In this framework, Travel2latam had the opportunity to talk with Paulina Loeza, Associate Director of International Sales at Grupo Posadas.
What is your perception of this event and the objectives with which they have come to present?
Look, WTM, here in London, is an event that is one of the most important in the tourism industry. And furthermore, it is the event for individual reservations for the individual vacation and corporate tourism segment that closes this year's fairs. There are other events from other segments, but the one for individuals and the one for exposure, vacation tourism and corporate is this event.
And what's more, it is always a very well organized event. Generally one prepares the WTM agenda, one has it closed. a month and a half before the event starts. You have already closed the appointments, the agendas that you have and this fair allows us to review the annual production with the most strategic clients and also to explore a little the strategies for next year and see what our goals will be per quarter in the following years. .
So, it allows us to see not only the performance that we have as a chain, but also how the destinations, at what pace they are evolving and what the new trends are. It is also an event that has a technology pavilion, and that always opens up new things in tourism. There are many events in the year, as we were talking about a moment ago, but this event is very particular because it involves very important commercial negotiations at a strategy level, prices, inventories, commercial commitments and so on, but you also have a great view of what is happening in the industry. tourism and especially lodging, which is where we are focused, where more and more sales are associated with a great trend with technology.
Everyone today has platforms that have a thousand and one functionalities to better distribute your price, your inventory and sell the right rates to the right customer. For all of this to happen, I think that in this event it is very important to go to that pavilion and be with clients, business partners, suppliers who generate this trend of what is happening today in tourism technology.
And being a global event, were the appointments you closed from the United Kingdom, Europe or also other markets?
There are many, many quotes we have from the UK. The United Kingdom is the most important issuing market in Europe to Mexico and the Caribbean, which is where the Posadas group hotels and our nine hotel brands are located. The company has almost 200 hotels operated under nine brands ranging from three-star Bed and Breakfast to Grand Luxury; three stars the One brand, corporate hotels like Fiesta Inn, Fiesta Americana and we have luxury brands, especially here what is most in demand are the beaches, Cancun, the entire Caribbean and also the Pacific, Vallarta, Los Cabos continue to do a lot effort for promotion and then all that means that our appointments or our agenda do have a large percentage of agencies or tour operators or business partners from the United Kingdom and Europe.
Now, as I mentioned a moment ago, technology is closely associated with the sales you make of hotel inventories, and we have commercial partners who are large technology companies that distribute our product to us globally and generally these companies have their headquarters here in Europe and this event is also usually very important for them and where they present their new functionalities, their new platforms...
Technologies can be an effective solution to boost business, those are the technologies that remain in the market and evolve. When there is a technology that only works technically well, but does not complement the business, which is selling the hotel, distributing the hotel, generating or transmitting the concept of the hotel from a technological platform, the platforms that do not achieve this and that They remain only in a technical system, they generally do not survive. So in this event we have that agenda mixed between meetings with commercial partners that are very important from these issuing countries UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany and France to Mexico and the Caribbean and this agenda alternates with companies that have great technology associated with tourism.
It is the end of the season, I would like a reflection on what you have experienced this year, what Grupo Posadas has experienced, and what is the expectation with which they are planning for 2024.
I think it has been a very positive year, with many changes also in the way of seeing the distribution of hotels in tourism, in the different markets. I think that today more than ever, the results for us in terms of sales volume are very positive, double digits for us, which is already a very important growth. Mexico was one of the few countries that remained open during the pandemic. So we receive a large number of tourists as a country, and we as a hotel chain benefit from that development or that trend that occurred in the pandemic. But once all the countries are open, the biggest challenge for us as a country and as a hotel chain, was to continue receiving a high volume of passengers who remained interested in what the destinations of Mexico offer and what we offer as hospitality services. That was the great challenge and I think it was met this year in a very positive way in the different destinations.
We have those passengers who are more sophisticated every day and that has been one of the important challenges because beyond maintaining and increasing the volume of international passengers who arrive at our hotels, it is also strengthening the experience that they live when they stay at our hotels. our hotels, differentiating why it is better or why I choose to stay in a posadas group hotel on my summer vacation or my weekend getaway in the case of domestic views and so on. I think that was one of the most important challenges, in addition to the sales volume that we had to meet.
Like all companies, we have a budget that we not only have to reach, but exceed, but also the entire experience part of the trip and how to renew the stay experience in our hotels so that it is memorable in a world where the traveler is every ever more sophisticated. The issue, for example, of personalization is very important, how you make personalization digital. In other words, in digital channels you translate the experience that the guest wants to live. Every day the digital tools with which we approach clients and guests of our hotels are becoming more powerful so that they live a memorable experience.
This year has also been very marked by the new tourist who is looking to stay in hotels that have social awareness, environmental awareness, and we have great programs, we have a program called "Travel with sense", which includes all the travel protocols. green, all these protocols of taking care of the resources with which the hotels operate, water, electricity, paper, that they are used in a harmonious way with the environment and how you involve the passengers who arrive at your hotel in this type of programs and generate that social awareness that passengers are already looking for. When looking for or reserving a hotel, it is not only important that it is a recognized luxury hotel, but also that it is harmonious with the environment, has this social conscience with its collaborators and so on. It makes me very proud to be in a company that is very aware of this issue and that transmits it in the service we provide to guests every day. I think that has been one of the most marked results of this year.
And of course... The great air connectivity, that there are different airlines that have made Mexico one of its most important destinations to connect from different parts of the world. And how we have been able to take advantage of or give weight to that great connectivity of airlines that arrive to Mexico, Mexico City, Cancún, airports in Guadalajara, Monterrey, which have also been important this year, even for our portfolio, because we mix a very strong vacation portfolio, in the Caribbean and the Pacific, with a corporate portfolio in the most important cities in the country. We have more than 60 destinations in Mexico, between beaches and corporate destinations.
About 2024, what is the idea, the planning? Which destination do you think will be growing in volume compared to others?
Look, we are consolidating the portfolios a lot, growing commercial relationships, promoting those clients that we can have a very good synergy in the technological collection part to distribute our inventories, hoteliers. So in that part we are putting a lot of emphasis on consolidating our portfolio with the clients that we already have clients that over a long history have been evolving with us and the way in which we distribute our hotels. That is a very important trend that we are doing, consolidating with clients who are already in the market and who have been walking with us. It's not that we don't look for new clients, but we do greatly value the business relationships that we have already built throughout these times. Another trend that we see in 2024 is growth.
We hope to grow our sales revenue between 15% and 20%. Average rates are very important to us and how we can take that path and that evaluation with each of our commercial partners in growing the average rates of our hotels that go hand in hand with many efforts that we make in the stay of our brands, which There are nine of them, and they are constantly being renewed. So we have concept renewals in the brands. What we offer now is no longer a premium room, superior room, standard room, but is linked to the experience, because what we no longer sell are ports, but experiences. So we are seeing a lot of this trend of having or how to sophisticate the customer experience.