With the recent brand revamp and digital overhaul, Coral Hotels & Resorts is looking at an all-time high. HMH - Hospitality Management Holdings CEO Laurent A. Voivenel believes the rebranding of Coral Hotels & Resorts has given it enormous potential for growth and is busy drawing up plans for expansion. He stated, "We are fully loaded for expansion having invested heavily in digital platforms including a dynamic new multi-lingual group website that has just gone live. It is technology that is driving growth today and underlines our strength with a highly integrated online presence. 2014 is a decisive year. Our objective is to be able to compete on equal terms with our rivals. The decisions taken this year will determine the shape of our business over the next three or four years. We are basically looking to expand our footprint in the GCC. By 2020 our aim is to have a hotel in every GCC country while doubling our portfolio in the UAE".
Coral Hotels & Resorts has gone from strength to strength despite a tough phase during the economic crisis and later the Arab Spring. With five new hotels opening in quick succession under the HMH banner, expansion is a key part of the company's future strategy. Laurent said, "We are in the region's fastest-growing markets with very promising development prospects. And being alcohol-free our brands are an ideal fit for developers looking to offer a safe and family-friendly environment. Let's not forget alcohol-free hotels have their own following, and is the primary reason for Coral Hotels & Resorts to have gained customer loyalty and market share quite rapidly. Not surprisingly we have been seeing consistent double digit growth".
So what does he have in mind for the Coral brand that expanded so successfully since its formation in 2003? Laurent said, "The competition is intensifying with the market getting increasingly crowded. However, Coral Hotels & Resorts is a strong brand that is well-positioned to win a bigger market share with a high visibility and reach. We are now looking for a more balanced geographic growth in the region. Having said so the GCC - UAE and KSA in particular - are central to our expansion strategy at HMH. If you are not strong in your home market, you lose your DNA. The key thing is to get the right locations and products. The travel and tourism forecasts look very promising and we are eager to capitalize on this buoyant scenario."
The Middle East region is entering a new era of stability with increased connectivity and expansion of existing infrastructure. Current estimates suggest that over the next 20 years, upwards of $3 trillion will go directly into leisure and tourism and indirectly into the supporting infrastructure. Through projects announced to date, by 2020 the region will add airport capacity for 300 million extra passengers, build over 200 new hotels, add 100,000 additional rooms, grow visitor numbers to 150 million, and increase the size of its aircraft fleet by over 150% by 2025. With the leisure and business travel sectors both set to double in size, the region's forecasts suggest annual travel and tourism revenues could increase 89% over the next 10 years.