The Leading Hotels of the World Hosts 2009 Annual Convention

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Top hoteliers and other influential figures from around the world convene in Venice, Italy

When Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi took the stage at The Leading Hotels of the World’s 2009 Annual Convention in Venice last week, the audience of more than 300 distinguished guests knew something different was in store. The witty, provocative and inspiring presentation was the first indication that The Leading Hotels of the World is in the midst of change. And with Company President and Chief Executive Officer, Ted Teng having just completed his first year at the helm, it was a most relevant start to the four-day affair.

Taking place at the historic Fondazione Cini, November 19 to 22, the theme of this year’s conference was Preserve, Enhance & Invent: Leading the Way Forward. The event officially opened with Leading Hotels Chairman Jean-Jacques Gauer discussing Galileo’s contributions to the Scientific Revolution and drawing parallels to the state, and future of the hotel industry. Roberts then gave a powerful presentation outlining the key components to sustaining a successful business in today’s environment. The message was clear: in order to survive in times like these, emotional connections, high respect, and a stratospheric amount of creativity are essential to maintaining and generating clients that are “Loyal Beyond Recession.”

Focusing on the implementation of his five-year plan, Ted Teng followed with a compelling address comparing the prestigious organization – with more than 450 hotels in its collection – to a single hotel undergoing a “renovation.” His analogy appropriately pointed to the exciting and ambitious changes that are, and will be taking place at The Leading Hotels of the World. Namely, improving the overall quality of the collection (five percentage points over the next five years) and sourcing innovative ways to drive revenue to individual member hotels.

The program continued with a broad range of high-profile speakers and industry experts, among them; Massimo Cacciari, mayor of Venice; Lord John Julius Norwich, historian and author; Chris Sanderson, Strategy and Insight Director of The Future Laboratory; Jan Freitag of Smith Travel Research; and Trent Walsh of Leading Quality Assurance.

Interspersed throughout the meetings were several interactive break-out sessions, during which hoteliers were asked for their feedback about a variety of topics and new initiatives. Subjects included specific marketing tactics for city, as well as resort hotels, the induction of a staff training program called Leading Learning Institute, the revamping and transformation of Leading Hotels’ loyalty program Leaders Club, and the implementation of individual marketing plans for member hotels.

The convention concluded with a masquerade gala ball and performance by stunning pop/classical crossover singer from Italy, Georgia Fumanti, at the spectacular La Fenice opera house.

Event attendees were collectively hosted at four Leading Hotels, including the Bauer Hotel, Bauer “Il Palazzo,” Luna Hotel Baglioni and San Clemente Palace Hotel & Resort, each of which did a remarkable job catering to the diverse, global tastes of the discerning group of guests.

About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.

The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is the prestigious luxury hospitality organization representing more than 450 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and spas, and is the operator of and – the online sources for your luxury lifestyle. As the largest international luxury hotel brand, the firm maintains offices in 22 major markets across the globe.

Since 1928, the company’s reputation for excellence derives from the exacting levels of quality it demands of its members, each of which must pass a rigorous, anonymous inspection covering hundreds of meticulous criteria spanning from product to behavioral standards. This set of standards is the most stringent in the industry.

For reservations and information, visit or telephone toll-free from the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, (800) 223-6800.


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