Strategic Acquisition Combines Worldhotels and Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), the Number-One Independent Global Hotel Sales Organization in North America, to Significantly Expand the Global Footprint and Services for Both Global Sales, Marketing and Hospitality Organizations
ORLANDO, FL (February 2017) – Parent company Associated Luxury Hotels has significantly expanded its global footprint, its collection of member hotels and resorts, and its worldwide sales, marketing, distribution and hospitality services with the acquisition of Frankfurt, Germany-based Worldhotels. The acquisition adds to Associated Luxury Hotels’ growing portfolio of Global Sales Organization (GSO) and hospitality services providers – the company already owns and operates Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), the leading independent GSO serving the North American meetings and incentive marketplace for over 30 years. Like Associated Luxury Hotels’ ALHI, Worldhotels is a highly respected, leading global group consisting primarily of independent upper-upscale and luxury-level hotels and resorts and independent hotel brands around the world. Worldhotels’ primary focus is on the transient travel sectors, meetings and loyalty solutions. As private operating companies, the terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
The acquisition represents a timely and unique opportunity to increase Associated Luxury Hotels’ competitiveness and profile with the addition of remarkably complementary, membership-based service offerings and a geographically diverse network. Worldhotels will remain focused on the individual business traveler (IBT), leisure and meeting sector solutions and expertise for its 75,000 rooms among 350 member hotels and resorts around the world. ALHI will continue focusing on the North American meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (M.I.C.E.) marketplace for its membership of more than 250 luxury-level independent hotels and resorts totaling 138,500 rooms, plus their Global Luxury Alliance members across the globe. ALHI had already announced to its members that it plans to establish “ALHI boots on the ground,” augmenting its ALHI GSO sales team into Europe in 2017. Both ALHI and Worldhotels have been exploring means of expanding their geographic reach, talent pool, market penetration, and tactical deployment, making this strategic combination beneficial to both organizations and their memberships.
According to Associated Luxury Hotels Chairman, David Gabri, the company will operate ALHI and Worldhotels as separate divisions, initially keeping the memberships and operations of each organization separate as it evolves incremental benefits and synergy to each. Based on the unique market positioning of individual hotels and resorts within Worldhotels, some select member hotels and resorts may be invited into the ALHI membership portfolio for the benefit of the customers and accounts around the world. Worldhotels’ portfolio, like ALHI’s, features city center business hotels, historic grand landmark hotels, lifestyle hotels, boutique hotels and exquisite resorts. Most of Worldhotels’ member hotels and resorts are outside of America, with major concentrations in Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.
Strategic Hotel-Centric Combination Benefits Both Brands & Customers
“Bringing together these two highly respected and established companies enables us to better serve the evolving needs of our member hotels, resorts and emerging brands, plus their management and ownership groups,” said Gabri. “I believe the members will appreciate our hotel-centric, hotel-experienced approach in supporting their properties. Additionally, this combination will eventually greatly benefit the broad base of customers we serve in the meetings, convention and incentive, as well as the business travel and leisure travel sectors. Member hotels of both companies and their guests will benefit from the expanded access, markets, and global sales and marketing capability of a proven and passionate client service approach with a broader global footprint.”
“With this strategic acquisition, Associated Luxury Hotels is preparing to become more valuable to hotel owners and operating companies as a significant, full-service ‘soft brand’ that provides GSO sales with broad-reaching reservations connectivity solutions to market their distinctive, unique and independent properties to transient segments and M.I.C.E. planners worldwide,” said Gabri. “Since we formed our company in 1986, we have been focused on being the very best GSO resource for our exclusive member hotels and resorts, as well as serve valued clients and organizations with such an amazing portfolio of distinctive, quality-focused properties and services. The addition of Worldhotels to our organization is an exciting and logical expansion of that mission.”
Gabri added, “Together ALHI and Worldhotels will create a powerful combination to provide guests, members, and M.I.C.E. planners a comprehensive sales and marketing infrastructure and an expanded array of services that will effectively compete with the world’s biggest hospitality chains. These two companies have very common and complementary characteristics. Both serve independent brands and properties across the globe. Worldhotels are known for their distinct ability to penetrate corporate travel accounts, transient sales and consortia, while ALHI has built a reputation as experts in the M.I.C.E. arena. Worldhotels’ portfolio is mostly outside of North America while ALHI’s is currently predominantly within North America. We believe this is a formidable combination where 1+1 = 3; for the benefit of members and accounts we serve.”
Associated Luxury Hotels Chief Commercial Officer Adds Role as Executive Chairman of Worldhotels
In conjunction with the acquisition, Gabri announced that Associated Luxury Hotels’ Chief Commercial Officer Tom Santora will assume the additional role of Executive Chairman of Worldhotels, where he will oversee the strategic direction for Worldhotels. Worldhotels’ highly respected and talented Chief Executive Officer Geoff Andrew, who is continuing as CEO, will lead Worldhotels and its organization of 140 sales professionals and expert staff globally, from the headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
According to Santora, the acquisition accelerates the path for both companies to lead the market in providing clients and members a powerful sales and marketing infrastructure and expanded array of services that effectively competes with the world’s biggest hospitality chains. “In contrast to the mega-brand conglomerates, the ALHI and Worldhotels’ portfolios consist primarily of authentic and unique independent hotels and resorts that are prized for their distinctiveness, individuality and character, which are highly sought after by today’s travelers,” he said. “As the M.I.C.E., business travel and leisure markets demand extraordinary localized experiences over accommodations and sameness, the two portfolios stand prepared to provide comprehensive sales, marketing, distribution and hospitality services for independent hotels and resorts worldwide, and are ideally positioned to serve this need.”
Andrew added, “We are very enthusiastic about this new partnership with Associated Luxury Hotels. Our mission is to Empower True Independence and we see tremendous opportunities to deliver against that goal and drive more business to our members. Together we will undoubtedly be the premier provider of hospitality services to independent hotels around the world.”
For more information, visit alhi.com, worldhotels.com and alhworld.com.
About Associated Luxury Hotels
Associated Luxury Hotels (alhworld.com) is the parent company of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) and Worldhotels. With the acquisition of Worldhotels, the highly-respected Associated Luxury Hotels has significantly expanded its global footprint, its collection of member hotels and resorts, and its worldwide sales, marketing, distribution and hospitality services. As the owner and operator of ALHI and Worldhotels, Associated Luxury Hotels is now an even more valuable hospitality resource for owners and operators of independent upper-upscale and luxury-level hotels and resorts, and independent hotel brands around the world. Associated Luxury Hotels is now a significant, full-service “soft brand” solution which provides an expanded array of Global Sales Organization services with broad-reaching reservations connectivity solutions, a powerful sales and marketing infrastructure, and an impressive geographic reach. The company is headquartered in Orlando, Florida.
About Worldhotels, with 350 Hotels & Resorts
The 40-year-old Worldhotels (worldhotels.com) is a global brand that brings together some of the world's most unique independent hotels, including almost 350 member hotels and resorts in 250 locations in 65 countries, collectively incorporating 75,000 rooms. This includes 175 hotels and resorts in Europe, 93 in Asia Pacific, 19 in South America, 11 inthe Middle East, 5 in Africa, and 38 in North America. The company offers its membership luxury-level hotels, resorts, and small competitive brands a comprehensive range of services – including global marketing, sales, training, e-commerce and state-of-the-art distribution and technology. These services, when combined with the power of the global Worldhotels brand, provide independent hotels a soft brand solution that allows them to retain their individual character and identity while capitalizing on global marketing opportunities targeting the IBT, leisure traveler, meetings and distribution sectors. The company remains based and headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany.
About ALHI, with 250 Hotels & Resorts + Alliance Members
ALHI (alhi.com), the leading independent Global Sales Organization serving the North American meetings and incentive (M&I) marketplace, provides one-call local access for its distinguished membership of more than 250 luxury-level hotels and resorts, collectively comprising 138,500 rooms, plus a Global Alliance partnership including 23 luxury cruise ships appropriate for M&I programs,and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 100-plus locations worldwide.
ALHI, effectively, assists M&I planners in the U.S. and Canada with their M&I programs in the U.S.A. and in more than 90 other countries worldwide. The member dues-funded ALHI GSO has been serving its clientele with an unparalleled variety of M&I solutions around the globe for more than 30 years. Offering extensive GSO sales services throughout the United States and Canada at no cost to M&I customers, ALHI provides valuable services, expertise, local connectivity, market intelligence, and account advocacy.
ALHI provides a team of experienced, proven and knowledgeable sales professionals to serve as advocates for M&I clients via full market one-call professional GSO sales assistance and access to ALHI’s distinctive hotels, resorts, and venue resources for M&I programs of any size and scope worldwide. ALHI helps M&I customers best achieve their objectives and budgets, with exceptional venues, vital insights, and responsive service to enhance the ease and success of their programs.
For more information about ALHI, to inquire about any of the ALHI portfolio properties and Alliance partners, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s “2017 Meeting Facilities Guide” or the ALHI app, contact your nearest of the 20 ALHI Global Sales offices situated coast-to-coast in the United States and in Canada, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), or visit alhi.com . ALHI Global Sales offices are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Richmond, Southern California (3), Toronto, Washington, D.C., and
Washington (state). For specifics, go to alhi.com to identify the nearest “ALHI GSO Team” sales professionals in your state/area.
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PR Contact: Karen Lamonica at (407) 788-7070, ext. 208 or klamonica@78Madison.com
Note: High-resolution photos of David Gabri, Tom Santora, Geoff Andrew, ALHI member hotels and resorts, and Worldhotels member hotels and resorts, are available by contacting Karen Lamonica.