FOXTROTS

 

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

September 16 2011

 

Interview. Robert Hornman, Worldhotels.

 

M

ANAGING director of Frankfurt-based Worldhotels (WHs), Robert Hornman, is in effect running a new company.

 

 

 

Until 2008 WHs was owned by member hotels, when there was a buyout including the then-head, Michael Ball, and KP Capital. The WHs group now includes Trust, a reservation system, IFH, a training company, and Nexus, a sales management company. Its main business has been hotel marketing and sales, but now it is adding management services.

 

The following paraphrased comments follow a one-on-one interview with Hornman.

 

 

[] News. We have added a ‘Full Licence’ model (FLM) to our current affiliation model. This is in effect a new hotel brand, as the name ‘Worldhotel’ [singular] will be added to the hotel name.

 

Services, including management, will include, for example, a personal website for the hotel. Hotels are not required to standardise their hardware – in the way that, say, a Hilton would – although WH-brand hotels will need to meet WHs’ quality criteria. The hotels will be reviewed twice yearly in secret-guest visits.

 

We target 50 branded hotels by 2013, new as well as existing members. It will be good if we can convert 5% of our existing portfolio into the FLM. At end-2011 we will have close to 20 hotels. We hope we will have 50% in Europe and 50% in Asia Pacific.

 

 

[] Profile. We have a good global footprint; 450 hotels, of which 250 are in EMEA. If we counted all our hotels we would be 11th largest group in terms of rooms. The 10th largest has about 130,000 rooms; we have 110,000. This year WHs will have added near 50 represented hotels, taking us above 100,000 rooms.

 

We have dropped our 3-star category; now we have only first class and deluxe. But FLM hotels will just be Worldhotels – no category.

 

 

[] Philosophy. To be a real hotel company. We thought why can’t we make the brand more prominent? More of our hotels have to compete with group hotels, so many of them want something between franchise and full management. There is a requirement for some standards and some flexibility; but standards does not have to mean standardisation.

 

 

[] New brand. We want the ‘Worldhotel’ name first, with signage on the roof. Our target is for new hotels, not necessarily existing ones.

 

Branded hotels will pay a percentage of room revenue; we require a 10-year contract.

 

 

The Fox