Jean-Jacques Vallet

Jean-Jacques Vallet

CEO of Constance Hotels & Resorts Mauritius

Tourism / Mauritius

“Our figures have shown constant increases during the past year”

Constance Hotels & Resorts is a group of luxury five-star hotels and resorts in the Indian Ocean with properties in Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and the Maldives. Jean-Jacques Vallet, CEO of Constance Mauritius, tells us more.

What has been the group’s performance over the last few months, and what key trends are you currently facing?
Our figures have shown constant increases during the past year. More and more guests are coming to our resorts – some of them renewing the Constance experience in a different destination. We are harvesting the results of the process that we started four years ago. In 2011, our figures were not good, and we were undergoing the after effects of the world economic crisis and its impact on the tourism industry. Like many hotel groups, we had to review our positioning and our way of operating. We took some calculated risks and opened three of our hotels in the middle of the crisis: Constance Halaveli was opened in 2009, and Constance Moofushi and Constance Ephelia in 2010. But while many other companies were lowering their rates, we have taken up the challenge to increase ours, as we wanted to strengthen our position in the luxury segment.

What in your opinion are the key factors that explain the success of the Constance brand at the World Luxury Travel awards last October?
Constance Hotels and Resorts is known for its quality and excellence in all the destinations it operates. We have received numerous awards and prizes for the group or for particular properties during the past year, including World Luxury Travel awards. Besides, we have already got several Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards this year. For instance, Constance Le Prince Maurice is ranked first among the Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Mauritius.

How would you describe the growth and development of Mauritius tourism within the past decade?
Mauritius is known for its gorgeous beaches and lovely weather. However, most people will remember the warmth of the Mauritians before anything else. It is in our DNA to share what we have and who we are with the people who visit our island. Our smile comes naturally and we always see the best side of life. Our melting pot of origins is appealing to anyone and each part of our culture is full of richness.

What sort of spillover commercial benefits do you foresee being created from major inter-regional aviation hub initiatives?
The Africa-Asia Air Corridor was launched in Singapore on 15 March 2016 and the objective of this initiative is to connect Africa and Asia through the airports of Mauritius and Singapore. Mauritius is being recognized as one of the biggest aviation hubs of the region, through the creation of new air routes. It is a big step towards firmly establishing the country as the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean. From our point view, any agreement that facilitates the travel of our guests is welcome. Direct flights are really attractive to travellers and can potentially increase the amount of visitors to the destination.

What value can the Constance Hotels and Resorts provide for Chinese investors and tourists?
At Constance Hotels and Resorts, we understand the importance of the Chinese market. We have already adapted elements – the food on our buffet, Chinese speaking guests relations, menus in Chinese – of our marketing and communication in our hotels. We want every guest to feel at home when they come to one of Constance Hotels and Resorts’ properties and we recognize the significance of the warmth of being welcomed in one’s mother tongue.

What are the key challenges and ambitions that you hope to accomplish during your tenure?
The key challenge is to grow Constance Hotels and Resorts with the same standard of quality that we showcase in each of our establishments. We went from one property to seven jewels in the Indian Ocean and we need to ensure we keep bringing the same level of excellence.