Grupo Posadas charts an ambitious course for growth through 2011

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Although it already runs 104 hotels with 19,042 guestrooms across Mexico, Grupo Posadas is in the process of becoming quite a bit bigger. In 2007, the firm opened seven hotels and launched luxury brand Aqua. By the end of this year, it plans to have opened 15 new hotels, and similar growth is planned every year through 2011.

This expansion strategy is a response to market dynamics, according to Liliana Franco, marketing director.

"Based on current market research, Grupo Posadas has found that today's travelers are looking for more choices in accommodations when planning their vacations," she said. "At the same time, these travelers are placing an even greater importance on brand identity than ever before. As a result, the company has chosen to provide more options ... by expanding its current portfolio of well-established brands in addition to developing a new lifestyle concept, Aqua."

All but one of the new hotels, the Caesar Park Buenos Aires Obelisco, in Argentina, are opening in Mexico. And all of Grupo Posadas' recent openings are new constructions, except for the Aqua Cancun, the first of the company's hotels to carry the Aqua brand.

Franco said Grupo Posadas used the closure of the Fiesta Americana Grand Aqua Cancun after Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 as an opportunity to develop and put into practice the Aqua concept.

"The resort underwent a full renovation and redesign, focusing on sensory elements such as mood-enhancing aromatherapy, contrasting textures in neutral colors and sleek, modern lines," she said.

Grupo Posadas plans to open two more Aqua properties within two years. First, the Aqua Bosques will debut in Bosques de las Lomas, Mexico City. Franco said the hotel will court business travelers with three celebrity-chef restaurants, a spa and state-of-the-art meetings facilities.

The third Aqua property will open as a newbuild in Acapulco in late 2009.

One of a kind

Another, newer brand slated for large-scale growth is the value-priced One Hotels collection, which will debut five hotels by year's end. Grupo Posadas introduced One Hotels in 2006; the brand is priced lower than the Fiesta Inn brand, "providing practical and simple spaces at accessible prices," Franco said.

One Hotels outlets will open this year in Acapulco, Aguascalientes, Culiacan, Reynosa and San Luis Potosi.

For its part, Fiesta Inn, targeted to business travelers but with a presence in several vacation destinations, is to expand its portfolio to 66 properties, up from the current 58. 

The only chain not expanding this year is Fiesta Americana, Grupo Posadas' original flagship brand.

The current construction surge is only the beginning of an overall growth strategy. The company expects to have opened 50 hotels between 2007 and 2011, according to Franco.

For more, visit www.posadas.com.

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