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LAURENT A. VOIVENEL

Senior vice president, operations & development, Middle East, Africa & India, Swiss-Belhotel International
A seasoned hotelier, Laurent A. Voivenel has ambitious plans for Swiss-Belhotel International’s operations in the region.

A seasoned hotelier, Laurent A. Voivenel has ambitious plans for Swiss-Belhotel International’s operations in the region.

The hotel operator’s current portfolio includes 1,546 keys under operation in seven hotels, and nearly triple the number in the group’s pipeline.

As of July 2018, Swiss-Belhotel International has 27 hotels in the pipeline — 17 of which are already under construction and an additional 10 under negotiation.

“With 14 well-established brands, we are well equipped to meet the needs of every segment of the market. This diversity of brands allows owners the flexibility to pick the right fit for their property,” Voivenel tells Hotelier Middle East.

The 17 hotels under construction will add 2593 rooms to Swiss-Belhotel’s portfolio in locations such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Egypt.

“We have 10 new openings lined up this year and the next in addition to a series of projects under development. These will not only add some fantastic hotels to our portfolio but will allow us to penetrate new destinations such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt and Tanzania while growing our presence in existing territories. This will increase our portfolio in the region by more than 50% over the next three years,” Voivenel reveals.

Swiss-Belhotel aims to have 20 hotels in operation and 10 under construction by 2020, Voivenel adds, with a target of 25 to 30 operational hotels in the next five years.

To drive this growth, the group has adopted an aggressive marketing strategy, which seems to have paid off.

“During the last one year, we achieved tremendous improvement in terms of brand visibility and market exposure which had a huge positive impact on our business,” Voivenel says. “Comparing the cumulative performance of our hotels demonstrates that nearly all our properties reported 3-4% growth in occupancy while keeping the ADR in control.

“Tourism performance in the main cities across the Middle East is expected to remain strong with the fruition of major infrastructure projects such as airport expansions, increased global connectivity and growth of low-cost carriers, new leisure attractions, enhanced business facilities, and a year-long calendar of regional and international events.”

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ALEX KYRIAKIDIS
President and managing director
PASCAL GAUVIN
Managing director
OMER KADDOURI
President & CEO
TIM CORDON
Area senior vice president
ALI AL ZAABI
President
OLIVIER HARNISCH
Chief executive officer
MARC DESCROZAILLE
president
KAMEL AJAMI
Vice President
IGNACE BAUWENS
Regional vice president
MOHAMED AWADALLA
Chief executive officer
SIMON CASSON
President – hotel operations,
HENK MEYKNECHT
Chief operating officer
ROBERT KUNKLER
Chief operating officer
GABRIEL ESCARRER JAUME
Vice chairman and CEO
KURT STRAUB
Vice president of operations
VINCENT MICCOLIS
As regional general manager
AMINE E. MOUKARZEL
President
LAURENT A. VOIVENEL
Senior vice president, operations & development
DR BADR AL BADR
Chief executive officer
HUSSAIN SAJWANI
Chairman
TARAS ETTL
Vice president
MICHAEL WALE
Chief executive officer
PRATEEK KUMAR
Regional vice president
JOSE SILVA
Chief executive officer
BARAN TURKEL
Managing director
MICHAEL COTTAN
Executive vice president
JAMAL SERHAN
CEO and senior vice president
SUMAIR TARIQ
Managing director
SIMON COOMBS
President and CEO
ABOUDI ASALI
Chief executive officer
MOHAMED SOUSSAN
Group general manager
AMMAR KANAAN
Group general manager
FADI MAZKOUR
Co-founder & regional director branding and business development
KAMAL SIMON FAKHOURY
Chief executive officer
ALY SHARIFF
Chief operating officer
HATEM GASMI
Founder and managing director
PIERRE SOKHON
General manager
ALI HATATA
Vice president, hospitality division
MARKLAND BLAIKLOCK
Deputy CEO
PRITHVI RAJ SINGH OBEROI
Executive chairman
RANJIT PHILLIPOSE
Area director
ANTHONY ROSS
Chief executive officer
NEHME IMAD DARWICHE
Founder and chief executive officer
CENK UNVERDI
Cluster general manager
PHILIPPE HARB
Chief operating officer and partner
ABDULLA BIN SULAYEM
Chief executive officer
JAYDEEP ANAND
Chief operating officer
ABDULLATIF KABBARA
Corporate office general manager
SIR ROCCO FORTE
Founder and chairman

BY THE NUMBERS

24
PREVIOUS RANKING
1.5
Number of years in role
1.5
Number of years with company
7
Number of operating hotels in MENA as of july 2018'
27
Number of pipeline hotels in the region as of july 2018

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