- Özgür Töre
Despite a scenario of economic and political uncertainty in 2019, Iberostar Group ended the year with a revenue of 2,35 billion euros, 5% higher than in 2018, excluding the results for Almundo.com for both years.
It has also created 2,000 new jobs, bringing the total worldwide to more than 34,000 employees.
2020 looks set to be an exciting and ambitious year for the Iberostar Group, immersed in consolidating its leadership of responsible tourism through its 2030 agenda. The company is convinced that responsible tourism is a core element that encompasses all aspects of the business, beginning with the construction of the hotel and extending to care for the environment, people’s welfare, healthy gastronomy and entertainment that combines fun with instilling young people with values.
The result is a differentiated guest experience characterized by outstanding quality, imbued by the Group’s DNA and associated with its brand objectives. An experience that is complemented by major investments in commercial intelligence, efficiency, talent and digital transformation that will outline key aspects for the future – which has already arrived - of our hotel chain, which this year will be embarking on a carefully thought-out expansion plan.
2020 expansion plans
The Iberostar Group is set to open 11 new hotels in 2020. The city hotels segment will continue to grow with three major openings: the five-star Iberostar Grand Fontana di Trevi, situated in the heart of Rome; the Iberostar Selection Teatro Albéniz, the group’s second hotel in Madrid and a five-star property boasting a prime location next to the Puerta del Sol; and the Iberostar Selection Miraflores, a four star city hotel in the center of Lima, Peru. These new hotels’ form part of the chain’s city hotels segment: flagship buildings in prime locations in the heart of the world’s most outstanding tourist cities.
The Iberostar Group also remains committed to traditional destinations such as Majorca, where it currently operates 17 hotels. This number will soon be increased with the Iberostar Heritage Llum Portocolom, a five-star hotel located in a fishing harbor and decorated with organic materials, and the Iberostar Cala Domingos, a family hotel boasting a prime beachfront location. The Group is also continuing with its expansion strategy in Montenegro, where it will be opening three new hotels: the Iberostar Bijela Delfín and Iberostar Bijela Park, 2 four star hotels that are great for families, and the five star Iberostar Selection Kumbor, standing on the seafront at Kotor Bay. Company sights also remain firmly set on Cuba, where it will also be opening three new hotels: the Iberostar Selection Almirante, the only five-star hotel on Guardalavaca beach; the Iberostar Selection Esmeralda in Cayo Cruz and the Iberostar Bella Costa situated on the beachfront at Varadero. 2020 will also bring major progress and consolidation of a number of new projects in destinations such as Los Cabos and Litibú (Mexico) and Aruba.
The hotel portfolio is a company priority in terms of quality and growth. Investment decisions are based on innovation criteria that guarantee maximum care of the environment. 2020 will see the reopening of the fully renovated Iberostar Royal Andalus, on La Barrosa beach (Andalusia, Spain) and the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus (Bayahibe, Dominican Republic). They join the ranks of the Iberostar Selection Bávaro and the Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Bávaro that have also been renovated throughout. Coral Level is a new hotel concept designed to offer guests a superior experience in exclusive spaces within a resort. In addition to full access to all the resort’s amenities and facilities, guests can also enjoy their own lounge, private beach area, an outdoor pool and a buffet restaurant featuring show cooking or á la carte dining, as well as a range of other personalized services, special discounts and gourmet services.
As Sabina Fluxà, the Iberostar Group’s Vice-Chairman and CEO explained, “thanks to the hard work and dedication of all, we are positioned at the forefront of quality-based responsible tourism. We share a holistic vision of responsible tourism that therefore extends to all our processes. Starting with responsible building methods, we add our values and unique DNA, a philosophy based on healthy nutrition, our guests’ physical wellbeing and value-based entertainment for our younger guests. Yet none of this would be possible without the very finest talent and a strong sense of technological and commercial intelligence”.
The Iberostar Group’s commitment and leadership in the field of responsible tourism, seen as a twofold commitment to people and the environment, obtained ample recognition at the latest edition of London’s WTM, where the Wave of Change movement received two major awards. The Group is making excellent progress in all three areas included in the Wave of Change – namely the elimination of single use plastics and the move towards a circular economy, the promotion of responsible fish consumption, and care for coastal health – obtaining outstanding results, a number of which are listed below:
- Single-use plastics have been eliminated from all rooms around the world, which in 2019 cut plastic waste by 523 tons.
- The chain is the first in Spain, and the fourth in Europe to obtain the Chain of Custody standard for sustainable fish. There are currently 7 certified restaurants in Spain, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. In the first 18 months following certification, a total of 130 tons of this type of fish was consumed and 75 new specific products were certified. 15% of the suppliers, accounting for more than 60% of the total amount of fish consumed, also hold this certification.
- The company is moving ahead with research into coastal health from its coral lab in the Dominican Republic, which opened in June 2019.
- This year, the Iberostar del Mar university chair, set up by the Group in collaboration with the University of the Balearic Islands, has granted 10 scholarships for the marine ecology studies.
For 2020, the Iberostar Group is positioning the circular economy at the center of its strategy. An example of this commitment is the company’s membership of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE 100 Network, a world leader in circular economy. As a result, the company is now directly involved in a pre-competitive innovation program designed to introduce innovative initiatives into the tourism sector. In December 2019, Iberostar also joined the Business Ambition for 1.5 °C campaign, a UN initiative aimed at achieving zero emissions by 2050.
The Iberostar Groups’ 2030 Agenda is based on 3 main goals and 5 major undertakings. The goals are intended to (i) satisfy the vision shared with guests regarding responsible tourism and increasing the number of customers that choose the chain’s hotels for the differentiated value provided by Wave of Change; (ii) continue leading the way towards increasingly responsible tourism and (iii) increase the private sector’s commitment to caring for oceans. Achieving these goals will only be possible through the dedicated involvement of all Iberostar’s stakeholders, including employees, guests, suppliers, partners and administrations. As for the five major undertakings, they are as follows:
- All Iberostar hotels will be single use plastic free in all areas by the end of 2020; waste free by 2025 and net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
- 100% of the fish and shellfish consumed in Iberostar will be responsibly sourced by 2025.
- Iberostar will invest in the health of the ecosystems in all its hotel locations, and undertakes to secure improvements to it by 2030, thereby boosting the tourist quality of its destinations.
- By 2023, 90% of guests staying with Iberostar will be aware of the Wave of Change movement, which by 2025 will be one of the key reasons why 60% of guests choose Iberostar.
- The number of hotels in Iberostar’s portfolio holding the Iberostar’s own responsible tourism certification or that of its verified partners will have doubled by 2030.
Gloria Fluxà, the Iberostar Group’s Vice-Chairman & Chief Sustainability Officer, explained that “Tourism is one of the fastest evolving sectors, and therefore sustainable growth has become a crucial issue. The industry is rising to the challenge with ambitious undertakings, ranging from the creation of a new economy for the use of plastics in tourism to the setting of ambitious carbon neutrality goals for the entire sector. Here at the Iberostar Group we are going even further, seeking to guarantee the health of all ecosystems by 2030, in the understanding that more urgent actions are required to protect the oceans’ biodiversity”.