HN Meets: Ramsay Rankoussi, VP business development – Middle East, North Africa & Turkey of Radisson Hotels

HN Meets: Ramsay Rankoussi, VP business development – Middle East, North Africa & Turkey of Radisson Hotels

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In 2020, we will be leading a series of interviews with top MENA hoteliers, to highlight their expansion strategies for the year ahead and the growth plans.

The MENA region: A land of opportunity

According to Ramsay Rankoussi, vice president, business development – Middle East, North Africa & Turkey of Radisson Hotels, the region is still emerging. “The growth is continued as those economies haven’t reached their maturity yet nor their full development potential.” However, the risk resides in the improper balance of demand and supply when some areas currently suffer from a faster growth of hotel supply vs. guest demand. “Ultimately the signs remain positive and demand is still growing across the region. The priority is in staying and sustaining that equilibrium,” he added.  

Rankoussi highlighted the numerous efforts local governments have led, in addition to the  public initiatives taken to promote tourism but also to create some of the best infrastructures in the world, including some of the most important business hubs; strategic international airports; leading airlines and a complete offering from business to leisure, cultural to exhibitions or family and events. 

“The constant desire for improvement and to further facilitate business in the region plays as a catalyst for foreign investments,” he said. He added that this stimulates local economies, puts innovation at the forefront and we can then all leverage on this constant success. According to him, the tourism and hospitality industry are indicators of growth and “with the convenient accessibility of the region, there is no doubt that we foresee further growth and potential to diversify our hotel portfolio across all sectors and all brands; from midscale to luxury; from Park Inn by Radisson to Radisson, Radisson RED to Radisson BLU but also Radisson Collection.”

A strong development strategy

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Starting 2020, Radisson Hotels’ focus remains in key markets which have demonstrated potential for further growth or have now shown positive rebounds and signs of recovery. 

The global hotel chain will thus pursue its accelerated developments in Dubai. “The city remains the top destination and the biggest hub in the region and we have the opportunity to create further scale.” Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will further fuel demand on the leisure segment, domestically and internationally with the vision 2030. Egypt is in full recovery and we expect to re-enter in key leisure destinations as well as consolidate our presence with our current portfolio under construction. 

Finally, Morocco has the largest potential in North Africa as we have just recently opened our second hotel in the country with the Radisson BLU Casablanca. The country represents a vast opportunity for growth in all sectors and across multiple cities.    

We have accelerated our critical mass strategy in key markets across the region, especially in key capital cities in which we operate. The aim is to translate our presence into operational efficiencies through clustering opportunities and economies of scale.”

He explained that the biggest opportunities to be conversions and take-overs mainly in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “Historically, our group has been known for repositioning existing hotels under one of our brands and we believe we can continue to replicate the same success as existing hotel owners look at ways of improving their returns and Radisson has always established itself as a solid partner.” 

Stay tuned for the full interview in our upcoming issue.

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