On Tuesday, June 8, we had the Smart Talk: Vision of Regional Development, where Mario Carbone, Managing Director of Hilton in Mexico and Central America, was able to share and comment on the development of the brand and the opportunities that have presented themselves during the course of the current Covid-19 pandemic. We invite you to continue reading about this very interesting article, which will be to your liking.
Before and prior to the launch of the presentation, Mario Carbone shared and commented to us in general, different topics related to the Hilton Brand. From issues such as the development of the brand, innovation and the use of digitization, measures, and actions of adaptability in relation to the current conjuncture, the processes of reopening at the regional level of the Caribbean and Mexico, the structures of trust with the client, among other points.
Beginning the conversation, Mario Carbone explained that the Hilton brand globally has a presence in approximately 115 countries, having more than 6,600 hotels globally and 2,600 developing hotels, The Hilton is considered a tourist power in the hotel business. In relation to the Central American and Caribbean regions, Hilton currently has 96 open hotels and 40 more developing hotels.
As we come and/or feel the process of reopening in the Caribbean region of Mexico, Mario Carbone details his own interesting impressions and observes that holiday tourism is one of the segments that is beginning to take off very strongly. We know very well that one of the tourists who visit Mexico most are the Americans, since the United States borders Mexico, which makes it an ideal destination for these tourists. The region that is having an increase in visits by American holiday tourists is Cancun. Mario Carbone tells us that this trend is due to desire factors on the part of these tourists, since many of them, having been locked up for so long in their homes, already decide to go out and travel to the Caribbean region of Mexico. Like Cancun, the regions of Los Cabos and Vallarta are also presenting the same event of increased visit by the American holiday tourist, which is helping the recovery of all tourist activity. An interesting matter is that in Los Cabos the rate so far from 2021 is higher than it was in the 2019 pre-pandemic. This data shows us that the Caribbean region of Mexico is increasingly recovering and showing that the purchasing power of this new tourist profile has increased compared to the previous profile of the pre-pandemic tourist.
On the issue of investments, conversion models have not only continued during the pandemic, but have increased with respect to previous years, especially in destinations such as Cancun, Los Cabos and Vallarta. Usually, of all franchise contracts signed by Hilton, 25% were conversions; however, since 2020, this percentage has increased to 40%, due to the fact that in times of crisis such as the one we are currently experiencing, independent hotel owners choose to be part of a chain with broad strength and positioning to support them to maintain and expand their market in order to continue in the industry, with access to media such as the Hilton Honors loyalty program and a powerful distribution portal that does not rely on intermediaries.
As for the trust factor, Hilton has implemented a cancellation policy, which has yielded good results as an effective, flexible, efficient and effective policy. This policy is that if a change of plans is presented, either by the hotel or the tourist, these should not be penalized, that is, without applying penalties for cancellation of reservations. With this policy implemented Hilton seeks to maintain and consolidate a trust with its client, not only for the short term, but also for the long term. In addition, the Workspaces by Hilton program was launched, where rooms are equipped with equipment, such as printers and monitors, to convert them into offices used by guests who wish to do telework, maintaining services such as room service. In addition, to meet the hygiene and sanitation requirements demanded today, Hilton has further elevated its cleaning protocols by creating the Hilton CleanStay program in partnership with RB, a company that produces the disinfectant brands Lysol and Dettol, in addition to the support of the Mayo Clinic to offer training to its employees in order to provide greater confidence to guests through a cleaner and safer stay.
Finally, regarding the use of technological innovation, Mario Carbone tells us that the acceleration of technology has been transformed, generating solutions that guarantee the satisfaction of customers and the transformation of their services. In this regard, Hilton has accelerated the implementation in the region of its mobile application through which a virtual key can be obtained; in this way, once the check-in is done, you can enter the room with the use of the application key, avoiding having a physical key. Also, while face-to-face meetings and events will return due to the incalculable value of physical contact, an interesting trend of growth of hybrid events is being seen, as they would increase the presence, since it allows to expand the audience to be larger events that combine the audience and the audience through the virtual medium.
If you are interested or want to see this smart talk, we invite you to watch it and enjoy clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dTSUvGklyE&t=2659s
We also invite you to access our homepage of Smart Tourism & Hospitality Consulting, where you can access, register, and attend free of charge the talks and/or conferences we have about tourism. https://www.smart-thc.com/