TORONTO—With more hotels, resorts and private residences being added to its pipeline, Four Seasons continues to expand its global footprint while introducing the brand to new travellers around the world.
“The success of Four Seasons has been built on our unwavering dedication to the highest standards of hospitality, and that overarching principle remains at the forefront of our growth plans,” says J. Allen Smith, president and chief executive officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “The foundation of our development strategy is to identify the right locations, and to work with the right partners. As a management company, it is critical that we find owners and investors who share our long term vision and values, and who will grow with us.”
In the past three years, Four Seasons has unveiled a dozen new hotels and resorts in locations as diverse as Baku, Shenzhen, Baltimore, and the Serengeti. In the coming year, new properties will open in Moscow, Johannesburg, Orlando, and Dubai, among other destinations.
“Our strategy is multifaceted: we are targeting destinations where our guests want to go, as well as those markets where we want to establish a local presence to raise awareness and introduce travellers to Four Seasons,” explains Scott Woroch, executive vice president worldwide development. “At the same time, we continually explore options to enhance our position in destinations where we currently operate.”
New openings in the near future include a luxury resort inside Walt Disney World Resort in Florida; a strategic foothold in the African subcontinent; a second location in Russia following the brand’s opening in St. Petersburg last year; increased presence in the Middle East with new locations in Bahrain and United Arab Emirates; new locations in India and the first in Korea; plus continued expansion into China’s major business and leisure destinations.
A key source of growth opportunities is to reflag hotels that are currently established under another brand. In 2012, Four Seasons converted the historic Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe, and this year the company will raise its flag above The Westcliff in Johannesburg. Another dimension to the company’s plans is the continued focus on residential opportunities. Two thirds of projects currently in development include a residential component, whether primary or secondary homes or vacation properties.
“Working with our owners, we are also looking at our existing locations with an eye to improving our market position, whether it’s extensive renovations as we recently completed in Buenos Aires, Riyadh and Las Vegas; or the creation of destination-specific restaurant and spa concepts,” says Woroch.