CEO of Portugal's André Jordan Group talks Mediterranean hotel trends

Gilberto Jordan is the CEO of the André Jordan Group, the Lisbon-based property developer behind such projects as golf resort Belas Clube de Campo. The company is also behind the development of the the Quinta do Lago resort and the redevelopment of Vilamoura.

Jordan will be part of a panel centering on mixed-use resorts during the Mediterranean Resort and Hotel Real Estate Forum (MR&H), Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, at the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos, in Barcelona, Spain.

We caught up with him prior to the show to discuss trends in the Mediterranean and how his company is overcoming challenges and cashing in on opportunities.

1. André Jordan Group is a family company founded more than 70 years ago in Rio de Janeiro by Henryk Spitzman Jordan. Today, it's led by you, his grandson. Tell us a little about your company.

The André Jordan Group is a property developer, started in 1940 in Brazil, now in the third generation, specialized in land development and management of sea and golf resorts, residential country clubs and leisure facilities among other. Today, we are concentrated in Portugal.

2. What would you say are the three major trends affecting hospitality in the Mediterranean right now?

The main trends are still the desire by a very significant portion of the population to have a pleasant, correctly priced, safe family holiday, break-away or extended stay. Obviously, mainly catered to a large and wealthy population from the northern hemisphere looking for the truly fabulous climate, gastronomy and nice character of the Mediterranean people.  
3. What makes Portugal an interesting market for investment in hospitality real estate?

It is a mature and experienced market having started at the beginning of the post-war tourism wave. With a wide spectrum of demand and supply catering for the European middle and upper class and more recently from many more geographies ranging from Asia, near East, the Gulf and several parts of Latin America—mainly Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia.
4. What are the main challenges facing the hospitality investment sector in the Mediterranean?

Economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, safety.
5. How is your company responding to these challenges?

Permanently monitoring the evolving or changing consumer patterns, desires and demands. Keeping as much flexibility and adaptability in the product licensing, design and execution. All very difficult tasks. Also a deep embracing of high-level environmental factors and aspects as a fundamental business practice and not as an extra.
6. Which companies/brands do you think are being particularly dynamic/innovative in the Mediterranean?

The appearance of a huge amount of new, trendy, design, boutique, low-cost, mid-cost, sexy, luxury, life-style brands, often with one or just a few properties, but with very attractive propositions. They are mainly reliant on online distribution and that has somewhat eroded the market power of big brands and provoked an acceleration in new value propositions of the established brands, forcing them to up their game.  
7. What do you look forward to most at MR&H this year?

Mainly learning a lot given the array of interesting subjects and great speakers. But also meeting friends, making new friends and greeting competitors.
8. Outside the conference, what will you be doing in Barcelona? Any tips of places to see/things to do for other attendees?

Congratulations to the choice of the venue city. Being married to a local girl I know it well, so I will be seeing friends and family.

The Mediterranean Resort and Hotel Real Estate Forum (MR&H) is Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos, in Barcelona, Spain.