Carlos Couturier
Managing Partner
Grupo Habita

A Unique Experience in a Trending Destination

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:23

Tourism is on the rise in Mexico and if hotels want to be successful, they will stand a better chance if they are unique, suggests Carlos Couturier, managing partner of Grupo Habita, pointing to his group’s hotels as an example. “Every hotel is different and designed according to its location, environment and community,” he says.

Grupo Habita has been the leader in the Mexican boutique hotel market for 17 years, with 12 hotels in the country: five in Mexico City, two in Veracruz and one in Acapulco, Puebla, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Puerto Escondido. The group is also expanding internationally, including destinations such as New York and Chicago.

For the Mexican hotel group, promoting the growth of the country’s tourism industry is a priority, especially given the implications for future generations. In 2016, the country received 35 million international tourists, according to SECTUR, a nine percent increase from what was registered in 2015. The industry understands that tourism can help consolidate Mexico’s economic and social growth. Last year, Mexico received more than US$19.5 billion in tourism activities. The occupation percentage of the 70 touristic centers in the country was 60 percent, seven points better than in 2015. Of the tourists, 76 percent were local and 24 percent international, while both beach and city locations improved their bookings and tariffs over the previous year. In 2016, 70 percent of the beaches were occupied and 64 percent of big cities, according to DataTur records.

To grab its share of the growing industry, Grupo Habita’s investment strategy has focused on creating hotels that have different personalities. Each of its hotels is unique, Couturier says, with its own name, architecture, decoration and chef. However, they share the aggregated values of a focus on details, strategic location, authentic mood and the absence of monotony often present at chain hotels. To achieve this goal, Grupo Habita chooses its locations by instinct and usually looks for places with flavor and potential in less developed areas. The company partly attributes its growth to the valuable support of local partners who are responsible for providing area know-how. “Our hotel operations are 100 percent self-sufficient. We only invest in hotels created and developed by us,” says Couturier.

Its approach to hospitality is easily transferred to the group’s international setting. Says Couturier: “Foreigners are attracted by the philosophy of uniqueness, kindness, Latin style and especially by our anti-franchise ideal.” This has motivated the group to expand operations and make plans to develop five projects in 2017: Los Angeles, Austin, Mexico City, Puebla and La Paz. The group is also interested in exploring the possibilities of entering Cuba and Canada.

Grupo Habita will continue collaborating in the growth of the industry by attracting tourists who value quality and appreciate good customer service and authenticity. “For 2017, we want to continue consolidating, improving what can be improved, earn trust and contribute to making a better Mexico for future generations,” says Couturier.