TUI will introduce a new up-market hotel franchise brand called Sensimar next summer to target well-off couples and increase the proportion of customers staying in its own hotels.
The hotels will all be in the four-star or four and a half-star category, have a maximum of 250 rooms and have a beachfront location. They will offer a broad range of sports, wellness facilities and relaxation areas. The name, standing for “Sense y Mar” (“Sense and Sea”), is design to appeal to middle-aged couples who, according to TUI, “put particular value on a comfortable atmosphere, personal service and culinary pleasures”. The first three properties will be on Crete, Rhodes and the Turkish Riviera. Two of the hotels, the Sensimar Port Royal Villas & Spa on Rhodes and the Sensimar Side Resort & Spa in Side, are currently under construction, while the other, the Sensimar Seaside Resort & Spa on Crete is undergoing upgrading in line with the new concept. TUI aims to extend the portfolio to about 10 to 15 franchise hotels in all important destinations by 2012. TUI Germany managing director Volker Böttcher said that the objective of the new hotel chain was to enhance TUI’s product differentiation. TUI aims to increase the proportion of customers staying in TUI group properties from the current 41% to 53% by 2010/11. "Sensimar is an ideal complement to the strong hotel brands of TUI Hotels and Resorts,” he commented. The brand will not be part of the hotels division which operates chains such as Riu, Iberotel and Grupotel.