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02/12/2017 - 07:00hs
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Tivoli in Qatar enables interchange with Brazil

Tivoli Hotels & Resorts is now managing the Souq Waqif hotel chain in Doha. This allows for the sharing of staff and sales platform, and it should give Brazil-Qatar tourist flows a boost.



São Paulo – Tivoli Hotels & Resorts, a Portuguese brand active in Brazil, announced its entry into Qatar two months ago. It is currently managing nine Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels units, and this creates possibilities of exchange with Tivoli units in Brazil, such as staff and sales platform sharing. This should fuel Brazil-Qatar tourism.

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Souq Waqif: sophisticated décor

The Qatari venture is called Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels by Tivoli. The hotels feature luxury facilities, sophisticated architecture and décor, with Tivoli bringing in expertise from Portugal. According to Marco Amaral, the Development and Operations vice president for Portugal and Latin America with Minor Hotels – which Tivoli is a part of –, the units in Qatar follow the tradition and service concept of Tivoli in Europe, as well as its brand positioning and general approach.

The hotels’ facilities will not be standardized – and the same holds true of Tivoli’s operations in Brazil, which include a resort in Bahia and an urban-style hotel in São Paulo. However, the chain does adhere to standards – with some degree of flexibility – when it comes to number of in-house spas, restaurants and other facilities, as well as cleaning and other services. The rate of adaptability allowed here is 10%.

Amaral explains that guests in any Tivoli hotel will get the same size breakfast, but experiences will vary when it comes to the type of coffee available or other items on the menu. He points out that more and more, clients are looking for experiences. In Qatar, for instance, although they want to feel that they’re in Qatar, they must also encounter the brand’s standard treatment.

Tivoli’s hotels rely on Minor Hotels’ global platform, meaning Qataris can schedule trips to Brazil and vice versa via the latter’s platform. The Minor Hotels website will direct users to Tivoli’s, where they can schedule stays at the Souq Waqif units, which are all located in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

The Minor Hotels network also allows for staff to be transferred from country to country. Job openings are made public in the company’s intranet by Minor Hotels’ global HR department in Bangkok, Thailand. Transfers are conditioned to criteria such as workdays missed and how long one has been with the company, explains Amaral. The management of HR in the applicant’s workplace can also make a referral for a transfer.

Amaral tells that 95% of staff at the hotels are native, due to language and cultural aspects. According to him, no Brazilian employees have been transferred to Qatar yet. He does not see much chance of it happening – language plays a part in this –, although he believes Brazilian professionals would benefit from going to Qatar in terms of personal growth and experiencing a different culture. Amaral said hiring standards are stricter in Qatar – where hotels see lots of international guests – than they are in Brazil, where most guests are domestic travelers.

The opposite situation – having Qatari staff relocate to Brazil – could also happen. “I would love to have someone from Qatar worko at, say, Tivoli Mofarrej,” Amaral told ANBA. This would help in welcoming Arab guests in Brazil. He explains that travelers would rather be serviced by a local on leisure trips, but when travelling on business, having someone who knows their own culture is really helpful.

Amaral explains that being in Qatar is important in terms of brand consolidation and expansion. From a domestic standpoint, he stresses that staff mobility is a highlight.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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