Crowne Plaza Santiago is one of the most thriving properties in Chilean hospitality, to learn more about its current status, we have exclusively interviewed its general manager Leandro Bertolotto. We share his responses below:
The property you manage has been reborn as a result of a great human and economic effort, where are you today and how do you describe the whole process?
Thanks to the great commitment and loyalty of all collaborators, we have been able to start operations after 18 months of being closed. First, the social outbreak of October 2019 and then the Pandemic from March 2020 caused us to temporarily close operations. In April 2021 we were able to start operating as a Health Residence, supporting the country at a time when it was most needed, serving all the people who needed special care to recover from Covid. This stage was very important and extreme for all of us, it demonstrated the strength of each one of us to face new health protocols in order to guarantee that we were always healthy while fulfilling this important responsibility. Finally, after applying all the Cleaning protocols that IHG has established,
The pandemic has changed the rules of hospitality, one of the variants that is growing most strongly is bleisure, how do you prepare for this type of client?
Business travel has been transformed in the process and its convergence with leisure travel, travelers are rapidly adopting new and more flexible behaviors shaping the future of blended travel, including booking more time off during work trips, lengthening stays in rest destinations to work, or simply take advantage of technology and connectivity to work remotely from anywhere in the world.
In this context, Crowne Plaza Santiago is positioned as an ideal option to deal with this nascent segment in transformation to the new era of mixed trips in Chile. In the next stage of remodeling during 2023 we are going to incorporate all the new concepts designed by Crowne Plaza, such as the Plaza Workspace multipurpose concept, offering a personalized approach, which translates into being able to have combinations of options, from modern hybrid spaces to the traveler, with Possibilities of sharing furniture to increase collaboration between the group, organizing small or large meetings with a very high technological level focused on achieving productivity with options that inspire you in body and mind.
Undoubtedly, the positioning of the brand is strong, but how do you work to boost demand in new markets?
Our strategy is to be able to maximize our income without losing opportunities. We know that returning to operations takes time. Our commercial team is focused on capturing new markets, new niches that have emerged as a result of all the changes that are taking place in the world. It's a matter of being very aggressive, not letting your guard down and going out looking for customers.
Santiago de Chile is a traditionally important place in business tourism, how do you evaluate 2022 and what forecasts are there taking into account the removal of restrictions by the government?
For us, 2022 has been very important, we have resumed operations in a responsible manner, showing solid growth month by month, the level of service we offer is being evaluated very positively by our clients, the main key to this achievement. , is having been able to keep our old collaborators, who have the commitment, dedication and affection that they have always shown.
In relation to the removal of restrictions by the Government, from a health point of view we remain attentive to the health of our collaborators and our clients, providing the necessary assistance as required.
MICE is back globally and the hotel has an infrastructure to hold events, what is your vision of this segment?
This segment is crucial for the growth of occupancy in hotels, it allows a level of volume necessary to reach the established goals, we are already noticing the return of conventions in certain markets of our region. We are prepared to welcome you and offer you our best service.
After the reset, which source markets have worked best for you? Are they the ones that traditionally used to be strong or has that changed?
The travel agency market has worked very well for us, especially during the snow season in Chile. In addition, the music events market has been quickly restored, the corporate segment is recovering a little slower than it used to be.
The main source markets remain the same, but the participation of the Chilean market has increased significantly this year vs. 2019 (from 31% in 2019 to 71% in 2022). This is due to the restrictions on entering the country that were in force until October of this year and made the Chilean market our main client. It is followed by the Brazilian market with 8% and the North American market with 4%.
There are two axes on which tourism is focusing today: sustainability and social responsibility, how do you work on these two issues?
For us, social responsibility and sustainability are fundamental axes for our operation, having kept most of our collaborators active demonstrates a high level of social responsibility, as far as possible we continue to support some organizations that most need our support, to At the same time we are focused on being friendly to the environment, we have a project underway that will allow us to replace the plastic bottles of the amenities that are placed in the bathroom daily, with larger volume containers, which allow the content to be used without discarding the packaging, in this way we will greatly reduce the consumption of plastic.