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Associated Luxury Hotels’ Chief Commercial Officer Tom Santora Adds Role as Executive Chairman of Worldhotels

February 24, 2017 Appointments No Comments Email Email

Parent company Associated Luxury Hotels, which significantly expanded its global footprint, hospitality services and collection of member hotels with the recent strategic acquisition of Frankfurt, Germany-based Worldhotels, announced that its Chief Commercial Officer Tom Santora has added the role as Executive Chairman of Worldhotels. In this newly created executive-level position, Santora is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction for Worldhotels, according to Associated Luxury Hotels’ Chairman David Gabri.

Associated Luxury Hotels’ Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Chairman of Worldhotels –  Tom Santora

Geoff Andrew continues to lead Worldhotels as CEO and now reports to Santora. Andrew is responsible for overseeing the Worldhotels day-to-day operations and its organisation of 140 sales professionals and expert staff globally. Worldhotels is a global brand that brings together some of the world’s most unique independent hotels, including 350 member hotels and resorts in over 200 destinations in 50 countries, collectively incorporating 75,000 rooms. This includes 165 hotels and resorts in Europe, 108 in Asia Pacific, 18 in South America, 12 in the Middle East, 7 in Africa, and 40 in North America. The company offers its membership of luxury-level hotels, resorts and small competitive brands, a comprehensive range of services – including global marketing, sales, training, e-commerce and state-of-the-art distribution and technology. Worldhotels’ primary focus is on the individual business traveller (IBT), leisure traveller and meeting sector solutions and expertise, as well as loyalty solutions, for its member hotels and resorts.

As Chief Commercial Officer, Santora continues to oversee the commercial strategy and the further development of the Associated Luxury Hotels brand and alliances worldwide. Associated Luxury Hotels is the parent company of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) and Worldhotels. With the recent acquisition of Worldhotels, Associated Luxury Hotels has significantly expanded its growing portfolio of Global Sales Organisation (GSO) and hospitality services providers, as well as its worldwide sales, marketing, distribution and hospitality services.

As the owner and operator of ALHI and Worldhotels, Associated Luxury Hotels is now a significant, full-service “soft brand” solution for owners and operators of independent luxury-level hotels and resorts, and independent hotel brands around the world. Its extensive hospitality services now include broad-reaching reservations connectivity solutions, a powerful sales and marketing infrastructure, and an impressive geographic reach that will effectively compete with the world’s biggest hospitality chains.

“Tom is the ideal person to oversee the strategic direction for Worldhotels,” said Gabri. “We’ve experienced significant growth over the last several years, and particularly recently with the addition of Worldhotels to the Associated Luxury Hotels portfolio, and Tom has been a vital part of that growth.He has the vision, the impressive skills, and the extensive experience needed to work closely with Worldhotels’ very talented CEO Geoff Andrew, and bring Worldhotels to even greater heights for its distinguished member hotels and resorts, and valued clients. Tom and Geoff will work together on the ‘go-forward vision’ of the company, and they will protect and complement the company’s hard-earned reputation as a trusted global expert providing unrivalled sales, marketing, training & quality, distribution technology, revenue management services and customer support. Tom is a highly respected leader, whose strong core values and character match very well with the Worldhotels leadership team, and he will be a valuable asset to help meet the demands, expectations and future needs of Worldhotels’ outstanding membership and customers.”

Santora joined Associated Luxury Hotels in 2016 as Chief Commercial Officer, with over 30 years of extensive hospitality industry sales and marketing experience. Prior to joining Associated Luxury Hotels, he served for eight years as Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Sales for Omni Hotels & Resorts. In that position he led a corporate team of over 100 sales, marketing, loyalty, communication and revenue strategy associates. During his tenure with Omni Hotels & Resorts he architected the brand strategy across all disciplines and communication channels to evolve Omni’s brand position, and co-developed and introduced Omni’s award-winning loyalty program (DISCOVERY), which included 35 global brands with over 550 hotels in 76 countries. Santora’s experience also includes serving as Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the independent luxury lifestyle brand Viceroy Hotels & Resorts; and for 17 years in various sales and marketing positions for Marriott International. Santora is based in Associated Luxury Hotels’ Global Sales office in Dallas, Texas, and he may be reached at tsantora@worldhotels.com .

Santora said, “I am very proud to be working with the exceptional Worldhotels leadership team and very talented staff around the world. I believe the Worldhotels affiliate hotels and resorts will appreciate that we will continue Worldhotels’ hotel-centric, hotel-experienced, client-service approach in supporting their properties, and that they will benefit from the expanded access, markets and impressive global sales and marketing capabilities with a broader global footprint. Associated Luxury Hotels’ acquisition of Worldhotels is a ‘win-win situation’ for all involved, as both enable their independent member hotels and resorts to maintain their independent identity while also effectively competing in the changing hospitality landscape. I am very excited to be working with the Worldhotels team and about the strategic direction, commercial strategy, branding and global footprint of the company.”

The recent acquisition of Worldhotels represents a timely and unique opportunity to increase Associated Luxury Hotels’ global competitiveness and profile with the addition of remarkably complementary, membership-based service offerings and a geographically diverse network. Both Worldhotels and ALHI focus on serving independent luxury-level hotels and resorts, and independent hotel brands, with each featuring a distinguished portfolio offering city centre business hotels, historic grand landmark hotels, lifestyle hotels, boutique hotels and exquisite resorts. Worldhotels’ portfolio is mostly outside of North America, with major concentrations in Europe and Asia-Pacific regions, while ALHI’s is currently predominantly within North America.

While Worldhotels remains focused on the transient travel sectors, meetings and loyalty solutions for its nearly 350 luxury-level member hotels and resorts, ALHI is being operated as a separate division with a continued focus on the North American meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (M.I.C.E.) marketplace for its membership of more than 250 luxury-level and upper-upscale independent hotels and resorts totaling 138,500 rooms, plus their Global Luxury Alliance members across the globe. ALHI is the leading independent Global Hotel Sales Organisation serving the North American meetings and incentive marketplace for over 30 years.

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

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