Is Kempinski facing an uncertain future?
Following the departure last year of its former CEO, industry veteran Reto Wittwer, Thai owned Kempinski Hotelshas been experiencing a abrupt downturn, gradually losing several hotels from its portfolio including London, Prague, Moscow, Bratislava, Sofia – all of them in less than 2 years. Several other senior executives exited the company, most recently Maria Kuhn (Vice President PR/Communications).
In a statement to CPP-LUXURY.COM, Kempinski Hotels Director of Communications Kerstin Heinen stated: ”With increased competition worldwide, the Management Board believes that a clear brand positioning is vital to the group’s success. Within this context, the group’s entire portfolio of hotels under operation and projects is being carefully considered. A streamlining of the portfolio is a natural consequence, with a focus on hotels which deliver the Kempinski brand promise, considering the hotel product itself, compliance with Kempinski’s operational standards and a trustful relationship with owners. Regarding certain recent exits from the Kempinski portfolio, these were the result of mutual and amicable discussions between Kempinski Hotels and the respective owners of those assets”
In 2014, Kempinski Hotels terminated its partnership with the Leela Hotels in India, which provided a wide reach of the brand in the Indian market. Kempinski currently operates one hotel in India, in the metropolis of Mumbai.
The appointment in 2014 of a young CEO, Alejandro Bernabé, formerly General Manager of Kempinski Bangkok has yet to produce the much awaited revival of the group which has only one new hotel in its pipeline of future developments, in Saudi Arabia.
Kempinski currently operates 76 hotels worldwide (31 countries) with its portfolio mostly focused on Europe, Africa, Middle East and China.