Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts’ decision to streamline its offering into distinct categories and experiences has helped agents better sell Bahia Principe properties to their clients. The move has been a win-win all around, says Helen Montijano, VP Sales & Marketing USA & Canada, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, in this edition of Friday 5.
1. Bahia Principe now has 4 hotel categories: Luxury Bahia Principe, the brand’s most luxurious properties; Grand Bahia Principe, which features five-star hotels; Sunlight Bahia Principe, featuring all the brand’s Spain-based properties; and Fantasia Bahia Principe, family-friendly themed hotels. How have these new categories simplified the selling process for agents?
“We have such a strong variety of resorts throughout the Caribbean and Mexico that appeal to various market segments, that we found it could be complicated for agents to discern which would be the best to fit their client’s needs. By introducing our portfolio rebranding we helped simplify the selling process for agents by helping consumers identify which Bahia Principe hotel will best fulfill their vacation goals.”
2. Bahia Principe is also classifying its offering by experiences. Was this initiative received well by the trade?
“Yes, introducing segmented experiences has taken the rebranding a step further and further helps our trade partners to ensure guest satisfaction. The three segments – Family & Friends, offering a wholesome experience for multigenerational groups; Escape, for adults-only properties; and Treasure, focusing on hotels in unique locations – are all characterized by differences in four key offerings that provide the highest satisfaction: gastronomy, drinks, sports and entertainment. For example, the entertainment at a Family & Friends Experience resort will be different than one in an Escape Experience property.
“Another initiative received well by the trade includes group specials such as for every eight-paying guests, one stays free, and several updated wedding packages, including a free weddings package at 17 select Bahia Principe properties.”
3. The Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar just had its grand opening ceremony. What’s new about the property and what makes it special?
“The adult-only hotel Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar allows guests to enjoy our Escape Experience – the most sophisticated segment in our portfolio, for adults seeking accommodations, entertainment and programming created with them in mind. We invested more than US$26 million to renovate this five star, 528-room beachfront hotel, adding swim-up suites, revamped restaurants as well as a sports bar and fitness centre. In its first few months of operation, the property had already maintained 94% occupancy with a significant increase in guest satisfaction.
“Examples of Escape-specific entertainment this hotel offers include a burlesque show, rock show and silent disco. Escape Experience also features a heightened culinary offer that brings together the latest trends in gastronomy and mixology as part of the all-inclusive concept.”
4. What’s on the horizon going forward through 2019 and into 2020 for Bahia Principe in terms of renovations and new resorts?
“The majority of our focus right now is in continuing to roll out the rebranding by updating our offerings at each of our properties and educating our travel partners on these initiatives, so they are equipped with all the tools necessary to successfully sell Bahia Principe.
“Aside from that we’ve confirmed looking forward through 2019 and 2020 Grand Bahia Principe Tulum will be going through a major renovation.”’
5. Bahia Principe said ‘thank you’ to its agent partners with a Dec. 2018 agent appreciation night in Toronto. How important are travel agents for Bahia Principe and what can you tell us about the incentives and programs Bahia Principe offers to the trade?
“Travel agents are incredibly valuable to our brand. Bahia Principe Rewards is uniquely designed for travel professionals who seek to stay in the know of the latest brand news. The rewards program offers partners the information and tools necessary to best provide their clients with exceptionally planned vacations and the opportunity to experience happiness. Agents can earn points year-round by completing online courses and booking hotel stays which can be redeemed for perks including complimentary stays, excursion discounts, spa treatments and more. Previous offers to trade include seven-night all expenses paid trips with airfare and transfers included, doubled rewards on group, MICE and wedding bookings, and more.
“We are also excited to have announced a new addition to our team last month, Michelle Grenier, as account manager for the Quebec market. Michelle will be responsible for implementing business, communication and marketing initiatives to increase the sales and visibility of the brand throughout Quebec, a large source market for the Bahia Principe brand.”