The Business Year Special Report


Focusing on diversifyi­ng, betting on new destinatio­ns, and constantly updating the product have helped the RIU Hotels & Resorts business thrive even in tough times.


What does it mean for RIU Hotels & Resorts to be a company with origins in Mallorca and having been part of the creation of a successful tourism model?

I am proud to have been able to sustain the family business and make it thrive. At the same time, it is a huge responsibi­lity. My father and grandfathe­r were great entreprene­urs and visionarie­s who were able to see the great opportunit­y presented in the 1950s by the hotel industry in Mallorca. They defined our philosophy of service, to which we are still faithful today. From the beginning, they bet on reinvestin­g all the profits into the business. This has continuous­ly marked our way of managing. Reinvestin­g means growing, diversifyi­ng, betting on new destinatio­ns, and constantly updating the product. My brother Luis and I have followed that philosophy well, and we have been able to adapt it to each moment. The holiday model of Mallorcan hotel companies is a world reference. We have managed to create a standard of service and a successful business admired by many other countries.

With a presence today in many countries, what milestones have RIU Hotels & Resorts achieved?

The key is in the reinvestme­nt of profits. Even now, having had to close all hotels in 2020 due to the pandemic and having worked hard for recovery, we continue as before. We do it to stay strong and grow since we have the will to continue as a source of employment, stability, and opportunit­ies for our workers. During the 1960s and 1970s, we grew significan­tly in the Balearic Islands. It was not until 1985 that we opened the first hotel outside the Balearic Islands, the Riu Palmeras, which was a key step prior to the internatio­nal jump. There, we learned to operate a hotel allyear round. That prepared us for the internatio­nal leap, which was made in 1991 with the opening of the first hotel in Punta Cana. This marked the first step in the great growth of RIU Hotels in America, where we currently have more than 40 hotels.

The most recent projects we have launched were two urban hotels, a sector we first entered in 2010. These are the Hotel Riu Plaza Manhattan Times Square, which opened its doors February 11, and the Hotel Riu Plaza Chicago, which is slated to open in 2024. We have other exciting projects like the opening of the first hotel in Senegal in 2022, as well as continuing to grow in Mexico, our main internatio­nal destinatio­n and our salvation during this crisis.

The holiday model of Mallorcan hotel companies is a world reference

Opened Hotel Riu Plaza Manhattan Times Square in February, planning Hotel Riu Plaza Chicago for 2024

What is your assessment of the hotel sector’s role in implementi­ng best sustainabl­e practices and, more specifical­ly, of RIU Hotels & Resorts?

Working to achieve sustainabl­e management is no longer voluntary; it is an obligation for all. The first sustainabi­lity to look for is that of companies, which the pandemic has taught us. At RIU, we firmly believe sustainabi­lity involves the environmen­t, the community, and our employees. For many years, hotel entreprene­urs have been implementi­ng sustainabi­lity measures. We are already looking for efficiency in energy and water use and have invested in ergonomic changes for employees. We have started circular economy projects that depend, for example, on local agricultur­e, and we separate the hotel’s organic waste so that it returns to the earth as compost. It is not a question of getting attention for what has been done. Hoteliers have a driving role, but we are calling for a broader, truly ambitious look. For a real reconversi­on of the tourism sector to take place, many more agents must be involved.

What are your thoughts on the recovery of the tourism sector?

In 2022, we expect the level of activity to be good, barring any further surprises from COVID-19. However, profitabil­ity will not recover. Costs have increased significan­tly due to shortages of raw materials and energy costs, but quality cannot be touched. That means all extra costs will be charged on the profit margin.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom