WorldHotels boosts mainland members

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 November, 2010, 12:00am

WorldHotels, the global hotel branding and services company, plans to double its portfolio of member hotels on the mainland by 2014, by exploring the potential in the country's second-tier cities.

Roland Jegge, vice-president of WorldHotels Asia Pacific, said he expected the number of affiliated properties on the mainland to reach 50, with an aggressive expansion into cities such as Kunming and Ningbo.

'The plan is to develop fast in secondary cities,' Jegge said. 'When we sign a new hotel, we always ensure that it doesn't cannibalise or eat into business of the existing partners.'

The buoyant tourism sector on the mainland encouraged WorldHotels to rev up its expansion, and it sought an annualised growth of 20 to 30 per cent in the coming years, Jegge said. This year it saw sales growth of 52 per cent in its mainland business. The Frankfurt-based company has a collection of 450 independent hotels and offers business and leisure travellers access to the affiliated properties through the SRS - a global hotel reservation and sales network.

It has also embarked on a new strategy that allows affiliated hotels to use the WorldHotels brand. The affiliated properties are normally independent from international brands such as Marriott or Hilton, and are self-managed.

Jegge expected by 2011 five mainland hotels would use the WorldHotels name. 'We are talking to them,' he said. 'In future, I hope half of our partners will use the brand.'

Under the new model, the affiliated partners would retain their independence while being able to use WorldHotels in their signage.