After its success in the United States and Canadian markets, the Park Royal Hotels & Resorts chain plans to focus on Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia.
Within the chain’s four brands (City Hotels, Home Stay, Beach, and Grand), “we are learning to segment them to permeate different markets because before everything was done together, and now it will be identified differently,” explained to TravelPulse, Rafael Sandoval, Commercial Director of Park Royal Hotels & Resorts.
Today, how many Grand Royal hotels does the brand have?
Park Royal currently has 14 hotels, of which 10 are in Mexico, on the most popular beaches: Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa, Huatulco, Acapulco, and Los Cabos. International hotels are in Puerto Rico, Miami, Buenos Aires, and Orlando.
By sub-brand, Park Royal Hotels & Resorts owns three Grand Park hotels: Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Cozumel. The beach hotels are the 10 already mentioned. The City brand is in Buenos Aires, Miami, and Orlando, and the Home Stay brand hotel is in Puerto Rico, Club Cala.
With so many different brands and markets, how do you segment your audience?
The novelty for 2023 is that they will promote the Grand Park Royal brand and separate it from the other products because it is a premium brand. There will even be the launch of a new brand within Grand Park Royal. It will be called Royal Tower, and it will be more focused on adults only, and Park Royal is a more family-friendly place, so it will cover a niche that shows good performance.
This is helping us make the best decisions, and we are within this great brand; this part of Royal Tower is a different experience; it is adults-only, it has pools assigned for adults, restaurants set as well, and the entertainment and entertainment gastronomic experience is different. So we segment these potential customers from the Grand brand.
After the pandemic, how did the market behave?
A year after the pandemic, fortunately, we took decisions that were very well agreed upon by the General Management. We started to open the hotels earlier than we had thought, closed for three months, reopened in June 2020, and did it in stages. We detected which markets were active and focused on them, so we did not cover the United States or Canada, let alone Europe or Latin America. We concentrated on the Mexican market, which led us to return to the roots of how the company was founded; we returned to the need of origin.
In 2021 and 2022, we saw the recovery of flights and other destinations where we had many interests, especially from Canada and the United States. However, our brand could be more present in these latitudes. It already has international brand recognition. We have worked closely with tour operators, making them aware of the brand, and little by little, they are giving us that preference. What trend are we following? The Mexican market continues to be a base during the low season, but now we have the United States and Canada to the north. And we are looking to Europe and, of course, to the south, to Latin America. Brazil is the number one market, but Colombia is now replacing it because of the visa issue
And what about the fact that Colombia and Peru are showing much interest in visiting Mexico?
Now there is more connectivity, in addition to these two countries, Guatemala, Paraguay, Bolivia, and even El Salvador, which were countries where we did not think people would be interested.
However, the Mexican Caribbean is lovely. Mexico is still a multicultural country where the gastronomy and traditions are very similar to those of these other countries but with the bonus of offering beautiful beaches such as Cancun. This has also made these vertical markets help to cover stays in the months where the season is usually low, from August to December. Then the winter season returns from Canada and the United States, and the cycle is completed again.
The business is now more atomized; we have vertically many markets that can provide us with this substitution in such a way that when a market falls -like Russia or South Korea-now the Brazilians, Peruvians, or Bolivians arrive to complete the cycle.
And have you perceived any concern from visitors about security in Cancun or Tulum?
No, it is a point we take great care of and are very attentive to. The volume of sales has been following the same trend as before. When it went down or settled, we wondered what was generating it. Such is the case of competition with Punta Cana, which suddenly becomes competitive, and then we must adjust. So far, the security issue has been delicate for us.
We are very close to the authorities and hotel associations, so they and we can react quickly or sufficiently in advance to any bad image issues that may arise. We aim to make Mexico known for what it is: a safe, beautiful, peaceful, and paradisiacal place.
Let’s move on to trends; what are you seeing, and where are you moving towards?
We strongly see the issue of sustainability, taking care of the relationship with the environment, and working a lot with our collaborators. After the pandemic, there is a lot of competition for personnel. The hotels continue to have very high occupancies, and there is a shortage because the federal government is taking away that workforce. So, to alleviate that, we work with employees to give them incentives to stay in their jobs.
We provide incentives not in cash, but in kind, for example, rest time and vacations in the hotel industry are always complicated issues, and now we are facilitating them so that our employees can rest with their families. We also give them desirable employee rates to take advantage of this compensation. In this way, employees get to know the other properties of the company for which they work and can live the experiences. Regarding sustainability, we have abandoned plastic. And by the end of this year, guests will be able to see refillable water containers and will be able to take that bottle as a souvenir. They are recycled plastic bottles. The message is that every time guests consume water at Park Royal, they contribute to a more sustainable environment.
The customer wants open spaces and connectivity everywhere. For them, we have expanded the WiFi connection bandwidth. The areas were refurbished so those working for a while could do so in optimal, pleasant, and functional conditions. People also want more family experiences; those who travel with children wish to have a family dinner where the father will give them an unforgettable gift.
We are helping them to complete those experiences. In adults, we have seen that parent, instead of coming for 5-6 nights with the family, mom and dad come for 3-4 nights, just the two of them. We pamper these couples with moments to rekindle romance, passion, and casual encounters. And this helps keep customers coming back. Generation X is the one that takes the most getaways, millennials travel less, but they want more experiences.
We are working with comfortable potential customers; we are not working on sales volumes; we are working on the rate, which positively impacts profitability.
What are the brand’s plans?
There are plans to grow in the Dominican Republic, we want to expand outside Mexico in the resort area, but we still need to define which beach on the island. Once we announce it, you can check it out on our new website park-royalhotels.com, which is easy to navigate with unique offers.
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