KUWAIT: Preparations for the Horeca Kuwait 2019 exhibition are steadily progressing as the event continues to attract companies to participate in the gathering that provides them with an opportunity to exchange their expertise and further help meet the local market’s needs and future expansion plans. The exhibition is due to be organized by Leaders Group in collaboration with Hospitality Services Company at Kuwait International Fairgrounds in Mishref in the period of January 14-16, 2019. In this regard, the Crown Plaza Kuwait Hotel recently signed an agreement to sponsor Horeca Kuwait 2019, in addition to hosting participants and foreign competitions jury members as well as the cooking competition, providing them all with special facilities and discounts during their stay in Kuwait. Notably, Crowne Plaza’s location is considered ideal for participants as it is close to the exhibition’s halls as well as Kuwait city’s commercial and financial center. It also provides comfortable stay and a long list of services including restaurants serving a diversity of cuisines and various types of stores. Commenting on this agreement, Antoine Flouty, the regional manager of Intercontinental Hotels international, stressed the strong bond between Horeca Kuwait, Kuwaiti hotels and business tourism over the years. “Some studies predict a five percent annual growth for the business until 2025,” he underlined, noting that the percentage might increase with more commercial and financial openness, execution of mega project, expansion of Kuwait international airport and the growth of GCC family tourism. “For the first time in years, business and family tourism have increased hotel occupancy to over 70 percent during weekends and official vacation,” he remarked, adding that this led to building many new hotels and expansion of existing ones.