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KUWAIT - Tourism

Martin Kipping

General Manager,, Four Seasons Hotel

Bio

Martin Kipping is General Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel in Kuwait. He holds a diploma in hotel management from SHA Hotel Management School Les Roches, Switzerland. He joined the Four Seasons team in 1997 and has been its General Manager since August 2022. He has worked in hotels all over the world, including Costa Rica, Tokyo, Washington DC, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, and others. Kipping has extensive experience in hospitality sector and has worked in different environments across various cultures.

"The pandemic taught everyone valuable lessons in business, and we were no different."
The Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait seeks to provide its guests with cultural, artistic, and culinary experiences alongside service excellence.
What makes Four Seasons Hotel so successful and highly regarded among the Kuwaiti business community?

We believe this is down to a multitude of factors, beginning with our seasoned staffing, providing visitors familiar, friendly faces with vast knowledge of the business and its services. Our team is fully focused on service excellence, and we are proud to host a diverse team of professionals of over 45 nationalities. Another key reason for our success is our in-house catering facilities, where we offer five dining options, a mix of local and global cuisine, hosted by a fantastic, internationally trained team.

How did the team of the Four Seasons Hotel overcome the challenges during the pandemic?

The pandemic taught everyone valuable lessons in business, and we were no different. We were fortunate to have been able to utilize our company-wide ‘Lead with Care’ initiative, which we incorporated into the Kuwaiti operation for both our guests and the wellbeing of our employees; this had always been a core focus for us and as a result of the extra attention needed during the pandemic, it became an even stronger part of our DNA, in addition to following strict corporate and government mandated guidelines. As a company, we consulted with John Hopkins International Medicine for advice and direction during those challenging times, and we took that advice, as well as the best practices learned through the pandemic to set new standards and adapt to the new norm.

What is the Four Seasons Hotel’s strategy and competitive edge that will ensure a consistent lead within the local market?

Our strategy has not and will not change; we believe that market competition is both positive and healthy. It keeps us focused and helps us deliver a consistently premium experience. Our short and long-term focus is to advance our offering and establish ourselves as the leader of the luxury segmentation of the Kuwait hotel sector. As always, we continue to focus on our strengths, our people, and our products and services. We are always looking to identify new opportunities through creative and innovative out-of-the-box thinking. We are proud of the trust we have built in the local community and the standards we have set in our service capabilities, so naturally we wish to continue and excel in this area. Our service is genuinely delivered from the heart and consistent in execution.

What is your perspective on Kuwait’s potential to become a tourist destination, and what changes would you like to see taking place for such shift to happen?

Kuwait certainly has room to grow its tourism sector and become a sought-after touristic destination; but quite clearly, the groundwork is being set and the potential is there. The entire region has been witnessing some positive changes in recent years, with huge achievements in attracting visitors from around the world. Major events, such as the World Cup, have been fantastic catalysts in showing the world what the Middle East has to offer. I firmly believe that with Kuwait’s Vision 2035, the country is heading toward in the right direction, a new chapter in the country’s history and economic growth, it is simply a matter of time.

Looking to the future, what are your plans for the coming year?

Post COVID-19, we began 2022 with enhancements to our resort, such as additional outdoor seating capabilities at our two new Elements restaurant terraces, overlooking Al Shaheed Park. As we head toward 2023, we are focused on further enhancing our offerings with the modern traveler in mind, with improvements to our fitness and spa facilities, along with exciting changes to our outdoor lounge at Al Bandar. Additionally, we aim to drive and develop activations such as our sense of place initiative, while we also wish to present a more family-friendly approach with appealing amenities and programming to satisfy our guests of all ages.

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