The 426-room all-inclusive Iberostar Cancun held its grand opening ceremony on February 2, following a $100 million renovation of the former Hilton Cancun. Among those invited to the event was Don Miguel Fluxa, executive chairman of Iberostar. We sat down with Mr. Fluxa to discuss the brand, the new hotel and what it’s like to have Antonio Banderas as part of his team.
How are you able to be so successful with Iberostar Hotels in this trying economy?
Miguel Fluxa: Our family has a long history in the business. My grandfather started the shoe industry in Mallorca. My father continued to be in the shoe business and at one point Spain had a blockade after the war. At that point my father wanted to open his business to the world. He said, ‘We have to become international.’ So he bought a small travel agency with six offices. We had the largest tour operation business and airline in Spain. Then they made us a great offer so we sold it and focused on hotels.
We are successful because we are crazy about quality. We believe in value for your money. So if you have a client that leaves your hotel satisfied you know they’ll come back. During this difficult period we have been obliged to restudy our organization because the business is changing and you have to adapt to the reality of the business today.
We believe that wholesalers will be there forever but the proportion of business will be divided between online and wholesale.
How can Cancun benefit from the introduction of the Iberostar brand in this location?
I believe our company focuses on quality and an example is that we don’t have any hotels that are not on the first line on the beach. I remember visiting the US many years ago and I saw that all the big hotel companies offered a unified product.
We have a product that is top notch, and this is why we believe we have this name. If we have a good name and a good number of followers, we believe that with this hotel we can help Cancun.
Our hotel has two things that other hotels in Cancun don’t have. The first is a 5,000-sm convention center. We can host conventions with 2,000 to 3,000 people here and help other hotels that way, since we don’t have that amount of rooms.
The second is an 18-hole golf course. We have a property that benefits the area. This hotel was in need of renovations and we did that and now I think we can benefit Cancun with it.
Were you ever concerned by the stories about the personal dangers of being in Mexico?
A lot of the problems that are taking place are because people are going to places they shouldn’t go to. In certain areas like Cancun and Riviera Maya there are the same kinds of problems that you have if you stay in any other city in the world. I mean, if you go to a bar, get drunk and talk to people you shouldn’t be talking to then you risk the same dangers that you would in any other place you did that.