Preferred Hotel Group’s new president is targeting emerging business markets to make the most of the associated increase in corporate visitors.
Lindsey Ueberroth, recently appointed president of the family-owned company, which, which now boasts more than 800 luxury properties in 72 countries worldwide, says the next step is strategic growth into developing markets in the Middle East, Russia and Asia, as well as Scandinavia, where the brand has little presence.
“Northeast Africa is of interest, too – Tunisia, Mozambique, as well as Angola, where oil and gas is creating a lot of business activity,” she said. “Ultimately we have a five-year growth plan. Development in the USA is still a bit flat post-recession, but in other regions there is still growth and we hope to sustain that and add 100 to 150 hotels in the next year.”
Ueberroth’s second focus is on improvement of the quality of hotels through the portfolio through stringent vetting of quality assurance. “It’s important to customers and clients. As an independent collection of hotels, We must maintain consistent standards.”
Her final driver is sustaining the financial success of the hotels through a focus on greater brand awareness and the opening of new sales offices in growth markets, as well as the marketing of corporate initiatives such as the Preferred Golf and I Prefer rewards system.
“We want to stay top of mind with meeting planners. The whole industry went through a shakedown - a while back some events were pretty ostentatious but I think it will be a long time before it gets back to that level. Good value is the talking point now.”