Business & Finance

Swissôtel, an AccorHotels Brand, Enters the Bosnian Market via Franchise Agreement with Al Shiddi International

KLOTEN, CH. April 24, 2017 - Swissôtel, part of AccorHotels, world-leading travel & lifestyle group, today announced that it has entered into a franchise agreement with Al Shiddi International for development of a new 218-room urban resort scheduled to open in early 2018. Situated next to Bosnian Parliament, within the expansive mixed use Sarajevo City Center project, consisting of shopping mall and office tower with 30,000 daily visitors, Swissôtel Sarajevo will enjoy a commanding downtown commercial and residential location, as a new landmark for Sarajevo, close to top attractions and Sarajevo International Airport.

The project is being developed and operated by Al Shiddi International from Riyadh, one of the prominent investment companies in Saudi Arabia with an extensive portfolio of investments locally and globally featuring financial services, real estate, agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and retail. Interiors are designed by Scott Brownrigg Associates, a leading UK hotel design firm with extensive experience in high end hotel development across Europe, hotel will offer scenic all-glass views of the downtown and mountains, stunning guestrooms featuring spacious bedrooms. Completing the guest experience will be a private executive club, three exquisite dining outlets, the brand’s signature Pürovel Spa & Sport, and 500 square meters (5,300 square feet) of indoor meeting space with function areas.

“This is an exciting new addition for the Swissôtel brand and a perfect complement to our company’s growing portfolio of city and resort destinations throughout Europe” said Duncan O’Rourke, COO Luxury Brands Europe for AccorHotels. “In keeping with Swissôtel’s brand promise of promoting quality in life, the resort will offer a very inspiring atmosphere which will be bolstered with local attributes authentic to the locale. To be pairing an unbelievable urban resort product with the growing organic paradise that Bosnian is becoming known for is nothing short of magic.”

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with AccorHotels on this new Swissôtel resort project and look forward to working with them to create a truly world-class property,” said Mr Sulaiman Al Shiddi for Al Shiddi International. “Bosnia is a thriving holiday discovery destination popular with travelers from all over the world who are looking for the ultimate mix of relaxation, adventure and cultural flair; Swissôtel will deliver against this and more. Furthermore, National Geographic has published special addition Western Balkan: Land of Discovery with Bosnia prominently featured as its centerpiece”.

Surrounded by EU member Croatia Bosnia is a country with a population of 4 million. It is one of European leading new discovery vacation hotspots featuring annual 20% increase in the tourist arrival for the past 5 years. It has recently added several direct flights to the Gulf Cooperation Council as is a host to world-famous Sarajevo Film Festival. Bosnia is renowned for its beautiful natural parks, pristine forest, Ottoman architectural treasures, extended waterfalls and rapids, an UNESCO Mostar Bridge site, and distinctive coffee culture.

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, renowned for its Swiss inspired hospitality, is extending its international reach with plans to open a number of new developments in the coming years. Projects are slated for China, India, Russia and Turkey as well as other exciting destinations globally.

About Swissôtel

Conveniently located where travelers want to be, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts provides guests with the opportunity to stay in the heart of more than 30 top locations worldwide, where they can confidently explore the very best each destination has to offer. Synonymous with all there is to love about Switzerland, the brand remains true to its roots, successfully combining genuine Swiss hospitality with intelligent design and local flair. With social responsibility at the forefront and a genuine commitment to positively impact the destinations it calls home, every Swissôtel upholds industry-leading sustainability standards and is committed to treating guests, colleagues, and the environment with equal respect. With social responsibility at the forefront and a genuine commitment to positively impact the destinations it calls home, every Swissôtel upholds industry-leading sustainability standards and is committed to treating guests, colleagues, and the environment with equal respect. This all comes together to provide guests with peace of mind that is authentically Swiss. Part of AccorHotels, a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,100 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 3,000 of the finest private homes around the globe. Swissôtel offers business and leisure guests an authentic and local travel experience that is full of energy, passion and vitality. For more information or reservations, please visit swissotel.com.

About Al Shiddi International

Since its establishment in 1975, Al-Shiddi business group has grown to become of the most successful companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through capital deployment in multiple sectors locally and active global operations, in areas of real estate, construction, agriculture, hospitality, and trade. Group also conducts business internationally, primarily in the United Kindgom and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it is one of the largest foreign investors having already opened 186 rooms luxury Bristol hotel and 420 residential units within Poljine Hills compound.

Contact:
Line Crieloue
line.crieloue@accor.com
+33 7 61 44 10 05

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Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.