by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | February 07, 2017
Consolidation in the hotel industry continues. This week, Orlando-based Associated Luxury Hotels, the parent company of Associated Luxury Hotels International, an independent global hotel sales organization in North America, announced its acquisition of Frankfurt-based Worldhotels. The purchase will significantly expands ALHI's global footprint.

Like Associated Luxury Hotels' ALHI, Worldhotels is a leading global group consisting primarily of independent upper-upscale and luxury-level hotels and resorts, as well as independent hotel brands around the world. Worldhotels' primary focus is on the transient travel sectors, meetings and loyalty solutions. Both companies will continue to operate out of their respective headquarters.

According to Associated Luxury Hotels, the acquisition represents an opportunity to increase the company's competitiveness and profile with the addition of complementary, membership-based service offerings and a geographically diverse network. Worldhotels will remain focused on business travelers, leisure customers and the meeting sector solutions for its 350 member hotels and resorts, mostly in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, which represent 75,000 rooms around the world.

ALHI will continue focusing on the North American meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions marketplace for its membership of more than 250 luxury, independent hotels and resorts, totaling 138,500 rooms, as well as Global Luxury Alliance members across the globe. ALHI had already announced plans to establish "ALHI boots on the ground," augmenting its ALHI global sales team in Europe in 2017.

In addition, both ALHI and Worldhotels have been exploring means of expanding their geographic reach, talent pool, market penetration and tactical deployment, making this strategic combination beneficial to both organizations and their memberships.

According to ALH chairman David Gabri, the company will operate ALHI and Worldhotels as separate divisions, initially keeping the memberships and operations of each organization separate. Based on the market positioning of individual hotels and resorts within Worldhotels, some select member hotels and resorts might be invited into the ALHI membership portfolio. Worldhotels' portfolio, like ALHI's, features city-center business hotels, historic grand landmark hotels, lifestyle hotels, boutique hotels and high-end resorts. 

"Bringing together these two highly respected and established companies enables us to better serve the evolving needs of our member hotels, resorts and emerging brands, plus their management and ownership groups," said Gabri in a statement announcing the acquisition. "I believe the members will appreciate our hotel-centric, hotel-experienced approach in supporting their properties. Additionally, this combination will eventually greatly benefit the broad base of customers we serve in the meetings, convention and incentive, as well as the business travel and leisure travel sectors. Member hotels of both companies and their guests will benefit from the expanded access, markets, and global sales and marketing capability of a proven and passionate client-service approach with a broader global footprint."