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Preferred Hotel Group Announces 2013 Results

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Preferred Hotel Group™, a global provider of sales, marketing, and distribution services to independent hotels, today announced its year-end results. In 2013, the company generated $834 million in revenue on behalf of member hotels, an increase of 14% over 2012, and welcomed 126 new properties. Preferred Hotel Group also made monumental enhancements to its portfolio of products and services including the launches of iPrefer and China Ready, announced several strategic hires, and increased visibility for its partners among the online and travel trade communities.

“I am proud that we successfully executed on every initiative we set out to accomplish in 2013, from the expansion of our global footprint to the introduction of groundbreaking programs,” said President Lindsey Ueberroth. “Preferred Hotel Group is entering 2014 well positioned for continued growth as a preferred partner for independent hotels and resorts worldwide. We are building on the momentum of last year and have many exciting developments in the pipeline.”

Highlights of the company’s accomplishments over the past 12 months include:
• Driving Revenue to Member Hotels: In addition to strong reservations revenue, Preferred Hotel Group produced increases of 17% in bookings, 20% in room nights, and 6% in ADR on behalf of its portfolio in 2013, compared to 2012. Member hotels in Mexico and France saw the greatest increases in ADR, up 16% and 15%, respectively, over 2012.

• Expanding Into New Markets: In 2013, the company marked first-time presence of its brands in Vietnam and Myanmar, as well as in emerging cities such as St. Petersburg, Russia, and celebrated great expansion of its portfolio in existing destinations such as Spain and Colombia.

• Welcoming De-Flags: Last year, 11 properties partnered with a Preferred Hotel Group brand after declaring their independence from a hard flag brand. The most recent conversions include Edgewater Beach Hotel in Naples, Florida, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts (formerly of Waldorf-Astoria); V-Continent Beijing Parkview Wuzhou Hotel in Beijing, China, a member of Summit Hotels & Resorts (formerly of Crowne Plaza); and Hotel Irvine Jamboree Center in Irvine, California, a member of Summit Hotels & Resorts (formerly of Hyatt Regency).

• Changing the Landscape of Loyalty: On August 15, Preferred Hotel Group launched the points-based iPrefer, a revolutionary guest loyalty program for independent hotels globally that levels the playing field with the hard flag brand reward systems. In the last four months of 2013, the points structure of the program attracted a 23% increase in member enrollments and a 28% increase in traffic to www.iPrefer.com, compared to the same time period in 2012.

• Catering to China: In December, the company rolled out China Ready, an initiative to help member hotels court and support the thriving Chinese travel market, with components including a simplified Chinese website, dynamic marketing campaigns, new distribution channels, and, for select hotels, a one-of-a-kind certification program.

• Enhancing Global Presence with Strategic Hires: To support its growth in emerging markets and increase successes for existing partners, Preferred Hotel Group created five new positions in 2013 and added some of the hospitality industry’s top talent to its global team: Regional Director for Global Sales & Development for China, Blaise Jing; Regional Director for Brazil and Argentina, Carina Bendeck; Director of Global Sales & Marketing for Middle East, Nabil Hassanieh; Director of Group & Leisure Sales for Asia Pacific, Steven Fam; and Director of Group Sales for Central Europe, Marion Richter.

• Creating New Opportunities through Online Innovations: Last year, Preferred Hotel Group introduced two products to increase online engagement for its member hotels. Most recently, the company’s Preferred Golf collection launched Preferred Golf Fantasy Challenge, the world’s first international virtual golf competition, which invites members to play and complete for the chance to win weekly getaways to renowned golf resorts worldwide. The company’s new brand websites and first-ever mobile channel went live in April, catering to travelers’ demands for on-the-go planning capabilities.

• Influencing the Travel Selling Process: The company hosted 191 tradeshows, roadshows, and sales events in 2013 to facilitate increased exposure and meaningful connections for participating hotels with key travel bookers worldwide. Among these gatherings were two Sales Symposiums – Preferred Hotel Group’s new education forum available exclusively to member hoteliers.

For more information on Preferred Hotel Group, its member hotels, or new programs, products, and services, visit www.PreferredHotelGroup.com.

About Preferred Hotel Group™
Preferred Hotel Group represents 650 of the finest hotels, resorts, and serviced residences in the world. Preferred Hotel Group’s brands include Preferred Hotels® & Resorts, Summit Hotels & Resorts™, Sterling Hotels™, Summit Serviced Residences™, Sterling Design, and Preferred Boutique™. Travelers gain valuable benefits through branded programs iPrefer™; Preferred Family, Preferred Pride, Preferred Golf™, and Preferred Residences™. For more information, visit www.PreferredHotelGroup.com and follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

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