NAYA| Roula Jouny: A travel innovator with determination

“About 95% of the time, I’m on the road,” said Jouny. “I cannot do the job otherwise.”
by Danah Kaouri

3 December 2018 | 14:05

Source: by Annahar

  • by Danah Kaouri
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 3 December 2018 | 14:05

The picture shows Roula Jouny. (Photo courtesy of FTI Group).

BEIRUT: November was not just another month for Roula Jouny.

Jouny, the only woman candidate among 10 nominees at the International Travel and Tourism Award festival, was honored Nov. 6 for her outstanding contributions to the industry. Her award was presented at the World Travel Market conference in London.

Jouny spent her school years in Lebanon. She later moved to Bahrain where she got an online degree in IT studies. For a while, she worked at Sabre, partner of choice for the world’s leading travel agencies and corporate travel programs.

Not long after her graduation and gaining a few years of work experience, Jouny found herself following her ambition all the way to Germany and marking the start of a new journey.

In Germany, Jouny became the Chairperson of Meeting Point International (MPI), a destination management company and hotels that services 4.1 million tourists and around 10,000 employees. In a span of 10 years, she was able to launch several branches in 21 countries all over the world.

Yet, all this was not satisfactory enough for Jouny.

Her determination and dreams led her into a new project; one that fulfills her wanderlust even more and brings her one step closer to reaching the stars.

In September 2015, the international hospitality company Meeting Point Hotels was founded. Shortly after, Jouny started directing the massive growth of the 70 hotels falling under the company and that are currently located in 12 different countries.

“About 95 percent of the time, I’m on the road,” said Jouny. “I cannot do the job otherwise.”

The recent award winner can always be found on the run. Because she cannot settle in one country, Jouny has established herself a home in different areas of the world such as Lebanon, Turkey, and Germany.

One of the key factors for Jouny is being physically present in meetings; therefore, hopping-on-and-off the plane became her thing.

“What I try to do is innovate,” explained Jouny to Annahar. “When there was an economic and political crisis in Egypt and Turkey, all competitors were hesitant in bringing in customers,” adding that for her, the crisis was viewed differently, it was looked upon as an opportunity. During that period, MP Hotels lowered their prices and were able to motivate customers to book rooms and tour in these countries regardless of the crisis.

Recently, Jouny and her team of young people have been focusing on budget hotels, a concept that allows people to book hotel rooms at a fair price.

“I insist on creating budget hotels with interesting concepts,” she said. “Lemon and Soul Hotels, which is one of these hotels, is an example of a budget-conscious choice for travelers looking to spend their vacation in a sunny destination by the beach.”

Jouny’s secret to success hides behind her take on business. For her, social duty is always what comes first. Last month, MPI initiated the Egyptian House in El Gouna. The project acts as a catalyst for social responsibility through collecting funds to support various charitable projects in Egypt.

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Welcome to “Naya”, the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment.

We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. Naya is devoted to women of all generations-Naya editor, Sally Farhat:

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