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Hotel Operator Search

The client

A publicly-traded real estate company with considerable exposure to the hotel industry.
Location: Jordan


What did Hotel Solutions Partnership achieve for the client?

Within a reasonably short timescale, a preferred business partner was identified and a ‘Memoranda of Understanding’ entered into. This document enabled all parties to discuss the matters in confidence and with exclusivity for a limited period.

Background

The client is developing a site that will enrich the existing qualities of the Dead Sea as a destination and by comparison to existing and planned resorts will offer an extended occupancy duration.

Additional goals include the integration of the existing convention centre and hotel resorts in the area, bringing cohesiveness and identity to the gateway of the Dead Sea, establishing a common architectural design palette and a general landscape palette and, finally, meeting the increasing tourism demands of the region.

Consultants: Ian Graham

Project objective

The client has separately identified each of Hyatt, Shangri La, Jumeirah and Starwood as potential hotel operating business partners for this development and required a consultant to:

– identify / validate the operator(s) choice
–  provide commercial support through the contracting phase with the chosen operator(s) both in respect of a 200-room business hotel as well as a 167-room wellness centre.

Methodology

In the Phase One of the assignment and for each of the two business units (200 room hotel and 167 room wellness village), Ian Graham created interest in the project with a small number of qualified operators with a view to obtaining competitive offers from which a recommendation will be provided to the client.

Ian travelled to Jordan for a two-day fact-finding trip in which he visited the site, the competitor hotels and wellness offers. He met with Jordan Ministry of Tourism officials and others to gather data and knowledge sufficient to draft a ‘Request for Proposal’. This research included obtaining copies of any existing financial projections for the hotels. His trip also provided an opportunity to review the brands that are present in Jordan and at the Dead Sea and, from his knowledge of the international hotel and wellness industries, Ian was in a position to suggest alternative and / or additional operators to the client.

With an agreed list of operators in mind, Ian wrote a ‘Request for Proposal’. The table of contents included:

–  Jordan and The Dead Sea – the economy, trends in travel and tourism, trends in the hotel industry, current and emerging guest and customer requirements;
–  client – their investment and operating objectives and their current needs;
–  location – where are the sites, characteristics of the development and communities;
–  operator – the services required, the role of the brand, the relationship with the client;
–  current process – the proposal required, the criteria to be used in short listing, steps to be the preferred operator, overall timetable.

Each of the five sections was 1-2 pages long so the document was about 10 pages long plus appendices. Ian conducted one or two conference calls with the client to discuss the draft during which it was finalised.

Hotel Solutions contacted by phone or in person senior executives at the target companies to introduce the opportunity. When the target expressed interest, soft (.pdf) examples of the RFP were e-mailed to the targets. Hotel Solutions fielded all initial questions of clarification. Some of the brands wished to visit the site. Hotel Solutions co-ordinated these visits with the client and the hotel company but will did not accompany the hotel company on the visit.

Subsequently, Hotel Solutions received the proposals from each target. The proposals were summarised and the summary made available to the client, together with a recommendation. This recommendation was discussed with the client by conference call during which the parties to be approached for contracting were agreed. Hotel Solutions ensured that the client concluded a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ from the short list.

 


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