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Black Coral Consulting grows portfolio of elite hospitality clients


As the company marks its first anniversary, founder Judith Cartwright says industry appetite for commercial expertise has never been stronger, with developers, operators, asset managers, restaurant groups, OTAs and IT firms among her growing list of clients.

DUBAI, UAE - Black Coral Consulting, a specialised consultancy providing innovative revenue optimisation solutions to the ultra-luxury hospitality sector, has witnessed accelerated demand for its tailored services in the 12 months following its launch.

The UAE-based company, which marks its first anniversary this month (September 2022), has expanded its portfolio of elite hospitality clients to include hotel and resort developers, operators and asset managers, restaurant groups, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and IT solutions providers in key markets spanning the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Australia and the US, reflecting the industry’s growing appetite for this type of commercial expertise.

Led by experienced commercial leader Judith Cartwright, Black Coral Consulting works with hotels, destinations resorts, attractions, spas and F&B ventures – in development or already in operation – and other travel and tourism-related companies, to create a roadmap for commercial success. From identifying new revenue streams to turning unutilised spaces into revenue generators, she helps unleash their profit potential, often in unconventional ways.

Her maverick approach has delivered results, with Black Coral Consulting’s list of clients fast expanding and diversifying to include companies such as UAE-headquartered hotel operator JA Resorts & Hotels, GCC real estate developer Deyaar, global OTA Luxury Escapes and Azmont Investments, which owns Portonovi Resort in Montenegro.

“I launched Black Coral Consulting one year ago when the only constant, in the wake of the pandemic, was change, forcing companies in travel and hospitality to recalibrate and in some cases, reinvent. At times like these, a total revenue management expert is their best friend, taking a big-picture approach to assessing their business or asset and then drilling down to details to optimise every space and system in operation,” says Judith Cartwright, founder and Managing Director, Black Coral Consulting.

“Over the past 12 months I have witnessed an evolution in mindset, with businesses ranging from hotels and resorts to F&B venues, attractions and spas realising the importance of a sound commercial strategy as the gatekeeper and cornerstone of their business, delivering efficiencies and driving revenues. My ambition is to help companies create a revenue optimisation culture and during our first year of operation, Black Coral Consulting has been successful in supporting hospitality and travel companies to understand and achieve this.”

“Over the next 12 months I aim to build on this momentum, educating the market on the pivotal role a revenue management consultant can play in setting up businesses for success, in ways they may not have considered, from working with designers and architects at the hospitality project conception stage, ensuring every space delivers maximum revenue per square metre, to helping OTAs better understand hotel contracting”, she added.

During the past year, Black Coral Consulting has worked with a wide range of clients, with asset performance auditing and systems and platforms reviews in high demand.

Its strategic consultancy work has involved auditing hospitality asset performance for developers including Deyaar in the UAE and Azmont Investments in Montenegro, developing commercial strategies to help Luxury Escapes sign more accommodation contracts with the hotel sector and working with a Saudi-based F&B firm to audit its structure and eco-system of tools relating to the customer journey, food costs and more, as well as menu design and engineering. Black Coral Consulting is also collaborating with SAS to develop the first business intelligence and revenue management tool for the hotel spa and wellness sector.

Daniel Monk, Chief Sales and Distribution Officer, Luxury Escapes, said: “Black Coral Consulting conducted an in-depth workshop with our team on commercial strategies for hotel contracting and it really opened our eyes to how revenue management works in the hospitality sector and who makes the decisions. Armed with this knowledge, we are in a better position to negotiate and collaborate with our hotel partners to optimise revenue for both parties. Judith also helped us to develop a tool that aids the contracting process, demonstrating to current and potential hotels how Luxury Escapes can deliver incremental room nights. Black Coral Consultancy’s expertise, insights and training have proved invaluable, having changed our mindset and delivered results.”

Black Coral Consulting’s immediate success can be attributed to Judith’s more than two decades of experience working in senior commercial roles for major hospitality brands.

Before establishing Black Coral Consulting, she was Global Senior Vice President of Revenue Management & Distribution at Kerzner International, responsible for the Atlantis, One&Only and Mazagan brands, encompassing resorts, hotels, F&B outlets, spas and attractions. Here, Judith’s innovative commercial strategy yielded growth in the double digits across key income streams.

When hospitality companies hire Black Coral Consulting, they work with Judith directly, benefitting from her vast experience and her extensive portfolio of specialist services, which also include advising on pricing, budgeting, inventory optimisation and best practice, crisis management and creating bespoke strategic guidelines.

Judith also trains talent and conducts workshops to help travel hospitality businesses integrate revenue optimisation into their company culture. Coaching hospitality executives is one of her fortes, helping them to build commercial roadmaps to optimise revenues and understand the essential role revenue optimisiation plays in achieving growth.

Judith is a board member of the revenue management advisory board for Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and is a regular speaker at global hotel industry conferences and events.

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