Roxa Hospitality CEO talks sustainability and branding

Pablo Suárez, CEO of Spanish hotel management company Roxa Hospitality, is slated to participate in the “Brand Appeal: CEOs on Branding in the Resort Market” panel during the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum, running October 29-31 at the Hilton Athens. MR&H is presented by Questex, parent company of Hotel Management.

Suárez joined the group in 2018 as the managing director of Blau Hotels for Holidays. That year, the company started to shift its model from ownership to hotel management, changing the name in the process. “In 2018, we began a new phase at Roxa Hospitality that we expect to see flourish this year,” he said. “We didn’t start from zero, though. The company has been in the hotel industry for over 30 years. What we did was to take all that experience, all that knowledge, and we embraced it with the spirit of a start-up.” 

Suárez comes from a strong operational background formed at Meliá Hotels International. There he started as an operations analyst and later operations director for Croatia and the Balearic Islands.

Ahead of the conference, Suárez shared his insights on hotel management, sustainability and the value of branding.

How is business?

We are living very interesting moments in the tourism sector. In Spain in particular, we are beginning to see the consequences of the restoration and reopening of other Mediterranean destinations—destinations that were negatively affected by politics and/or [the] economy and saw decreasing occupation numbers until recently.

Now, we face the challenge of maintaining the customers’ trust, so we plan to update and improve our services in order to continue to offer top-quality tourism...We take this market’s impulse and improve ourselves while innovating in the industry. There is much yet to offer in Majorca.

The Caribbean [on the other] hand, is facing different challenges but we will tackle them the same way as in Spain—with great quality of services.

We are motivated to grow in these times of adversity, with the confidence that the difficult times will bring out the best in our team.

You recently launched Roxa Hospitality, the hotel management company previously part of Blau Hotels & Resorts. Can you share your ambitions for the business?

When we started the project to grow in the hospitality industry, we quickly realized we needed to create a brand architecture flexible enough and strong enough to conduct the ambitious expansion plan we were creating. The rebranding of the hotel-management division is motivated by that.

Our brand strategy...is to adapt to different segments and different projects. As we mentioned when we released the news of the rebranding, we are currently studying projects of different nature, new projects starting from scratch, light rebranding and takeovers, always offering low cash exposure in the transition.

However, we are very cautious about the decision of adding a new hotel to our portfolio, as we are still a small company in the process of growth. We are putting our focus in creating a solid foundation of our brands with standards and procedures that incorporate the management model. The ambition is to materialize these strong brands and expand exponentially.

How is Roxa Hospitality addressing sustainability within your development strategy?

Sustainability is one of our core values and—as a result—a focal point in our strategic plan...All our hotels in Majorca have sustainability certifications. No doubt this topic will be present in all the decision-making of the future.

Looking ahead to your session at MR&H, what are the main values you believe a brand brings to a resort?

Branding helps people to identify and recognize our resorts and organization, something which I consider fundamental in order to survive in a market as competitive as hospitality.

Furthermore, brands provide customers with reasons to choose our resorts or services. If we communicate a clear brand promise and constantly deliver this promise over time—combined with a positive brand experience—we will put our customers at ease because they [will] know exactly what to expect each time they visit our resorts.

I believe building a strong brand helps us to create trust with our target market. It helps to create brand loyalty so these customers continue to keep coming back.

Finally, branding helps us to create emotional connection with our customers...which helps us to build a solid number of loyal customers.

What is the importance and relevance of attending MR&H?

In our vision there are two great perks of visiting events like MR&H. On one hand, it is a great way to be updated on the trends of the sector. Think of it as a live, concentrated example of the tourism panorama. And secondly, it gives us the opportunity to present our project and show what we are working on, as we are sure it fits with the vision of many investors, REITs and/or owners that will be attending.

Suárez will be speaking on Brand Appeal: CEOs on Branding in the Resort Market on Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 9:30 -10:15 a.m. For more information on the speakers confirmed to attend MR&H 2019, please visit www.mrandh.com.