Mövenpick Hotel Optimistic Of 2018  

General Manager of Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra, Axel Hauser

Accra, December 26, 017//-The  General Manager of  Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra,  Axel Hauser talked  to the Editor-In-Chief of African Eye Report, Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh about the hotel’s operations in Ghana.

 The interview was facilitated by the Djembe Communications, a communications consultancy firm. Read the Q and A below:

  1. Let me first congratulate you on winning the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards. What does that award mean to you and the Hotel?

Ans:  We are truly humbled by the recognition accorded to us at the inaugural Ghana Expatriate Business Awards. Thanks to ongoing commitment from the Government of Ghana, novel avenues continue to emerge for investments along the hospitality and tourism value chain. We remain vested at Mövenpick towards leading innovation and excellence within the hospitality sector in support of these emerging economic trends in Ghana. Above all, we place immense value in our longstanding relationship with the local and expatriate communities who call this beautiful country home. We are grateful for their loyal patronage and remain committed to making sustained contributions that evolve with their growing needs.

  1. How do you intend to maintain your position in the market given the enviable accolade you have chalked?

 Ans: As Ghana’s hotel, hospitality and tourism sector grows in its sophistication, we understand the high stakes and benchmarks that the market demands of us. We intend to continue to invest efforts into understanding the needs of our clients. In spite of their varying needs, a common factor we are mindful of is that each of them is looking for the comforts and security of a home away from home. We remain committed to meeting these needs by offering exceptionally high standards in product quality, business activities, hotel service delivery and guest satisfaction.

  1. Is Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra happy/satisfied with current levels of operation in Ghana? If yes or no, kindly explain?

 Ans: The hospitality industry does not stand alone; its success is reliant on a healthy national business climate. While the past two years have been very challenging, we see a light at the end of the tunnel, going into 2018. There are indicators that point to much improved outlook. We have seen an increase in demand for our services in Ghana, in terms of enquiries from the international and local business communities. There has been increased interest from the international business-traveller demographic in particular, as well as an influx of visits from high-level dignitaries into Ghana. We are therefore optimistic that operations in Ghana will be much improved in the coming year and beyond.

  1. What factors are contributing to the Hotel making it big in the face of stiff competition?

Ans: The key to our consistency here at Mövenpickis that, we spend a lot of time understanding the needs of our clients. We recognise that we cannot benchmark our clients based on one standard. Every day we serve different people who belong to varying demographics, with often divergent expectations. The common factor we strive to be mindful of is that each of them is looking for a home away from home and an experience that directly addresses their needs; this is what we strive to provide.

  1. Who are your target clients? How affordable is the Hotel to the ordinary Ghanaian?

Ans: As I mentioned, our clientele is varied and with diverse needs. We have business-travellers; both local and international, families who come in on Sundays for brunch, people from the business community who unwind at our bar, high-level government functionaries and diplomats amongst others. We ensure that we are familiar with the needs of the various demographics in order to serve them best. There is something for everyone at Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra.

  1. How is the Hotel preparing to celebrate upcoming Christmas and New Year seasons? Any special programmes or promotions?

 Ans: For us at Mövenpick, particularly during this holiday season, it is important that as we celebrate we do not forget those who are less fortunate in society.Which is why we were so glad to have had kids from Chance For Children joining us for our annual Tree Lighting Ceremony held earlier in the month. Coming up, we have our special rates and added luxury on offer for anyone who makes a booking between 24th December and 2nd January. We are also excited about our fireworks at the Piazza and dinner on New Year’s Eve as well as our New Year’s Day brunch which is not to be missed! 

  1. How is the Hotel giving-back to the society in which it operates?

 Ans: We are very proud of our CSR programme SHINE, which focuses on three pillars – Environment, Employer and Social Sustainability – with Education being an important facet. SHINE’s main aim is to give back to the communities and as a major part of our Sustainability Management Plan, it has been crucial to achieving our Green Globe certification. Another way in which we do this is to ensure that we are directing business to local suppliers as much as possible. We purposefully work with them in order tofuel channels of economic empowerment that benefit local businesses and ultimately Ghanaian families and communities.

  1. Do you have good working relationship with the government and your competitors?

Ans: Strong competition is usually an indicator of business confidence in the market and competition can be healthy so long as there is enough of a market-share to go around. As an industry, all players have a vested interest in ensuring that we are contributing towards attracting the right sort of business; especially as the sector grows. Therefore, we have some common objectives and goals to work towards. We also continue to have a strong relationship with our government partners.

  1. Where do you want your business to be in the next four years?

Ans:We intend to continue to grow and adapt to the changing world around us. A key element of our growth will be in understanding the intricacies of our diverse clientele. It is important that as much as possible we are meeting individual needs so that our customers to feel seen, heard and well taken care of.  Over the next four years and beyond, our customers can expect the best customer care from us at Mövenpick.

  1. What are your views on the Ghanaian hospitality industryas a whole?

 Ans: Ghana’s hospitality industry grew 1.2% from 2015 to 2016 with a total contribution to GDP of 7.1% in 2016, ranking 4th for profitability after gold, cocoa and oil.

This shows there is clearly a lot of confidence in the market which has led to more international hotel brands coming into the market. Local brands also continue to innovate in brilliant ways; all of which have contributed to a marked growth, which is great for the market. Here at Mövenpick, we will continue to play our role in exemplifying the high standards our customers expect from the industry.

  1. Do you (Hotel) have challenges at all? If you have, how are you addressing them?

Ans: Again, it has been a challenging two years for the industry as a whole, but this was to be expected given the political season and transition.

While we are optimistic about the outlook for coming years, we are also making deliberate efforts towards ensuring that we are offering our customers the best experience to ensure they keep coming back. As I have alluded to before, the way we can achieve this is by understanding their needs; this is a constant process for us and we are committed to ensuring that we do what it takes to deliver on our promise of excellence.

  1. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has also been named the world’s most sustainable hotel group for the second year running by world-renowned certification body Green Globe. What would you say the importance of green business is for the hospitality industry in Ghana?

Ans: It took team effort to bring us this far and I am extremely proud of the team’s achievements as I have seen for myself how much work and dedication it has taken to achieve this fantastic result. The Green Globe Certification Award shows the hotel’s long term commitment to sustainability, involving and educating the whole team on how they can make a difference.

On a more global scale, considering that more than 50% of our certified properties worldwide have achieved the prestigious ‘Gold’ status – an accolade bestowed on hotels and resorts that have achieved Green Globe certification for five years or more – our work is cut out for us to ensure we maintain the standard here in Ghana as well. Our focus in Ghana is the proper management of energy and ensuring that we are doing our bit to preserve the environment in our day to day activities.

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