Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
EUROPEAN HOTEL COMPANIES VIE FOR NEW
Overseas Chains Court U.S. Groups
Hotel nH Eurobuilding, Madrid
Despite a daunting market,
international hotel chains are continuing their efforts to attract
business from the U.S. meetings industry.
Even before the downturn in travel, chains with little or no
presence in the States struggled just to get onto the radar screens
of U.S. meeting planners.
“Planners stick with what they know,” said Kattia Jaramillo,
Miami-based director of sales, the Americas, for nH Hotels, which
operates 237 properties in 18 countries.
To gain exposure here, nH has opened sales offices in Houston,
Miami and New York City and is offering discounted rates through
firms like American Express and American Airlines. Among moves by
other foreign hotel chains:
• Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is renewing its U.S.
promotions. “European chains still feel the impact of recent
events,” said Steven Nikolov, senior vice president of sales and
marketing for Zurich, Switzerland-based Mövenpick. “But we are
behaving more aggressively in terms of sales and marketing.” Among
its efforts, Mövenpick has developed a “Meet & Dine” package
aimed at U.S. planners.
• Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts, based in Majorca, Spain, has
nearly doubled its U.S. sales staff, developed partnerships with
HelmsBriscoe and McGettigan Partners, and now sends a weekly e-mail
to travel agents and meeting planners.
• Kempinski Hotels & Resorts is “trying to create alliances,
which can mean anything from working with an American hotel company
to operating shared loyalty programs,” said Christopher Hartley,
senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Berlin-based
• TERENCE BAKER
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