By Anusha Vincent
Worldhotels, which prides itself on being an exclusive collection of the world’s most unique independent hotels, has a strong presence in India, with an excellent mix of properties across the country. And the group is now knee deep in expansion work, with a whooping 20 hotels set to open in the next 15-18 months. Roland Jegge, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Worldhotels, talks to EXEC about the luxury brand and its plans, going forward.
The Indian presence
Worldwide, we have 500 hotels in our portfolio, with 100 of them being in the Asia Pacific alone. We have 11 hotels in India and are looking at opening another 20 within the next 15-18 months. We already have an excellent mix of hotels- properties like the Claridges New Delhi & Claridges Surajkund, Sahara Star in Mumbai and its sister property Aamby Valley, Asiana Hotel Chennai, Mathan in Bangalore, etc. We have been able to generate excellent business for most of our hotels and they obviously see the advantages of tying up with a company like ours, which allows them to retain their brand yet reach out to a global worldwide target market.
Mission of the group
Our mission has always been to allow hotels to maintain their uniqueness, while arming them with the resources needed to compete against the international branded hotels. Under our new parent company, Independent Hospitality Solutions (IHS), Worldhotels, together with sister companies like Trust International, IFH® AG and Nexus World Services, provides affiliate hotels with a complete business solution that no other hotel affiliation company can rival.
New avenues of growth
Recently, Worldhotels has expanded its offering and gone beyond the service offering of a traditional representation company. We now offer hotels the option of becoming part of our own full-service hotel group. The new Full License option allows hotels to operate as a fully branded Worldhotel, and enjoy the benefits of expert management services provided by industry leaders. We recognise that many hotels want to benefit from a strong consumer brand, but without submitting to the overly rigid product standards of the traditional hard-brand hotel groups, which limits returns on investment. The new Worldhotel Full License solution bridges that gap.
The first Full License hotel
Our first Full License hotel is due to open in Chandigarh under the brand of Worldhotel Turquoise Chandigarh. It is an excellently located 80-room hotel, ideal for the business and leisure traveller. This will be the first Leed certified green building in the city with excellent dining and conference facilities. Other cities that we are focussing on are Hyderabad, Goa, Aurangabad, Indore, Coimbatore, Lucknow, Jaipur and cities in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. There is a great opportunity for growth in tier II & tier III cities as the metros are getting saturated in terms of availability of land.
Maximum comfort and minimum fuss for the business traveller
Today’s business travellers want comfort with minimum fuss and all facilities within easy access. They also demand respect for privacy. Most of our hotels have decent conferencing facilities- the MICE facilities at Claridges Surajkund, Aamby Valley Pune, Asiana hotel in Chennai & Mathan hotel in Bangalore are especially exceptional.
Beating the competition
We constantly invest in new technologies and expand our presence by opening more sales offices, expanding our Performance Revenue Optimization (PRO) teams and delivering better results.