Concept Testing

The Knowledge and Innovation City Demand Forecast

The Tripoli Special Economic Zone (TSEZ) is in proximity to the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) submarine cable system which will ensure that the area has maximum connectivity and bandwidth. The Board of the TSEZ felt that this would appeal to local and regional service, high tech, and creative sectors and as a result decided to develop a Knowledge and Innovation City (KIC) using a 100,000 square meter plot from the Rashid Karame International Fair (RKF). The KIC would be rented out as turn-key office space with substantial financial, administrative, and fiscal incentives to companies. To assess the feasibility of the concept, the TSEZ board commissioned the study to InfoPro in 2016. In order to reach the client objectives, InfoPro utilized a multi-faceted methodology incorporating three phases; Phase 1: Mapping of Potential Sub-Sectors, Phase 2: Concept Testing and Demand Analysis, Phase 3: Demand Forecast. The three phases relied on desk research for the mapping of the sub-sectors that will take part in the study. Once the sectors were mapped and a list of target companies were compiled, InfoPro carried-out in-depth interviews with the companies identified in order to assess their receptiveness towards the concept and their requirements of the KIC in terms of spacing, amenities, services, prices among other criteria. The quantitative data collected from the in-depth interviews was then utilized to prepare the demand forecast.

 

Concept Test and Competition Analysis of a large real estate mixed project

A real estate investment company was interested in developing a four-season mountain resort featuring international ski slopes and a golf course among other recreational and sports activities, as well as several hotels. They commissioned InfoPro to conduct a real estate supply and demand analysis in order to assess the real estate mix of the types of residential units and a projection of their respective absorption rates. The aim of the analysis was to assist the master planners in the assessment of the unit mix ratio and ultimately in the design phasing of the different units. InfoPro’s mandate also entailed identifying the demand drivers for the various types of complementary businesses most likely to be located in the resort, the retail categories that they belong to, and their incentive requirements and potential size of operation in order to forecast the retail mix allocation in the project master plan. The study entailed a desk research exercise, in-depth interviews with government ministries, tour operators located in Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, and Lebanon, hotel / resort directors and managers, prominent retailers, and restaurant owners. The aim of the desk research exercise was to collect detailed information on the demographic and vacationing habits of potential customers in Lebanon and the region, as well as an overview of the existing and upcoming competing projects / resorts. The in-depth interviews with tour operators and hotel / resort managers and directors provided insights into the appeal of Lebanon as a vacationing destination vis-à-vis other countries in the region and Europe. This component of the study also provided information on the vacationing habits of Arabs, their vacationing demand drivers and requirements, and budget allocation by destination. It also provided a detailed assessment of the major ski resorts in Lebanon which would be the direct competitors of the resort. The in-depth interviews with retailers and restaurants assessed their interest in being a part of the resort and their preferences with regards to the available, retail mix, amenities / services, rental rates among other pertinent issues. The in-depth interviews with the tour operators and hotel / resort directors and managers also allowed InfoPro to test the resort concept as a whole. InfoPro jointly with its urban planner was able to provide the client with recommendations for timing, phasing, and expansion or useful additions to real estate and land developments in the project.