Product is key says Hotelier Express' GM of the Year for branded/chain hotel. Product is key says Hotelier Express' GM of the Year for branded/chain hotel.

Guzman Muela from Time Oak Hotel & Suites walked away with the GM of the Year for Branded/Chain Hotels during the Hotelier Express Awards 2018.

Muela, who brings 26 years of experience in strategic planning, improving operational efficiency, team building and project management for hospitality industry, told Hotelier Middle East that product is key when a mid-market hotel is trying to come out on top against competition.

“The key factor is to know your product very well. The more you know your product the more you can fight with the competitors. You have to know your competition, you have to know your product, your brand and what you can offer. As much as you make an effort to ensure your brand is on top of it, your competitors will come but you keep on revamping and renewing - it’s like trying to make a new hotel every day.” Muela noted.

Keeping with his newly-awarded title, Muela, during the past year despite of additional 1,000 key inventory added to the Tecom market, implemented effective sales and revenue tactics by keeping the same room profit percentage as 2016. Additionally, his strategies yielded 14% increase on the F&B revenue in the same period.

During 2017, his strategy of keeping the main key segmentation intact and allowing the reservation team the opportunity to make way for other segments resulted in the highest average rate of return against all competitive hotels including its sister company, according to Muela’s nomination for the award.

Besides products, Muela credited his key team members for his win, too. “I’m taking the prize but in reality I wouldn’t take anything without them behind me. They are the most important thing, I’m just one person serving hundreds and thousands of people. Without them, impossible. They are the key players--most important thing for me is to keep them motivated and keep them engaged so they can perform better. Without them, there is nothing,” Muela asserted.

Muela was presented the award by OSN For Business VP Jim Backhouse, and highly commended nominee was Ihab Kanawati from Staybridge Suites Beirut for leading an energetic team and a diverse hotel operation (see the full shortlist here).

The Hotelier Express Awards 2018 took place at the Grosvenor House Dubai on February 28, 2018, and was supported by a range of industry partners including: A. Ronai, Duni, Diversey, Guest Supply, MMI, OSN For Business, and Tint.

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