Unique Experiences, Exceptional TreamentSat, 12/01/2018 - 14:46
Q: What are the main challenges and opportunities Four Seasons encounters in Mexico?
A: The most important challenge, and probably the reason why there are not that many Four Seasons in Mexico, is that destinations must support luxury hospitality. This challenge differs from other Latin American countries where the most significant hurdle is sometimes public policy, which makes it more difficult for us to develop projects. Mexico is friendly with Four Seasons; we have been in the country for 23 years, so having public policies that promote the development of these projects is a great advantage.
Q: How does Four Seasons innovate while at the same time continue to offer its traditional high-quality service?
A: Luxury travelers look for something that is fairly consistent: the treatment they receive and the feeling they get whenever they arrive at a luxury hotel. This is the DNA of what we do and it will never change. However, millennials and newer generations have a different mindset in terms of brand loyalty. Social networks have changed the way we communicate with our clients so we have been forced to evolve. Technology has been an important focus for the brand, which is why we developed an app with a chat where people can ask anything and we immediately answer. Another change is that you cannot promote the hotel just by showing pictures of the rooms, the restaurants or the spa. Today, it is not about promoting the hotel; it is more about promoting the destination, what makes that place different and what culinary experiences are available. People want to experience the culture.
In addition, Airbnb has changed everything. The question we are facing is how to compete against these new players. They are not Ritz Carlton or St. Regis, our traditional competition. These changes have forced us to adapt so we can continue being relevant. Still, I can say that our competitive advantage will always be how we treat people when they arrive at the hotel. Regardless of technology or hotel facilities, guests pay for the way hotels make them feel and that is something that will never change.
Q: What strategies has Four Seasons implemented to remain the top choice for travelers?
A: In 2016, we completed the renovation of our Mexico City hotel, which included the modernization of its appearance and design. We have opened a new restaurant, Il Becco, which is recognized as one of the best Italian restaurants in the city and we also added a new bar, Fifty Mils, which was recently recognized as one of the best bars in the world. Our Zanaya restaurant was also named among the Top 100 best restaurants in Mexico. This new gastronomic offer has positioned us not as the old Four Seasons but as a new hotel that maintains its reputation.
We continue focusing on providing exceptional treatment for our guests; that is our added value, regardless of who we are competing with. The most important thing is to anticipate the needs of each guest, since the small details are what make the difference between a luxury hotel and its competitors.
Q: How can the industry foster the growth of the sector?
A: The country has done an impressive job promoting its beach destinations but we need to do a better job in promoting city destinations and the entire Pueblos Mágicos offering. Of all the Pueblos Mágicos in the country, San Miguel de Allende has done the most to become well-known. These efforts need to be replicated in the rest of the town and in Mexico City.
Q: What are Four Seasons’ plans in the short term and what role do you want to play in showcasing a new face of Mexico?
A: In a medium term, Mexico will be the country with the greatest number of Four Seasons in the world after the US and China. The idea is to take advantage of the country’s momentum. Four Seasons will continue betting on Mexico’s tourism potential by developing its hotels and positioning Mexico City as the new place to visit.