Entrepreneurial spirit and agility needed more than ever – Q&A with Louvre’s CDO Max Cergneux

Tulip Residences Louvre Hotel Group
Tulip Residences, Louvre Hotels Group

Max Cergneux joined Louvre Hotels Group, a subsidiary of Jin Jiang International Holdings Co. Ltd., as Chief Development Officer in January 2021. He discusses the group’s global strategy ahead of his participation to the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) in September.  

Focusing on global growth

Following my arrival at Louvre Hotels Group at the beginning of the year, the priority was to set up a new global development strategy for the group to ramp up international development. Since our inception in 1976, we have been very well represented in France and grown our footprint globally in Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Latin America. Today our immediate focus is on strengthening our footprint in Europe’s most dynamic markets and increase the consistency of our portfolio. In addition, growth in Mainland China is at the centre of our attention and is critical to us given the involvement of Jin Jiang International in the region.

Strong legacy brands and new segments

We have identified three of our brands to be the main drivers to support our growth plans: Kyriad and Campanile, currently representing nearly 800 properties between them; and Golden Tulip in the upscale with 160 properties worldwide. These brands benefit from a strong legacy and their new modern concepts have been very well received by our guests and investors.

We are also ramping up in other segments that have shown significant growth and interest from both the consumer and investment community.

In April we opened our new extended stay concept in Paris, the first Tulip Residences, with the second one planned to be opening later this summer in Poland. The product has attracted a lot of interest and we already have a significant pipeline to quickly build up the portfolio.

Last month, we also launched our first hostel pilot under HoSho by PC in Paris Sud – Porte d’Italie, and have already a second one coming soon in a major market in Eastern Europe.

Our economy conversion brand Kyriad Direct has seen enormous growth despite the current conditions with over 90 properties opened or secured and is rapidly growing its presence across Europe.

Innovation is at the core of what we do and our brands have very exciting times ahead of them. In addition, Jin Jiang International’s commitment to support our brand’s global expansion plan is second to none and this positions us at the forefront to capitalise on new opportunities.

Accompanying owners and stakeholders

It is worth saying that Louvre has historically been an hotel owner. Today, we still have nearly 20% of our portfolio directly owned. This legacy forces us to think, act and behave like owners with our partners. Despite global travel being put to a standstill for the last 15 months, we remain extremely optimistic and convinced that our industry has a future full of opportunity for investors, hoteliers, and guests. However, the pandemic has put a lot of financial pressure on everyone and this has forced everyone to rethink and evaluate the way to move forward with a clear need for more flexibility going forward.

Entrepreneurial spirit and agility are in our DNA and we need to rely on this more than ever to accompany owners during this recovery period and build long term partnerships. Our stakeholders’ needs evolve, and we strive for excellence in providing them with adequate and innovative solutions.

Looking forward to connecting again at IHIF

IHIF has always been a great place to connect with old colleagues, industry peers and make new connections. This past year has shown us that, thanks to technology, we can adapt to circumstances but also made it clear that nothing can replace face to face interactions. It will be great to finally connect in person and I am sure everyone is looking forward to this moment. This is another step closer on the way back to normality!

Max Cergneux will join the ‘Rebuilding the pipeline’ panel at the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) on 2nd September.  For more information on the programme click here.