CON-X Interview: Javier Delgado, Chief Digital Officer at Iberostar Group
In today’s interview, we are talking with Javier Delgado, Iberostar’s Chief Digital Officer and we are discussing the new challenges faced by their clients and how they manage to remain competitive in such a changing market.
What are the major challenges facing clients today?
There’s no doubt that we live in a world that is becoming increasingly digital and that is changing at the speed of lightning — and no one can escape its effects. Companies have to adapt to an environment that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous on many levels. Such a situation puts a lot of pressure on entrepreneurs, who are trying to stand out in a very competitive market.
If we had to highlight three major challenges, we would probably say that selling more and better, adapting products to the market, meeting customer’s needs and finally connectivity — having all the information in real time would be the main stakes.
However, a competitive market is also an opportunity for them to create new rules and progress. Which is why at Iberostar we are not afraid of hard work. A growing market creates a competitive advantage by giving companies new ways to outperform their rivals.
What are the key elements from your value proposition to support your clients in their growth?
We are a family owned company who has developed and consolidated a strong set of values over four generations. These values have generated our business culture and our unique management style.
We are committed to a responsible tourism model based on excellent service and quality. Each and every hotel are located in a unique location, they all have design interiors, and rooms are refreshingly decorated, with attention to detail. Lastly, let us not forget the exquisite cuisine that is served in our restaurants.
In addition to all the above mentioned, we also work on updating and adapting our product portfolio — which we have, in recent years, already invested 500 million euros. A product portfolio adapted to the new needs and destinations, differentiated into three segments: beachfront hotels, which integrate our holiday resorts on the seafront; city hotels, located in the center of some of the most touristic cities in the world; and hotels with history, called Iberostar Heritage, that invite you to immerse yourself in the tradition of unique places.
Moreover, we have different experiences for each different client: Star Prestige, is an opportunity to climb a step in the service by providing exclusive experiences; Fit & Fun, offers physical activities, healthy eating, and relaxation; Finally Star Camp, is a new concept created exclusively for children which combines entertainment and values.
We know you have grand expansion plans, but essential features are you looking for in an ideal partner?
As a family business, we work with partners who share our vision and business culture, our mission and the same values on which we have based our brand. This allows us to work hand in hand to face new challenges together and access new demands, with the focus on customer loyalty and maintaining our customer retention rate — currently above 42% — which shows us that they have enjoyed the experience at Iberostar and allows us to continue growing.
It is also important to highlight that Iberostar Hotels & Resorts was founded 30 years ago and during these three decades we have been forging strong alliances with important players in the distribution, such as tour operators, OTAs and travel agencies.
Our goal is to take these collaborations even further without neglecting new trends in customer behavior. Now the client can book a room in an Iberostar hotel through Google’s voice assistant, thanks to one of our distribution partners. We intend to be where the user is, based on their preferences and behaviors regardless of the channel.
How crucial are technology and connectivity to your business?
Absolutely crucial. Technology has been gaining importance in the last 30 years, and within technology, connectivity is one of the fundamental pillars, especially for us. In a global world, we need to be continuously connected with partners to maximize RevPAR.
There is no doubt that in the last decade, the impact of technology has substantially modified our processes, and we are trying to make the most of new opportunities, which in turn entail adaptation. For us, the transformation process is not something determined in time but a continuous, changing and exciting project.
In your opinion, how important is Mallorca as a destination for travel and business events?
Besides being in such a privileged location — with flight connections from every main European city — Mallorca is very much a year-round destination with the perfect Mediterranean climate, lots of cultural attractions, and a vast range of activities.