and development on all aspects and by that the revenue will increase and the service standard will be better.

Hilton chain is a successful one internally and globally, how do you work on the negatives?
This is true, Hilton started in Egypt with one hotel which is Nile Hilton and now we reached around 19 hotels which is a great success. I don’t like the word negatives, I call it challenges and we are capable of facing and beating these challenges.

The competition nowadays is too fierce, how do you face it and do you think that the prices or service attract the customer more?
Well customers are different and the market changed, of course the price is really important but even if you are offering good prices with a bad service, the customer will never come back so it is always about service and price. At Green Plaza hotel, we only care about the customer and we are so keen to let our customers come back.

How do you apply the quality control system at your hotel?
We have several ways to audit the quality and standard of service; first the sudden audit which we do on all the hotel outlets and facilities and we apply it twice a year and thanks to God the last audit is just finished two days ago and the results were very good, of course there are some defects that we will work on because simply nothing is just perfect but we at the Hilton are always seeking perfection. And we also apply the customer survey system plus the mystery shopping audit where we hire an external company to audit the quality.

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of tourism in Egypt?
Of course I am optimistic and we all should be. I don’t think tourism in Egypt will ever fall or fail, the Hilton chain is building new hotels in Egypt which means they as well are optimistic and let us always hope for the best for Egypt.

Tell us about the most difficult professional situation you have been through?
When I was in Dubai during an aviation affair and of course during these times Dubai usually gets so crowded so I decided to take some risk and accepted over booking for more than 100 rooms, it was so difficult to solve it and at the end I had to turn away about ten rooms.

During your free time, what do you do?
I love soccer and a good follower to the Egyptian league. I also love travelling a lot and apply what I see and like to my life.

What does the woman mean to you?
The woman is my other half; she is my mother, wife, and daughter. You can’t live without a woman and also with a woman (laughing)

The most unforgettable day of your life…
My eldest daughter birthday, it was the happiest day of my life.

A word to:
Egypt;
Inshallah will be back better than ever.
Your wife; you have always been here for me.
Your mother; no way to find a mother like you, love you.

And I would like to thank your esteemed and respectable magazine for this lovely opportunity…


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