Front Desk

Itâ€â„¢s a tough job, but...

Normally, Iâ™d consider appointment of a hotel sales director minor news, but the dateline of a recent public relations release caught my eye. Martin Wessels has joined the Kabul Serena Hotel as director of sales. Talk about opportunity fraught with danger.

Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan, one of the more volatile countries in a terrorism-ridden region. The Serena, however, is described as a five-star hotel, according to a recent visitor who posted comments about it on

âœHusainâ says the well-located Serena is the most expensive hotel in town, with rates of $180 a night. The news release about Wessels notes that the Serena employs more than 300 staff, 90 percent of them Afghan.

Wessels should market to the upscale traveler. He seems to have the right kind of property, because the Kabul Serena is one of 22 hotels in the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of private development agencies working in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia and the Middle East.

May Wessels market the Kabul Serena to well-heeled international travelers. May those travelers not have to ask a Serena staffer for the nearest bomb shelter.

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