Photo: Transat

MONTREAL — Transat A.T. is planning to develop its own hotel network in order to face the growing competition from rivals such as Air Canada Rouge, WestJet Vacations and Sunwing, according to Canadian Business.

Transat will spend approximately $750 million to develop a hotel chain in Mexico and the Caribbean. Co-founder and CEO Jean-Marc Eustache plans to devote the next 18-to-24 months to this project, after which he will retire. Eustache’s heir, Annick Guerard, will run the company as COO during this period.

Eustache says a president for the hotel division will be hired within weeks to put the plan in action.

Transat plans to purchase and refurbish one hotel and a piece of land this year as it looks to build a network of 5,000 rooms — 60 per cent of which it will own and manage — over the next five-to-seven years.

In October, Transat sold its 35-per-cent stake in its Ocean Hotels joint venture for $186 million. The company also signed a deal last month to sell its Jonview Canada subsidiary to a Japanese company for $44 million.

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