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Iberostar Group has officially announced its new brand strategy, which includes redefined hotel segmentations, a redesigned brand identity and a project committed to sustainability. The strategy will continue to be rolled out in the coming year.
"We remain as excited and enthusiastic as when we started [the business], because the quality of our products and the satisfaction of everyone that entrusts their holidays to us form the driving force behind everything we do,” said Sabina Fluxà, Iberostar’s vice-chairman and CEO, during an event held at Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via in Madrid. “We are now taking a major step forward in what is a key development for the business, repositioning it and setting even higher standards.”
At a press conference following the event, Luis Mota, chief strategy and finance officer for Iberostar, reiterated Fluxà’s sentiment.
“We’ve been listening to our closest network to be able to identify who we are and what we want to show to the world, and that’s what’s inspired this change,” he said.
Portfolio SegmentationIberostar’s portfolio is now divided into three segments: city hotels, ocean resorts and classic and heritage hotels. (Hotels are currently listed by destination on Iberostar’s website, but this will change as the new strategy is rolled out.)
City hotels can be found in major cities, such as Iberostar Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal; open since October 2017, the property is Iberostar’s first hotel in the country. The hotel segment also includes Iberostar’s foray into the U.S., with the opening of two city properties: New York City’s Iberostar 70 Park Avenue in June 2016 and Miami’s Iberostar Berkeley last August. City hotels include Grand (luxury hotels) and Iberostar (four-star hotels).
Ocean resorts showcase beachfront locations and fall within the categories of Grand, Selection (five-star resorts only under the ocean segment) or Iberostar.
Finally, heritage hotels comprise the brand’s newest segment. These will include hotels in the Grand and Iberostar categories.
New IdentityAlong with a new tagline of “Let It Shine,” the company has revealed a new, modernized logo, and branding colors will correspond with a specific segment. Ocean resorts will have a turquoise color; city hotels will feature a “cosmos blue;” and heritage hotels will follow a sage green color scheme. Grand hotels across the segments will have a coral color.
The new corporate identity will be phased into hotels in multiple stages.
Oceans ProjectIberostar has also declared its commitment to sustainable development, with special emphases on people and the ocean. For its Oceans Project, the company’s three goals include promoting sustainable fishing; reducing plastic pollution; and conserving and protecting coral reefs. Initiatives will range from including only seasonal fish on menus and eliminating single-use plastic items to providing education for employees and other stakeholders. Most recently, Iberostar began cultivating coral nurseries in the Dominican Republic.
What’s to ComeDuring the press conference, Aurelio Vasquez, COO of Iberostar, explained that this is a new era for Iberostar, as the company is well-positioned financially for growth. This includes additional assets in the Americas expected to open by the end of 2019: In the pipeline are an Iberostar Heritage hotel in Santo Domingo and a city hotel in Lima, Peru.
Iberostar also has invested more than $610 million in the brand over the last six years, with 70 percent of its portfolio undergoing renovations. The next few years will see continued investments into the remainder of the portfolio.
Mota underlined Iberostar’s commitment to travel agents, reporting that trade partners will be informed of the company’s changes via training and other mediums.
“The trade is a really important part of our distribution,” Mota said. “As everyone else, we are working very actively to develop our direct sales to consumers, but we never forget about the trade.”