The Casa del Mare hotel group plans to profile itself as a management company for hotel management, as well as to open boutique hotels on the Croatian and Albanian coasts, announced its founder and CEO, Nikola Milić.
“Our plans are clear – we want to profile ourselves as a management company for hotel management, through our now well-known Casa del Mare brand, but also through the new branch, which we recently activated, Casa Hospitality Management, which manages hotels according to the white label Brenda principle”, said Milić for the Gazette of the Chamber of Commerce (PKCG).
He said that they have a great desire and will to present their Casa del Mare brand to guests outside the borders of Montenegro, and to open the first boutique hotels on the Croatian and Albanian coasts, for which there are already indications and plans.
“That may sound too ambitious, but I am known in the team as a big dreamer, who wants to see Casa del Mare as a hotel brand that operates throughout the Mediterranean. I will dare to say that even 13 years ago, when my wife Milena and I started our business, others seemed too ambitious, sometimes unrealistic. But it was this courage that helped us later create a team of people who today make Casa del Mare what it is as a brand”, stated Milić.
He said that he believes that it would be a great undertaking for small Montenegro if the local brand succeeds on the international market and to show that the local brand is valid abroad as well, not only at home.
Milić is the laureate of the annual Award of the Chamber of Commerce for the improvement of management. The Casa del Mare hotel group has been operating for 13 years, and it already has six hotels.
“The period since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic has not lacked challenges in the management of our company. Sometimes it seemed that just when we entered a peaceful harbor, a new problem appeared in the form of a new strain of coronavirus or new administrative rules for travel, which, for what we do, drastically complicate the matter”, said Milić.
Every investment was, as he assessed, extremely risky, even the seemingly simplest marketing activities. This was not helped by the start of the war in Ukraine.
“However, we managed to fight, to – I can freely say – come out stronger. What we are particularly proud of is that we managed to save the entire team from whom we expect a lot in the coming period. This team used the period of reduced workload to improve and acquire new skills”, said Milić.
He said that, thanks to the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which saw potential in them, through the financing of international experts in the sphere of the hotel industry, they adopted the USALI methodology of financial reporting, as the gold standard of hospitality.
“We further improved and perfected the sales and marketing sector and defined the key markets and sales channels in them, improved revenue management as the primary tool for the best financial valorization of our products, created and clearly defined the HR department with an emphasis on the talent monitoring and development program, improved our internal standards and procedures in all departments, discussed the vision of our brand, and renewed our development strategy, all while taking care that each of us has what we need, taking care of each other in times when being healthy was a privilege, specified Milić.
He said that they prepared in this way in all segments in order to present themselves to future investors in the best possible way as a safe partner for the development of their investment and hotel product, while preserving the unique Casa feeling that we have been nurturing for more than a decade.
Milić, speaking about the environment for business in Montenegro, said that the current environment for business is very complex, not only here, but everywhere in the world.
“Although we are slowly leaving the health crisis behind us, on the global level we will face the war in Ukraine, and the upcoming economic crisis and recession, the extent of which we still cannot predict. In addition, within our country, we have been witnessing political instability for a long period of time, which does not help the economy”, said Milić.
He stated that every time carries its own burden, but also opportunities.
“I would like us to take advantage of these opportunities, and they are particularly visible in tourism, which is changing at a high speed. Today, some new rules and standards apply in tourism, guests want different experiences. “Our country is not only imposing, it is also geographically small, so it is possible to quickly and efficiently implement something that would take a decade in other, larger areas”, said Milić.
He stated that he would like it if there was political and social will to do exactly that – recognize concrete opportunities and chances in tourism and as one and intensively implement the strategy and action plan.
“I believe that the results will not fail”, Milić added.
When asked what the Chamber of Commerce award means to him, he replied that the Casa del Mare hotel group highly appreciates the award, because it is a kind of proof that their efforts to improve the team and management skills have been noticed by those who create the economic environment in our country.
“This is particularly important to us, especially in the context of the period ahead of us, which most certainly brings some new, different challenges and projects, during which we will have the opportunity to show how much we have progressed and learned”, concluded Milić, local media writes.