Associated Luxury Hotels has taken its global footprint and made it even bigger with the acquisition of Worldhotels, which has a large presence in Asia Pacific.
Associated Luxury Hotels already owns and operates Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), a leading independent Global Sales Organisation serving the North American MICE marketplace for over 30 years.
Worldhotels will remain focused on the individual business traveller (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 MICE marketplace for its membership of more than 250 luxury-level independent hotels and resorts.
Associated Luxury Hotels and ALHI are headquartered in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., and Worldhotels will remain headquartered and based in Frankfurt, Germany. As private operating companies, the terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
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, with everything from local talent pools to tactical deployment.
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 organisation independent.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
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’ CEO Geoff Andrew, who is continuing as CEO, will lead Worldhotels and its organisation of 140 sales professionals and expert staff globally, from the headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
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.”