Tony Potter, chief executive officer and managing director of Malta-based CHI Hotels & Resorts (CHI), the exclusive operator of the luxury Corinthia Hotels Brand worldwide and also the exclusive operating company for Wyndham Hotel Group (WHG)-managed hotels in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (EMEA) trading under the Wyndham and Ramada Plaza brands, was the keynote speaker at Corinthia Hotels’ annual media business breakfast held at Tavern on the Green in New York City on Thursday, September 10, 2009. Mr. Potter was joined by Glenn Carroll, CHI’s senior vice president for Sales and Marketing and senior executives from the Wyndham Hotel Group.
At the event, Tony Potter said: “It is particularly encouraging for me, especially this year, to be able to talk about the growth pattern and objectives of Corinthia Hotels for the next few years. I am also particularly pleased to be joined today by our senior colleagues from Wyndham who are 30 percent investors in CHI and for who CHI Hotels & Resorts are their management company in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.”
During the event, Potter revealed major developments concerning the Corinthia Hotels’ rebranding project and new positioning on the market and gave details on CHI’s rapidly-expanding portfolio of luxury hotels, most notably the exclusive Corinthia Hotel London, due to open in 2010. He also updated the media on new initiatives aimed at boosting the company’s exclusive “Events At Corinthia” program for the Meetings, Incentives, Conference, and Events (MICE) market. Tony Potter also briefed guests on the launch of CHI’s employees training initiatives.
Finally, CHI’s chief executive officer announced the Honorees for this year’s World Tourism Awards to be presented in London at World Travel Market on November 10, 2009. Now in its 12th year, Corinthia Hotels co-sponsors the awards in collaboration with American Express, International Herald Tribune, and Reed Travel Exhibitions.
CORINTHIA HOTELS RE-BRANDING FOCUSES ON LUXURY AND ELEGANCE
This project is now in its final phase, and the elegant new livery will shortly be gracing the facades of all Corinthia Hotel properties worldwide. A new highly-interactive web site and complimentary hotel collateral are being launched simultaneously, while the stylish new hotel directory reflects the true essence of the brand and the opulence of its hotels. The finalization of this project is in line with the brand’s repositioning to the upper tier of the luxury hotel sector.
HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN LONDON AND BEYOND
More than ever, the Corinthia Hotels brand is poised to play an increasingly-prominent hospitality role worldwide with the opening in 2010 of the stunning 296-bedroom luxury Corinthia Hotel London, located in the heart of the capital in Whitehall alongside the Thames. Meanwhile, negotiations are currently underway for similar upscale properties in other leading destinations, such as Paris, Moscow, Rome, and New York. This represents a dramatic move for the luxury Corinthia Hotels collection, which to date has been steadily building a five-star portfolio in key European destinations and the Mediterranean basin.
The company has recently reopened the totally-renovated and extended Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg, which now offers the largest conference facilities in the city. It has completed the refurbishment works at the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa in Malta, added a state-of-the-art Spa at the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon, and launched the first stage of the Corinthia Beach Resort in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt with the opening of the Tiran Hotel. This will shortly be followed by the opening of the adjoining Tiran Residence and the Corinthia Resort Hotel to complete the Corinthia Beach Resort – Sharm El Sheikh.
The development of the Corinthia Lake Resort and Spa (2011) in Romania and the Corinthia Budapest Gate and Residences (2012) in Hungary are both on schedule, while plans for the construction of a second hotel in Libya, the Corinthia Hotel Benghazi, are at an advanced stage.
THE JOINT VENTURE WITH WYNDHAM HOTEL GROUP CONTINUES TO GROW AND PROVIDE CHI WITH A BROADER REACH WORLDWIDE
Apart from the Corinthia Hotels that already form part of the exclusive Wyndham Grand Collection, CHI will also be operating a number of Wyndham- and Ramada-branded hotels that are currently under development – these include the Wyndham Port Lixus Resort in Morocco (2011), the Ramada Abu Dhabi Mafraq (2010), and Ramada Abu Dhabi Beach (2011) hotel in Abu Dhabi and the Ramada Hotel & Suites – Jumeira Beach in Dubai (2010).
EVENTS AT CORINTHIA
Corinthia Hotels have become a top choice for the Meetings, Incentives, Conference, and Events (MICE) market, as well as for the corporate travel sector and has achieved peak performance through marketing and the specialized “Events At Corinthia” program. Newer conference centers such as the technologically-advanced one in St. Petersburg, Russia consolidate the chain’s position as the leading conference venue in terms of size and facilities in destinations such as Malta, Budapest, Prague, Lisbon, Tripoli, and St. Petersburg itself.
In tune with the “Events At Corinthia” philosophy, “Stress Free and Successful,” the Corinthia team, is always looking for new ways to facilitate meeting planners’ work and offer the ultimate in resources. With this objective in mind, Corinthia recently launched the new Events At Corinthia website www.corinthiaevents.com, designed as a one-stop shop web site for meeting planners, making it easy to search by hotel, destination, or date, and check for promotions and special offers available at all Corinthia Hotels.
Another Corinthia-exclusive is the Events At Corinthia dedicated traveling assistant, whereby every group organizer and meeting planner is provided a dedicated 24/7 experienced Events At Corinthia staff person to assist with all the needs and requirements of the planner and his group. Corinthia has also launched the Traveling Assistant Program, which is available for every organizer of groups with 300 or more room nights. The planner can have the same dedicated Events At Corinthia staff person who assisted them for their meeting in the first Corinthia Hotel, travel to a second (or more) Corinthia location prior to their next meeting, where they brief the new Corinthia team on the special needs and requirements of that particular group.
STAFF TRAINING INITIATIVES
At a time when the industry is experiencing a lull in business due to the current economic situation, CHI is doubling its efforts at encouraging team members from across all its brands, namely Corinthia, Wyndham, Ramada Plaza, and independent properties, to undergo extensive re-training programs to improve their skills and train their colleagues in readiness for the upsurge in business levels that is expected to follow in due course.
The Talent team at CHI has developed an intensive “Reach for the Stars” train the trainer program as one of the modules of a more comprehensive set of 123s included in CHI’s newly-launched corporate operational training manual. This manual has been endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality Industry of the United Kingdom. Specialized trainers from all CHI hotels underwent intensive training in the Reach For The Stars program and will henceforth be imparting their newly-gained training skills and CHI’s company values to all their colleagues at their place of work.
Another aspect of CHI’s intensive training program tackles health and safety at the place of work. A company-wide health and safety drive has been launched and involved selected team members from each hotel. These were inducted into the company’s newly-launched health and safety standards and thereby certified and empowered to act as Health & Safety Officers in their respective hotels.
Other key training programs are targeting specifically the international Corinthia Hotels five-star brand, the “Spirit of Corinthia Hospitality Worldwide,” and focusing on cultural training for all team members, including top management. These are due to be launched within the third quarter of this year.
ABOUT CORINTHIA HOTELS
Corinthia Hotels is an internationally-acclaimed brand of luxury hotels in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Libya, Malta, Portugal, and Russia. Founded by the Pisani family of Malta in the 1960s, the Corinthia brand stands in that proud tradition of Mediterranean hospitality, and its signature services communicate the “Warm Smiles, Inspired Flavors, and Pleasant Surprises” of its Maltese heritage. All Corinthia hotels feature state-of-the art conference areas, extensive leisure and business traveler facilities, and are each renowned for their uniqueness of character. Corinthia Hotels’ portfolio includes two award-winning properties: The Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Hungary – winner of Europe’s “Best Hotel Architecture Award” and member of “The Most Famous Hotels in the World” and The Corinthia Hotel Prague in the Czech Republic – the first hotel ever to win Best Gastronomy Concept in the Czech Republic and a recipient of the “5 stars and 6 stripes” designation from renowned US reviewer Seven Stars and Stripes. The Corinthia Hotels portfolio also features the elegant Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa and the splendid Corinthia Hotel St. Georges Bay in Malta; the superior five-star Corinthia Hotel Tripoli, Libya; the modern Corinthia Hotel Lisbon in Portugal; and the renowned Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg, Russia. The Corinthia Hotels brand is associated with the “Wyndham Grand Collection” tier of upscale hotels worldwide.
ABOUT CHI HOTELS & RESORTS (CHI)
CHI Hotels & Resorts is a leading hotel operating company that is a joint venture between Malta-based International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) and Wyndham Hotel Group (WHG) of the United States of America. CHI provides technical assistance and hotel management services to Corinthia Hotels, as well as to independent hotel owners worldwide. CHI is also the exclusive operating company for WHG managed hotels in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (EMEA) trading under the Wyndham and Ramada Plaza brands. The company has accumulated over 45 years of experience in delivering a high-quality service to hotel guests and an optimum rate of return for owners and investors in diverse business environments. Its expertise extends to management of luxury and upscale properties in city and resort locations and products ranging from boutique to large conference and meeting hotels.
ABOUT WYNDHAM HOTEL GROUP
Wyndham Hotel Group, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE: WYN), encompasses more than 7,000 hotels and 590,000 rooms in 66 countries under the hotel brands: Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Ramada®, Days Inn®, Super 8®, Wingate® by Wyndham, Baymont Inn & Suites®, Microtel Inns & Suites®, Hawthorn Suites®, Howard Johnson®, Travelodge®, and Knights Inn®. All hotels are independently owned and operated excluding certain Wyndham and international Ramada hotels, which are managed by our affiliate or through a joint venture partner. Wyndham Hotel Group is based in Parsippany, N.J. Additional information is available at www.wyndhamworldwide.com.