Founded in 2003 in Dubai, HMH Hotel Group(Hospitality Management Holding) provides hotel owners and developers with a broad spectrum of world-class management solutions with five distinct, yet complementary hotel brands, catering to varied market segments from luxury to budget. These include Bahi Hotels & Resorts, Coral Hotels & Resorts, Corp Hotels, EWA Hotel Apartments and ECOS Hotels.
Aboudi Asali, chief executive officer Hospitality Management Holding talks to Hotel News Middle East about the company…
What were the hotel group’s key achievements and milestones in 2017?
We have significantly reduced the operating costs at our core hotels by approximately 15%, with improved top line revenue. What is noteworthy is this was achieved without any redundancies. We have also excelled in reducing our operational costs within the head office, again with the same principle of not making anyone redundant but rather capitalising on the loyalty of our colleagues. In addition, we are busy sharpening our brand image, developing an advanced website and mobile app, rolling out strategic media and digital marketing initiatives that will strengthen our market positioning, while widening our reach both locally and globally.
What have been the key challenges facing your hotel group and the hospitality sector?
At HMH we are facing exactly the same challenges as faced by the industry owing to several factors including reduced economic growth due to lower oil prices, less liquidity in the region, a drop in visitors from Europe and certain other parts of the world because of currency fluctuations and the uncertain macro-economic conditions. We have strategically deployed and optimised our resources to address the challenges and to add value to our various projects and services. With hands-on management, powerful online engines, unique revenue generation and optimisation tools, reinforced central business development and sales team, strategic alliances with the travel trade and intermediaries, a compelling value proposition for guests and extensive marketing campaigns and public relations activities, we unlock and leverage global opportunities creating value for our owners and associates. A diversified and an optimal business mix has enabled us to drive improved revenue and profit outcomes. Our strategy has been to drive business across all verticals that has given us a steady mix of corporate, long-stay, leisure, e-commerce and FIT segment, which in turn has kept our figures firm. We have been witnessing extremely positive trends, with certain markets performing better than expected.
What are the hotel group’s key goals for the end of 2017 into 2018 in the Middle East?
Building on our success, we are stepping into the next phase of growth and are ready to take up new challenges and opportunities. We are dedicated to offering our guests greater choice in terms of hotels, destinations and experiences while improving efficiency and profitability. In order to achieve this, we have: set in process a series of strategic structural changes, initiated a series of IT and technology upgrades, and rolled out a solid development strategy with a goal to reach 20 hotels in operation by 2020. At the moment, we see a massive opportunity for mid-market and budget hotels.
How is technology affecting the industry?
At HMH we are preparing for the next generation of hotel operations by making the necessary structural and technology enhancements to boost efficiency in every aspect of our business. Given the fact that we operate in a highly digitalised world, we are working on an advanced new website and mobile app that are being developed to offer greater convenience and value to guests, while increasing profitability. In addition, technology will help us in assisting our hotels more effectively in more regional locations allowing us to cluster various departments and services with the aim of reducing costs at the properties and hence improving GOP ratios.