Sofitel enjoys considerable success in Morocco, what does this country represent within the brand’s strategy?
Sofitel has been present in Morocco for a very long time and is the only international luxury brand present in all the Kingdom’s most beautiful cities. We currently have seven hotels and plan to have nine in two years’ time. Morocco is the second-ranking country after China in terms of number of Sofitel establishments thanks to the country’s potential and the trust deposited in us by our partner, Risma, which owns most of the hotels in Morocco.
Today Morocco is a showcase of Sofitel’s business savvy. We plan to develop there one of our labels, SO by Sofitel. The first SO was built in Mauritius, signed by designer Kenzo Takada (founder of Kenzo Paris), and Germany’s Karl Lagerfeld will soon develop the design of the SO label in Asia.
We wish to develop this concept in Casablanca and – why not? – Marrakechas well.
Can this success story be reproduced in the African continent?
That is precisely my mission. We already have two hotels in Equatorial Guinea. We are present in Algiers and we have just finalised an agreement for a new project in Abidjan in Ivory Coast. We are open to opportunities and to investors seeking to create modern luxury hotels. Our brand’s niche offering is a blend of the refinement of local culture and French ele-gance. These projects can also add value in unique destinations in the Maghreb or in other African countries such as Kenya, South Africa or Zambia.
Last year you received a World Hospitality Award. What does that mean to you?
It is the fruit of teamwork. There is a Moroccan proverb that says « A single hand cannot clap ». To stage a successful fantasia, all the horses and riders must set off together. Sofitel’s fantasia gives me reason to be proud today. We have grown in Morocco before others and we continue to do so. Today we believe in Africa as a whole.