Worldwide Hotels taps industry veterans to build up its brand

Worldwide Hotels, a hospitality company headquartered in Singapore, is ramping up its expansion plans both in Singapore and overseas by tapping on the expertise of several local industry veterans.

Chu Poh Yong, COO, Worldwide Hotels, told TTG Asia: “These industry veterans have come onboard (to show us) how to manage our brand better, establish a better brand and build on it, and have brought along their relevant experience, skills and knowledge. This will help us grow the business. We are also looking for more veterans to join us, anyone who can contribute to the group.”

From left: Worldwide Hotels’ Gabriel Ng, Chu Poh Yong, and Sunshine Wong

In Singapore, Worldwide Hotels currently owns and manages 38 hotels and over 6,500 rooms. Two more properties amounting to 1,500 keys will come online next year. Although the company has a history of over 20 years, the Worldwide Hotels branding – a consolidation of two hotel management companies – has only been around for three.

Currently, the group also owns eight properties – managed by a range of brands from Travelodge to Holiday Inn – in five countries: Australia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand. These overseas properties are fully owned by Worldwide Hotels and are freehold, with the latest buy being in Thailand.

When asked why these are not managed by Worldwide, Chu shared: “When expanding overseas, you must have economies of scale. In these cities, we only have one hotel. But in the mid- to long-term, we may manage it ourselves. We need to build a base, a certain number (of hotels) first.”

When asked what the magic number was, Chu declined to give a figure.

That aside, Chu’s immediate focus is to establish the brand, as he feels it is “not sufficiently” known in the market yet. To do so, it is “necessary” to participate in more tradeshows to gain more exposure and meet with potential partners.

“This is the challenge when developing your own brand, as opposed to letting your properties be managed by others.”

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