John A. Ueberroth, one of the US travel industry’s most respected figures, has signed an agreement to become the largest shareholder in The Independent Hotel Corporation, IndeCorp. The company provides key sales, marketing, distribution, reservations and revenue management services to more than 300 of the world’s finest independent hotels and resorts under the brands Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Sterling Hotels & Resorts and Summit Hotels & Resorts. Ueberroth, 60, will become Chairman of the Board and CEO of IndeCorp. “I am looking forward to this opportunity,” said Ueberroth, who has more than 30 years of executive level experience in the travel industry, ranging from global travel agencies and travel service companies to an airline and major industry associations.
“IndeCorp has a bright future. We have a wide portfolio of extraordinary hotels and resorts and our brands have an excellent heritage. I view IndeCorp’s cooperative marketing platforms, revenue and channel management, and Internet distribution strategies among the best in the industry. With this investment, I intend to provide even stronger leadership and services to our existing members and ensure that IndeCorp remains at the forefront of the growth of luxury independent hotels. As sophisticated consumers increasingly choose the style and unique attributes of independent hotels, IndeCorp’s brands will be positioned to lead the industry.”
The investment will support sales initiatives and new technology including broad reaching distribution initiatives. With significant capital investment and new leadership, Ueberroth will oversee the expansion of IndeCorp’s portfolio into existing and developing markets around the world. IndeCorp plans to reach a membership of more than 400 hotels by the end of 2005.
“John Ueberroth’s reputation in the travel industry is impeccable and his network of contacts is vast,” said Onno Poortier, IndeCorp Board Member, who, for the last year has overseen and played an active role in the investment process and responsible for bringing it to a successful conclusion. “His arrival ensures a period of growth and development for this organization. He brings a wealth of strategic skills and financial experience which will help in many areas of this business.”
Ueberroth is currently Chairman of the Board at Ambassadors Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPAX) - an education travel company and Co-chairman of the Board at Ambassadors International, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMIE) - a leading travel services company with subsidiaries in developing and managing corporate meetings, conventions and incentive travel programs. He serves on the board of directors of Navigant International, Inc., the second largest travel management business service provider in North America.
He has served as chairman of the Travel Industry Association of America and the US Tour Operators Association, and remains actively involved with both organizations.
He began his career in the travel industry in 1967 when he joined his brother, Peter at Transportation Consultants International (TCI), which became the world’s largest travel representation company representing hotels and airlines among other businesses. Subsequently, TCI bought Ask Mr. Foster travel agency where Ueberroth served as President from 1971-80, growing the business from 29 offices to over 1000. In 1980, TCI was sold to the Carlson Companies. Ueberroth served as President of Carlson Travel Group (now Carlson Wagonlit) from 1980 until 1989. From 1990-93, he served as Chairman and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines.