The LAICO hotel chain has a lot of projects both in Tunisia Africa. LAICO is due to become the best hotel in Africa through increasing its capacity from 10 to 15% in terms of bedrooms, the LAICO Director General Gilani Makhzoum said. Interview:
What about the work under way at Tunis Laico hotel?
We acquired the Abou Nawas Hotel, renamed LAICO since. In fact, LAICO is a management company and we decided to manage all our hotels either in Tunisia or elsewhere in Africa, because performing a good job requires a good hotel to offer to our customers . So we can move forward. And that’s what we are doing within our hotels. LAICO will become the best hotel in Africa through increasing its capacity from 10 to 15% in terms of bedrooms. There will be more conference rooms including 2000 seats. It is about a multifunctional auditorium for seminars besides lots of restaurants. We will change the inside and the outside of the hotel. It will l be in a hotel for leisure in order to have the largest possible number of customers.
When the work will be completed?
In a year and a month.
Are you planning to buy more hotels in Tunisia?
Hopefully . In fact, if it develops well, we will continue with the Tunisian authorities. Currently, we have 3 hotels in Tunis, Hammamet with 380 rooms and also in Djerba. We started improve working conditions and we are endeavoring to find solutions to solve the problem of lack of customers during the low season.
During summer, hotels are booked during 4 or 5 months. Now I think that we are the best. In Hammamet, we work up to 35 to 40%, and normally we do not disclose the rate which is less during the winter. Now, we are starting to attract a lot of customers.
Why you don’t launch your own tour operator knowing that LAICO is operating across Africa?
It is our goal. We are moving forward slowly, we started with zero hotels, and now we operate 16 hotels around the world.
How big is your turnover?
I can not reveal it but we are happy with.
You are therefore interested in other Hotels in Tunisia?
We are currently considering the issue. I cannot say more, but we are working now on a lot of records.
Everywhere in Tunisia because we seek what is good for us and for everyone, and simply we look for the best areas.
How many hotels you are targeting in Tunisia?
I cannot tell you exactly.
How many hotels you operate outside Tunisia?
Outside Tunisia, we have 16 hotels which are all luxury 5-star ones, and even 4 stars hotels that will also grow 5 stars. We also have hotels in Gambia, Congo, Libreville, Nairobi, and Burkina Faso with 3 hotels.
Your goal is to go further?
Our goal is to go further, either to acquire new hotels or to buy ones. Thus, we will open, during the 5 next month a luxury 5-star hotel with 37 floors and 400 rooms in Togo. We will open next month a new resort in Tanzania and it will the best one in Dar Salam. We are also present in Uganda (LAICO Victoria) and Kenya (Regency Hotel) and also in Rwanda and shortly in Burundi
I heard you telling the Tourism minister that prices in Tunisia are not what they should be, why?
Because, according to studies I conducted, Tunisia is known as a low- priced destination or the “world least expensive destination. I hope this will be revised.
Will it be so as far as your hotel chain is concerned?
Frankly, in our chain, we are working hard on this issue, and we already begun.