|By Omar Obeidat, Jordan Times,
AmmanMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 12, 2011--AMMAN -- Landmark Hotels Company (LHC), the only five-star Jordanian-owned and operated hotel, on Monday announced its first project to expand in the region by signing an agreement to manage St. George Hotel in East Jerusalem.
Under the partnership agreement, signed between LHC and Jerusalem Tourist Investment Company (JTIC), which has a long-term lease to the property, Landmark will manage and operate the 143-room St. George Hotel that was inaugurated by late King Hussein in 1964.
At a press conference yesterday, Landmark Chairwoman Mary Nazzal-Batayneh said the company has registered the hotel's trademark in several regional countries such as Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt as part of its expansion plans regionally and internationally.
Stating that the deal with the hotel in East Jerusalem is the first project outside Jordan, she said: "There will be more Landmark hotels in the Levant region in the coming few years."
She indicated that the hotel group, which took over Radisson SAS few years ago to become Jordan's first chain hotel, will offer employment to Palestinians in Jerusalem through the partnership agreement.
JTIC Chairman Zahi Khouri said the investment in St. George Hotel, built by Jordanian contractors, will be economically feasible due to increasing tourism in the eastern part of the holy city, urging Arab businesspeople to invest in the city to keep its Arab identity.
Noting that the old hotel will undergo renovation at a cost of $10 million, he stressed that harassments by Israeli authorities will not affect the operations of the hotel.
Landmark General Manager Aysar Batayneh said the partnership agreement will boost efforts to restore historical buildings in East Jerusalem and to protect its cultural heritage.
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Copyright (c) 2011, Jordan Times, Amman
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