Yes, it would be great, and WORLD - HO TELS does that. Recently, the WORLDHO TELS group added the Seoul Palace Hotel to their ranks and explained more about their organization to Seoul-based media at the same time. They explained that while they do create a worldwide network of hotel properties that work together, they also retain the originality of each property and help it to keep its unique charm.
The organization already counts 80 hotels in the Asia-Pacific region as part of its network. What that means exactly is that each of the hotels keeps its own name brand, but WORLDHOTELS provides them with new technology, e-commerce solutions, sales and distribution systems. It also helps them with marketing and public relations, shopping coordination, strategic partnerships and even pricing advice. It offers independent hotels the benefits of collective strength.
The WORLDHOTELS ’ expansion into Seoul in December is not a surprise, because the Asia-Pacific region is the fastest growing geographical area for the organization. Additionally, the region is estimated to account for approximately 20 percent of the revenue experienced by WORLDHO - TELS this year. The growth and expansion of international business is obviously good for hotel businesses as well.
WORLDHOTELS is based in Europe, where it was founded in 1970 in Frankfurt, Germany. It includes nearly 450 unique hotels worldwide, which together offer over 100,000 rooms. They are located in over 250 destinations in over 65 countries – a truly world-spanning organization.
Earlier in 2009, the organization was commended by Travelocity Asia Pacific for its strong sales performance across a broad range of online channels in the Travelocity group. The recognition was given at a Travelocity event in Hong Kong in March. WORLDHOTELS affiliate Hotel Jen was also separately commended for its stellar performance through the Travelocity group of channels. “We are delighted with this result, which is evidence of WORLDHO TELS commitment to helping our affiliate hotels get the maximum benefit from the all-important online channels, which are rapidly growing in importance as a source of business,” said Roland Jegge, Vice President Asia Pacific of WORLDHOTELS .
WORLDHOTELS locations often get other awards as well, including five star and platinum ratings. This is because the group has a 1,900 point list that each hotel must qualify for before joining the organization. Also, annual mystery guests visit each hotel randomly, and the group awards its own ratings to the best hotels within its collection. Also, the group maintains its strict standards with a program called Unlimited Training, in which hotels can send an unlimited number of staff to all training sessions offered by WORLDHO TELS for a one-off nominal fee. In 2010, the academy will offer over 300 training courses in over 40 international destinations, which is sure to keep standards high.
The company provides a number of technical services for its member hotels to solve the problems common to all hotels. In an interview, Vice President Jegge explained by saying, “Our technology products include Gateway, a state-of-the-art CRS [Central Reservations System] interfacing with all major hotel PMS systems. We also offer Resmaster, a multilingual booking engine for the hotel website, Nexus, a sales automation tool to link our hotels to 30 sales offices around the globe, and Mediaserve, the worlds most sophisticated platform for distribution of images and content.” He said that these products belong exclusively to WORLDHO TELS , and are provided by their sister companies Trust International, Nexus and VFM Leonardo. These technological solutions help to give independent hotels an edge over their competition.
The hotel organization is very dedicated to technology. They believe that innovation in the forefront of technology has been one of the main reasons why they get higher returns in business and revenue for their 450 affiliated hotels. “The fact that our technology is developed in-house makes us faster to develop new and tailor-made solutions for the hotels,” explained Jegge. “Also, through frequent user meetings and conferences we are gathering feedback from hotels and hotel groups on how to enhance these systems.” The company prides itself on releasing updated versions of their CRS program at least twice a year. They are very dedicated to technological superiority.
The company is most excited about recent technological development of their Internet booking services, with their custom-designed Resmaster Internet Booking Engine (IBE). Jegge said, “Resmaster was developed over 18 months by our teams in Germany and Ireland and with an investment bill of over 2 million euro. We started to unroll it to our hotels in January. Since installation, it has generated a 32 percent increase in revenue for the hotels that changed from the former IBE.”
Resmaster includes a number of innovative features. For example, it allows for multiple room bookings and easy room reservations for families with children. In addition, the new booking engine enables travel agents and corporate clients to book their own negotiated rates via an individual sign-in process. It is fully integrated with WORLDHO TELS ’ Central Reservation System, allowing hotels to easily manage their daily inventory, availability and rates. Room nights and revenue generated by Resmaster are automatically included in reports and are available to the hotels online.
These technological advances have been able to give WORLDHOTELS a recession-proof lead over its competition. Developing these new technologies has been part of the Impact 2009 strategy, which also included initiative schemes for corporate clients and MICE agents. This resulted in growth in 2009 when most other organizations were experiencing stagnation, or even downsizing. But WORLDHOTELS has been pulling ahead of the competition in this difficult economic time.
The WORLDHOTELS banner is “Unique Hotels for Unique People.” For nearly 40 years, the company’s mission has been to offer business and leisure travellers easy access to a wide range of accommodation options with a strong emphasis on hotels of character and distinction. When asked for some parting advice for Asian business travelers, Roland Jegge said, “Asia offers a wide variety of cultures and flavors. Don’t be afraid to go local and try out a different experience.” And with WORLDHOTELS , you definitely don’t have to be afraid to follow his advice.
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