Close on the heels of its strong presence at Arabian Travel Market 2014, HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings is hosting its General Managers & Sales Conference from May 10 to 12. Chaired by HMH CEO, Laurent A. Voivenel, the three day annual conference is in progress at The Ajman Palace Hotel & Resort.
Besides the general managers and sales teams from various hotels managed by HMH in the Middle East and Africa, in attendance are a number of guest speakers representing some leading companies such as Deloitte, Al Tamimi & Co, Action Hotels, AON Middle East, WIHP, PRO Training, Intelity, Lobster Ink and Consult Hotels.
In his opening address, Laurent said, “A successful company is all about being adaptable and flexible to the environment it finds itself in at any given time”. Drawing from the Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, Professors at INSEAD, he stressed upon the need to adopt a new path to winning the future.
“It is time for us to focus on the big picture, not the small numbers. Like all companies we are engaged in brutal competition in search of sustained, profitable growth. We have been fighting for competitive advantage, battling over market share, and struggling for differentiation. Yet, it is not the way to create profitable growth in the future. Cutthroat competition with limited resources results in nothing but a red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Lasting success comes not from battling competitors, but from finding a sea less crowded – by creating “blue oceans” – untapped new market spaces ripe for growth. Such strategic moves create powerful leaps in value”.
Laurent said it is important to build execution into strategy.
“As a group HMH does not consist solely of top and middle management. It is everyone from the top to the front lines, and it is only when all of us are aligned around a strategy and support it, for better or worse, that our group would stand apart as a great executor. It is a culture of trust and commitment that motivates people.”
He added, “In order to find our blue ocean we have to look at factors that are holding us back and therefore should be eliminated or reduced while others to be raised above industry standards and those that have never been offered by the industry to be created in order to have clear competitive advantage.”
Hotels operated by HMH reported strong performance in first quarter of 2014 registering a 10% increase in RevPAR (revenue per available room) and 7.2% rise in average room rates (ARR) compared to the corresponding period last year. The group recently unveiled its expansion strategy at ATM with plans to have a hotel in every GCC country and doubling its portfolio in the UAE by 2020.
HMH has a strong presence in the region, with 20 hotels in operation and six new properties opening later this year in quick succession. Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments, Coral Dubai Sports City Hotel & Apartments, Coral Beirut Concorde Hotel, Coral Riyadh Al Dhabab Hotel, EWA Khartoum Hotel & Apartments and EWA Port Sudan Hotel & Apartments are all in advanced stages of development and are expected to welcome their first guests by the last quarter of 2014 / beginning of 2015. The new hotels will boost the existing HMH portfolio by 25%. In addition, HMH has a solid development pipeline with the group scouting opportunities to roll out its budget brand to cater to the growing segment of low-cost travellers.
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