WORLDHOTELS forum seeks future trends

WORLDHOTELS concluded a successful 2007 Leadership
Forum last week at the Grand Hotel De La Minerve and the Hotel St.
George Roma in Rome, two WORLDHOTELS Deluxe Collection properties.The Leadership Forum, attended by over 100 hotel owners, management
companies and senior general managers, was themed ‘The Future. Now’.
WORLDHOTELS used the opportunity to discuss with its hoteliers key
issues currently affecting the industry and gauge expectations for 2008.
Speakers at the event included Key Industry Experts: Michael Ryan,
Co-founder of Ryanair; Ian McCaig, CEO; Russel Kett,
Managing Director HVS international;
Dr. David Viner, Principal Specialist Climate Change Natural England;
David Thorp, Director of Research and Information, The Chartered
Institute of Marketing, among others.

As part of WORLDHOTELS commitment to listening to its hoteliers, a
survey was conducted among the attendees of the forum about their point
of view on current trends and developments. When asked if recent strong
business growth would continue for the next three years, 84% replied
positively, with respondents citing, for example, the effect of global
and local economy growth as well as the prevalence of low-cost airlines.
In addition, 88% believed their RevPar would be higher in 2008 due to
improved yield management, advanced revenue strategies, and increased


The survey also reflected the growing importance of online technology.
86% believed that in the next three years consumers would use hotel
websites in preference to online agents. While 57% believed that over
the same period control over rates and inventory would shift towards the
hotel industry rather than to intermediaries. Awareness and motivation
are the keys to becoming more environmentally friendly, as well as
working with suppliers to establish ‘green’ supply chains.



WORLDHOTELS also used the Leadership forum to award the hotels that best
performed in its Performance Excellence Programme (PEP) in the past 12
months. The programme, introduced in 2006, evaluates the service and
quality of its member hotels by comparing performance between hotel
departments and hotels and their competitors. The programme also offers
solutions as to how to take advantage of the reports as well as
providing benchmark options with year on year data comparison. The
winning hotels were: Best Result Global and in the EMEA region for 2007:
Marina Hotel, Kuwait; Best Result in APAC 2007: The Eton Hotel,
Shanghai; Best Result in the Americas 2007: Graves|601 Hotel,


Each year the WORLDHOTELS Leadership Forum recognises a key industry
figure; this year Olav Thon, Owner & Founder of Thon Hotel Group, was
presented with a special award. Thon is the owner of the Olav Thon Group
and Thon Hotels, one of Norway’s leading hotel chains with 51 hotels
located all over Norway in addition to Brussels and Rotterdam. After
starting out with selling fox furs from his backpack as a young boy,
Thon started his own company aged 18; Volvat Furs, with all profits
reinvested in real-estate. Today the Olav Thon Group has a turnover of
about £470 million (700 million Euros) and is involved in real-estate,
hotels, restaurants, retail and industry.