WITH A 2017 TURNOVER OF $2.9 BILLION DOLLARS, THE IBEROSTAR GROUP LOOKS AHEAD TO 2018 WITH A REVITALIZED STRATEGY
Quality and customer satisfaction have always been the Group’s hallmarks, and this ongoing drive for excellence has been reflected in steady growth and positive results year-on-year. In 2017, the Iberostar Group reported $2.9 billion dollars in turnover, a growth of 20% from 2016
In 2018, the Iberostar Group will embark on an ambitious plan that includes openings, new projects and major renovation work, and its portfolio is scheduled to increase by 15 new hotels in Spain (Barcelona), Montenegro (the Bay of Kotor and Herceg Novi), Mexico (Cancun) and Cuba (Havana, Holguín, Cayo Coco and Santiago de Cuba).
Iberostar has regrouped its hotels in three segments: city hotels, beachfront hotels, and Iberostar Heritage, a newly-created category that includes classic hotels steeped in history. Grand, the Group’s luxury category, is present in all three of the new segments
After closing 2017 with a turnover of $2.9 billion dollars, 2018 looks to be an exciting period for the Iberostar Group as it embarks on renewing its value proposition, centered on innovation and excellence, as well as a commitment to people and the environment.
Recent years have shown a steady rise in the Group’s turnover, and this positive trend is the result of a consolidated international presence, a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, as well as growth in its travel businesses. The Iberostar Group currently operates in 35 countries around the world, offering the full range of tourism services through Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, its hotel division and core business; Almundo.com, Latin America’s foremost online travel portal; World2Meet (W2M), an incoming agency and bank bed; Iberostate, the Group’s real estate division; Iberoservice, which provides a selection of incoming services in the Caribbean; and Iberostar The Club, its holiday club.
Over the last six years, the company has implemented an ambitious acquisition and renovation plan targeting the establishments in its hotel division, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, with investments worth more than $610 million dollars. As a result, all its hotels hold a 4 and 5-star status, positioning them at the high-end of the hotel industry. Additionally, 70% of the hotels have been renovated recently, with particular efforts being channeled into innovation and technological development. This repositioning strategy is set to continue in the coming years, with investments already allocated until 2022 for an additional $858 million dollars in Europe and America. This investment strategy supports the company’s differentiated value proposal, which hinges on four key elements: the very best locations, delicious gastronomy options, an unshakeable vocation for service, and a particular focus on people – those that make up the Group, customers, partners and society in general.
One of the key elements to the excellent results presented by Iberostar Group in recent years is a consolidated policy for the diversification of its business portfolio within the international tourism sector. In line with this strategy, the Group acquired a majority stake in Almundo.com, Argentina’s second largest network of brick and mortar travel agencies and the second biggest online, and the market leader in Mexico and Colombia’s online segment. In 2017, Almundo.com performed particularly well, reaching a turnover of just under $500 million dollars.
Additionally, W2M (WORLD2MEET), a global tourism service provider owned by the Iberostar Group, has continued with its strategy based on international expansion and consolidation in the destinations it already operates in, which led to a turnover of more than $490 million dollars in 2017.
A key action of Iberostar’s repositioning strategy in the high-end hotel industry has been major investment in the opening and renovating hotels around the world. During 2017, the company’s portfolio expanded to include seven new hotels located in Mallorca (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), Marrakech (Morocco), Miami (USA), Havana (Cuba), Varadero (Cuba) and Cayo Largo (Cuba). Iberostar also invested 153 million dollars in renovation work on several hotels in Europe and America.
In 2018 the Iberostar Group will embark on an ambitious opening plan with the addition of 15 new hotels to its portfolio. These new establishments are located in Spain (Barcelona), Montenegro (the Bay of Kotor and Herceg Novi), Mexico (Cancun) and Cuba (Havana, Holguín, Cayo Coco and Santiago de Cuba):
• Barcelona (Spain): Iberostar Paseo de Gracia
• The Bay of Kotor (Montenegro): Iberostar Grand Perast
• Herceg Novi (Montenegro): Iberostar Herceg Novi
• Cancun (Mexico): New block Iberostar Cancún
• Havana (Cuba): Iberostar Grand Packard
• Holguín (Cuba): Iberostar Holguín
• Holguín (Cuba): Iberostar Almirante
• Holguín (Cuba): Iberostar Ordoño
• Holguín (Cuba): Iberostar Arsenita
• Holguín (Cuba): Iberostar Plaza Colón
• Holguín (Cuba): Iberostar Murcielaguina
• Cayo Coco (Cuba): Iberostar Colonial
• Santiago de Cuba (Cuba): Iberostar Casagranda
• Santiago de Cuba (Cuba): Iberostar Imperial
• Santiago de Cuba (Cuba): Iberostar San Félix
The first opening of 2018, scheduled for January 21, 2018 in Barcelona, allowed the Iberostar Paseo de Gracia to officially welcome its first guests. This 119 room, four-star hotel is a major step forward in the company’s urban hotel strategy, following the creation of its new City Hotels segment. Boasting a stunning rooftop terrace affording spectacular views of Barcelona, the hotel is located in a historic building in the heart of Plaça de Catalunya, one of the Barcelona’s liveliest and most central districts. It stands between Modernist buildings and is surrounded by top name fashion boutiques and the most elegant restaurants.
RENOVATION WORK AND NEW PROJECTS
Iberostar continues to focus on its ambitious investment plan to improve its hotel portfolio, setting aside $280 million dollars for this strategy in 2018.
Last year major improvement work began on the Iberostar Sábila (previously Iberostar Torviscas) including Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace, Iberostar Marbella Coral Beach and Iberostar Alcudia Park, all located in Spain, as well as on the Iberostar Founty Beach in Morocco. All these hotels will reopen during the course of 2018 after having been renovated throughout. Additionally, the company is carrying out a series of renovations at the Iberostar Mehari Djerba in Tunisia, which will also be reopening during the next few months.
Other key milestones for 2018 include the launch of several major new initiatives for the chain, including the construction of two new hotels in Los Cabos, Mexico, as well as Iberostar’s second hotel in Litibu. In November 2017, Iberostar acquired a plot of land in Los Cabos covering 43 million square feet and 6,500 feet of beachfront in Zacatón, thereby achieving the chain’s objective of entering this holiday destination. Another project that will add to the number of destinations is located in Aruba. In 2019 the Group intends to open a hotel with almost 400 rooms on the island’s Arashi Beach. These projects will complete the Group’s key objectives of securing a complete range of destinations in the Caribbean and Pacific, targeting the U.S. and Canadian markets.
Similarly, 2018 experiences further progress for the brand with new projects in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where Iberostar plans to open a new hotel in the colonial city, and also in Lima, Peru. Both of these new destinations will help boost the Group’s objective of continued growth and expansion in new holiday and urban destinations.
NEW BRAND IDENTITY
With a history dating back to more than 60 years, the Iberostar Group has acquired solid experience in tourism, affording it a profound insight and knowledge of the industry. This expertise, coupled with major efforts to reposition the hotel division’s portfolio, has led to a series of changes that reflect the essence of the company today. Under the single Iberostar brand, the company has reorganized its hotels in three segments: City Hotels, located in the heart of leading tourist cities such as Madrid, New York, Lisbon, Barcelona, Budapest, Miami or Havana; Ocean Resorts, designed to guarantee guests a fabulous beachfront holiday experience; Heritage Hotels, a newly-created segment of unique historic hotels located in outstanding buildings whose architecture or historical and cultural significance add special charm and value. The company is also working to extend its Grand category, characterized by outstanding standards of luxury, across all the segments.
The new Let It Shine concept brings out the true essence of Iberostar, reflected in its new hotel segmentation and the redesign of its visual identity, which now features a new logo that revamps the hallmark star and an exciting new color scheme made up of turquoise, cosmos blue and sage green. The Grand category also has a new color, and its coral tone will identify these hotels in all three segments.
COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The company’s redefining process is the result of its natural evolution and reflects its underlying essence, linked to a determined commitment to sustainable development, education and training for individuals and care for the seas and oceans.
An essential part of this new phase is the road map drawn up by the company in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular emphasis on people, as they are the force that drive and ensure the company’s success; and the environment, specifically the protection of our seas and oceans. To help guarantee this latter objective, Iberostar has recently launched an ambitious program based on three major action areas:
• Sustainable fishing. Together with the procurement teams and kitchen consultants, the company is working to promote sustainable fishing, including only seasonal fish on its menus to help boost the responsible consumption of this product.
• Reducing plastic pollution. Iberostar is working to reduce single-use plastics in its hotels. The ultimate goal is to eliminate them and/or gradually introduce alternatives made from biodegradable materials.
• Coral reef conservation and protection. Iberostar is focusing its efforts on coral re-seeding initiatives, alliances with universities and research centers, as well as raising awareness through educational activities targeting employees, communities, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Beyond the aforementioned actions, the company is organizing training workshops and awareness raising sessions with Group employees, guests, communities, suppliers and other stakeholder groups. These actions will not only improve the company’s management performance, but will also contribute to disseminating and promoting favorable attitudes and approaches to environmental protection.
INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT
In recent years, Iberostar has made major investment efforts in innovations applied to its range of products and services as well as technological development to offer first class quality and guarantee customers’ total satisfaction.
Following the launch of its new mobile application Iberostar App, throughout 2017 the company gradually added to the number of hotels it is available at, which today accounts for practically all the Iberostar establishments. The application has become a new channel for communication and direct relations with guests, maximizing enjoyment of their stay at the company’s hotels, thanks to innovative tools such as the e-concierge, which allows guests to chat in real time with hotel staff.
Iberostar joined Telefónica Open Future in 2017 as a means of acknowledging and rewarding talent in tourism innovation, and maximize benefits from innovation and technological development efforts. Both companies launched a call for a networking, training and mentoring program with Wayra, Telefónica’s business accelerator, for two start-ups: Booklyng and GuestU. Thanks to them, the company is confident it will be able to continue promoting innovation and digitalization of its services to enhance guests’ experiences.
After more than 60 years at the forefront of its sector, the Iberostar Group is looking ahead to 2018, a year filled with challenges and projects aimed at turning the company’s key objective into a reality: to shine and make its guests shine too.