WORLDHOTELS holds 2010 Annual Conference

Guest Writer

(Hong Kong, 19 January 2010) - Hoteliers from 33 cities in 15 Asia Pacific countries convened in Bali over the past weekend for the first of the WORLDHOTELS Regional Annual Conferences in 2010, themed ‘Raising the Bar’ to highlight new initiatives for success in the face of challenging economic times.

Nearly a hundred delegates representing 80 established affiliate hotels and 13 new entrants to the Asia Pacific portfolio of WORLDHOTELS, the leading global hotel group for independent hotels, gathered at the Ayodya Resort Bali for the three-day event from 15 - 17 January.

The platform designed primarily for General Managers, Directors of Sales & Marketing and Revenue Managers was the first of three regional WORLDHOTELS annual conferences worldwide.

It enabled fellow hoteliers to get together with WORLDHOTELS Specialist Teams from around the globe, and was an opportunity to celebrate successes, share new business initiatives, launch new technologies and strategic partnerships, and exchange experiences in the wake of the global downturn.

WORLDHOTELS Managing Director Robert Hornman reviewed highlights of 2009 before focusing on essential strategies for success in 2010.

Explaining how the theme ‘Raising the Bar!’ applies to all areas of business, he said: “In challenging times like these, the greatest opportunities lie in stretching ourselves and each other beyond the status quo to achieve more, together.”

WORLDHOTELS Asia Pacific Vice President Roland Jegge reviewed major developments in Asia over the year - including a significant expansion of the affiliate portfolio in India and China - and his prognosis for 2010.

As he noted: “2009 has been an unprecedented year in the light of the global economic situation not seen since the last Great Depression. But being armed with the group’s “IMPACT 2009″ strategies and new initiatives for 2010 can ensure that hotels emerge stronger ahead of competitors, regardless of any downturn or unexpected crisis.”

Break-out ‘Knowledge Sessions’ provided insight into critical strategies, trends and best practices ranging from making the most out of consortia investment and online platforms, including WORLDHOTELS.resmaster, to maximising regional sales & marketing resources and capitalising on growth markets.

Fresh perspectives were presented on staying ahead of the competition in Meetings & Events amid higher costs and lower margins, effectively managing the Corporate and TMC segments and invaluable sales tips in a recession

Industry experts addressing the conference on key issues included Jonas Ogren, Area Director, Asia, STR Global, and Malcolm McLeod of Motivation Worldwide, discussing roadmaps to success.

Joe McCormack, General Manager, Global & Client Hotel Programmes for FCm Travel Solutions presented his views on how consortia have evolved their business models in the face of challenging times - and how to ensure they deliver on investments.

Anthony Ku, Regional Vice President Asia Pacific for Trust International, outlined latest trends and enhancements in the ‘distribution highway’.

An E-Commerce panel discussion addressed the thin line between being social and anti-social on the web - from common sins to how to win friends and not make enemies to build a brand. Addressing the topic were Craig Hewit, Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Wego; Victoria Chen, Manager, Media Sales & Partnerships (Zuji) Travelocity; Leonie Ameringer, Director E-Marketing, WORLDHOTELS; Arnaud Girodon, General Manager, Indigo Pearl; and Morris Sim, Co-Founder and CEO, Circos.com.

One2One meetings with preferred partners, specialists and technology experts were arranged to showcase opportunities for joint collaborations.

A plenary on human resources advised how to best harness talent; with the essential issue that “the selection process is king” in recruiting personality types for a winning team.

The conference closed with a spectacular Gala Awards Dinner, showcasing the unique colour, mystique and charm of Bali, as WORLDHOTELS saluted the year’s best performers.

Awards in five categories went to: Furama Resort Danang, Vietnam (Best E-Commerce Impact);  Stamford Plaza Adelaide, Australia (Best Revenue Impact); Indigo Pearl, Phuket, Thailand (Best Website Impact); Harbour Grand Kowloon, Hong Kong (Best Cooperation and Sales Engagement); and StarWorld Hotel & Casino, Macau (Best Marketing Engagement).

The conference is one of three regional WORLDHOTELS Annual Conferences in 2010.

The EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Conference will be held in Paris on 29 January to 1 February, followed by The Americas conference in Dallas, Texas on 8 - 11 February.

The need for three conferences underlines the global nature of WORLDHOTELS, which currently represents almost 450 affiliate properties in 250 destinations across 65 countries worldwide.

— End —

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