Core values key to Golden Tulip success

A healthy Gulf market, available opportunities and very hard work helped Golden Tulip Hotels, Inn and Resorts thrive during 2007. TTN spoke to Dr Amine Moukarzel, senior vice president and managing director MENA region

“Overall, Golden Tulip has seen an average increase of 25 per cent in revenues and profits during the past year, and we have seen a substantial rise in business, not only in the takings, but also in occupancy levels, year on year.

We are seeing a continuation of that trend in 2008, where we experienced an increase of 17 per cent in the first two months of this year alone,” said Moukarzel. 
Regarding the Golden Tulips RevPAR levels, Moukarzel said that as the brand has a mix of three star Tulip Inn hotels, four star Golden Tulips, and five star Royal Tulip properties, and because of this, “our RevPAR ranges. It is currently running between the high 70s and high 90s, year round. The return on investment is currently 15 to 18 per cent in most cases, and this too has grown steadily year on year.”
Reports on new and existing properties were healthy too. “In recent times, we have doubled our property portfolio. This included opening a stunning four star Golden Tulip in Dibba, Oman, last year, which went on to win a MENA Award. We also launched the Royal Tulip, our five star hotel and spa concept, last year,” said Moukarzel.
More is on the cards for Golden Tulip for 2008, and Moukarzel stated that the company had, “…entered into an agreement with a Saudi based investment company to open a hotel in every major city in the Kingdom, which will increase our presence there from four hotels to nine over the next few years.
“The Royal Tulip brand will also really take off regionally. We have plans to open a 118 room hotel in Dubai in the third quarter of 2008. We also have a Royal Tulip under development Doha; one in Oman on the shores of Dhofar; one in Jordan; and I am proud to announce that we have recently entered into an agreement to open a Royal Tulip with 330 rooms on the Dead Sea. All in all, we are now set to have an excellent mix of three, four and five star properties.”
The group has operates 27 hotels in the four star category, with a further eight under development. “Those 27 hotels have provided the momentum and the means for hotels to continue to open right up until 2010,” said Moukarzel.
“We aim to have 10 Royal Tulips by 2010, including those operating and under construction. Similarly, we aim to have 35 Golden Tulip hotels by 2010, and 15 Tulip Inn’s by 2010. The momentum of growth is very promising and very attainable.” 
Moukarzel believes the key to their success lies in Golden Tulip’s core values. “Our achievements stem from our integrity, and as a result of delivering on our promise of international standards, local flavours. We will continue to use our youth, passion, energy and experience in the local markets to drive the business forward.
“In the end it is all about creating ambassadors for your brand, whether those ambassadors are staff, customers or owners. Once you have ambassadors, there’s no stopping the enthusiasm for the brand – it’s contagious,” he concluded.