Ernesto Coppel
Grupo Pueblo Bonito Hotels and Resorts
View from the Top

Selling Top Quality Occupations, Destinations

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:13

Q: What strategy is behind Grupo Pueblo Bonito’s growth?

A: We have always favored the same strategy: offering a topquality product and honesty in our sales. These two priorities have earned us the prestige we enjoy around the world. The attitude of our people has also been key and is a direct reflection of management’s attitude.

A company’s leadership must set the tone for the entire business and that is something I have worked tirelessly on; having a positive attitude and being committed to the client and to the job.

Q: Pueblo Bonito hotels are well-known for their luxury allinclusive concept. How has this concept and other trends changed the luxury hotel experience?

A: For several years, we were wrongly opposed to the allinclusive concept because it had a negative image and was associated with a low-value proposition. However, the concept has evolved. For Pueblo Bonito, adherence to the all-inclusive concept in its operations has permitted us to diversify the total income of our companies. Before the implementation of the all-inclusive strategy, 90 percent of our guests dined at restaurants outside the hotel. Now, they all dine in the hotel.

The time-share concept revolutionized the touristic industry in Mexico and as a result the country has enjoyed occupancy rates and incomes that are higher than in other places. It is true that we cannot stop trends such as Airbnb but we are not that affected. It is a very useful tool, particularly for those who have a house they do not use that much. However, I do not think that it is impacting the time-share industry that much.

Q: How can best practices implemented in destinations like Los Cabos be transmitted to others like Mazatlan, which is a lagging destination?

A: The development of a destination such as Los Cabos adheres to the fact that it is one of a kind. From its inception in the 1950s, it was branded as expensive. It was a destination that received former US and Mexican presidents, which gave Los Cabos a certain exclusivity that other destinations in Mexico lack.

This combined with the boom of other destinations such as Cancun or Ixtapa made Mazatlan a trailing destination. By the time Pueblo Bonito opened operations in Mazatlan, it had already been branded as a cheap destination.

Another factor that adds to Los Cabos’ success is the nationality of its visitors, since tourism is 99 percent from the US while in Mazatlan tourism is divided between national and US tourists.

Q: Mexico is among the top 10 countries visited in the world but income from tourists is comparatively low. How can the industry boost that?

A: It depends heavily on the destination. For instance, in Los Cabos, the real-estate sector is extremely expensive and generates US$1 billion per year, without considering the time-share business, which must be around US$800 million. On a weekend, Los Cabos easily receives 50 private jets coming from the US. In Los Cabos, the main source of income is not hotels but real estate.

Q: What should be the touristic priorities for Mexico in the coming years?

A: We need to keep offering quality across the entire sector: hotels, restaurants, real estate and so on. We need quality but we also need to work on controlling the international perception of Mexico. With these two things, we can position the country as a top destination globally.