Chairman of the Dom Pedro Group
He was born in Florence, Italy, and is a renowned entrepreneur, who owns several ventures within the hospitality, golf and real estate sectors in Portugal, Italy, France and Brazil. Stefano Saviotti started working in family-owned businesses and, in 1969, he launched the first Dom Pedro Hotel in Madeira, and later expanded the Group with eight further hotels, the last of which, in Fortaleza, Brazil, has been worthy of renowned awards. The Group also owns five of the most important golf courses in the Algarve, managed by the Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection brand.
To what extent has the acquisition of the five golf courses in Vilamoura energised the hotel and restaurant business of the Dom Pedro Group?
The acquisition has allowed the Dom Pedro Group to benefit from the strategic synergies of an integrated promotion and marketing of its hotels and golf courses, throughout the year.
After the acquisition, did the Dom Pedro Group have to invest in the golf courses?
Yes. The golf courses needed investment to regain the quality they had previously been known for. We have invested in the renovation of the clubhouses of the Victoria Course and The Old Course; in a multiannual programme of purchasing golf maintenance machinery; we have been renovating the buggy parks and we are investing very seriously in improving playing conditions in the grass areas of the courses, including irrigation and drainage systems. I would like to highlight the work done to the Victoria Course, which will certainly make it stand out on the European Tour’s annual circuit.
How does the Dom Pedro Group contribute to consolidating the Algarve’s position as the best golf destination in Europe?
With the investments recently made on the golf courses and the renovation of its hotels in Vilamoura and Lagos, it is making a decisive contribution towards golf, and leisure tourists in general, appreciating and recognising the fantastic conditions offered by Vilamoura and the Algarve as a golf destination. We have been in the hotel business in the Algarve for 50 years and we are the main ‘player’ in Portuguese golf, with the best portfolio of courses in Europe. We have managed to attract many of the best players from Europe and the world to the Algarve and, as a result, each year we welcome to Vilamoura thousands of tourists and golfers, from Portugal and abroad. Many of them purchase second homes in the region and thus boost the local economy.
«We have managed to attract many of the best players from Europe and the world to the Algarve»
What is the Group’s expansion strategy and what new investments lie ahead?
Over the next three years we will continue to invest around 10 million Euros a year in improving the playing conditions on courses and in renovating our hotels. We are preparing the launch of a Tourist Apartment Development in Vilamoura and we hope to build another 5-star development next to The Old Course, more geared towards our golfing clientele. We keep a keen eye on new business opportunities, which allow us to expand our Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection brand.