Rapid Global Expansion Supported by Strategic Staff Appointments and Positioning as Portfolio Strengthens and Advances into New Regions
Spurred by a marked increase in membership, Preferred Hotel Group added 83 hotels and resorts to its global portfolio over the past six months and is approaching the new year from an outlook of strength (see addendum for complete listing). The industry-leading company has positioned itself for continued success in 2010, bolstering areas of growth through strategic staff appointments and the realignment of sales regions.
Several other strategies for growth have been announced in recent months. A new GDS provider, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, will greatly enhance Preferred Hotel Group’s distribution marketing and technology capabilities this year. In addition, the company introduced Sterling Design, a new designation within its Sterling Hotels brand to identify chic, design-led hotels and resorts that are accessible to travelers seeking smart value.
Preferred Hotel Group’s recent increases continue a record, consistent over the past 40 months, of strong retention (approximately 94%) combined with a constant net growth of 12%. This has brought total membership to more than 700 independent hotels and resorts in over 75 countries across Preferred Hotel Group’s five distinctive brands: Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Preferred Boutique, Summit Hotels & Resorts, Sterling Hotels, and Historic Hotels of America.
Realigned Sales Regions
To support areas of growth, which are particularly significant in Africa and India, Preferred Hotel Group has redefined several of its sales regions. From the former EMEA, two separate regions have been created: Europe, the U.K., and Ireland as one; India, the Middle East, and Africa as the other (with India shifting from Asia Pacific). The company’s two remaining sales regions – The Americas and Asia Pacific – have also seen tremendous increases.
Strategic Corporate Appointments
Preferred Hotel Group has announced several senior-level appointments to its corporate management team. Ken Mastrandrea has been appointed Executive Managing Director Corporate Operations and Vice President, Business Development, working from Preferred Hotel Group’s corporate office in Chicago. In an expansion of her existing role, New York–based Nichole L. DiBenedetto has been promoted from Director of Public Relations for Historic Hotels of America, a position she had held since September 2008, to Director, Global Public Relations. In addition, Michael Osgood joins the company as Managing Director, Global Sales for Preferred Golf, a new position created to help the company further develop its highly successful golf membership program. Osgood is based in Newport Beach, California.
Joining the Americas team as Miami-based Regional Director – Florida and Caribbean is Peter Kressaty, a 17-year hospitality industry veteran most recently with Carino Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
From July to December 2009, Preferred Hotel Group accepted 37 members in strategic resort and city locations throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Prestigious new additions to the U.S. portfolio span from coast to coast and include The Allison Inn & Spa (Preferred Boutique) near Portland, Oregon; Post Ranch Inn (Preferred Boutique) in Big Sur, California; Hotel Urbano (Sterling Hotels/Sterling Design) in Miami, Florida; The Seagate Hotel & Spa (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) in Delray Beach, Florida; and The Wort Hotel (Preferred Boutique/Historic Hotels of America) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Also notable in The Americas are Anandá Hotel Boutique (Preferred Boutique) in Cartagena De Indias, Colombia, and Natal Ocean Club (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) in Rio Grand Do Norte, Brazil.
India, the Middle East and Africa (IMEA)
Escalating growth in IMEA over the past six months welcomes 13 new members to this region. Most new India members are newly opened properties, located in growing resort destinations such as Goa and Kerala, and in increasingly important business hubs such as Bangalore and Hyderabad. These new members range from The Zuri-Kumarakom, Kerala Resort & Spa (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) in Kerala; Dream Cochin (Summit Hotels & Resorts) in Cochin and The Leela Palace Kempinski (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) in Udaipur.
New Africa members in this region include Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) in Mombasa, Kenya, The Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Residences (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) in Cape Town, South Africa, and Kenzi Tower Hotel, (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) in Casablanca, Morocco.
Europe, the U.K., and Ireland
Earlier this Fall, Preferred announced the appointment of industry professional Shannon Reid as Director, Marketing – EMEA. Shannon takes over the role from Chris Fradin, who has moved into the Regional Director position for U.K. and Ireland. Fradin’s strategic appointment will build on his strong member relations and drive further growth in the region.
Nineteen new hotels and resorts have joined Preferred Hotel Group’s European portfolio, strengthening the organization’s presence, particularly in the Mediterranean region. Of note are three in Italy: Grand Hotel Tremezzo (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) in Tremezzo, Grand Hotel di Como (Summit Hotels & Resorts) in Como, and Palazzo Vecchietti (Preferred Boutique) in Florence. Other new European members include Mon Hotel (Sterling Hotels/Sterling Design) in Paris, France, and the NJV Athens Plaza (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) in Athens, Greece.
Expanding its geographic reach to more exclusive resort destinations within the region, Asia Pacific has added 14 new properties. The collection now includes new members such as Legends Resort (Preferred Boutique) in Moorea, French Polynesia; Sheridan Beach Resort & Convention Center (Sterling Hotels) in Palawan, Philippines; Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa (Preferred Boutique) in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; and La Flora Resort & Spa (Summit Hotels & Resorts) in Khao Lak, Thailand. With the recent addition of the brand new Andara Resort and Villas (Preferred Boutique) in Phuket, Thailand, Preferred Hotel Group’s resort collection now represents some of the region’s most unique and upscale properties.
The last six months also featured a significant strategic partnership with Dusit International, marking a new business strategy for Preferred Hotel Group to work with non independent hotels.
New appointments in this region include Peggy Yip, who joined Preferred Hotel Group’s Hong Kong sales team as Director, Marketing – Asia Pacific, and Kaori Yamaguchi, the company’s new Director, Global Sales – Japan, based in Tokyo. Each brings to her position years of expertise in hospitality sales and marketing in the Asia Pacific region.