Leading Hotels gets new chairman, logo, marketing scheme

New logo
New logo

NEW YORK CITY After 20 years helming one of the world’s most prominent hotel sales and marketing consortia, Jean-Jacque Gauer is stepping down as chairmen of The Leading Hotels of the World. The organization concurrently unveiled its first new logo since its inception and a new marketing scheme focused on the tradition of its member properties.

Gauer passed the proverbial torch to new chairman Andrea Kracht during last month’s annual convention. “It has certainly been an honor, a privilege, and the most illuminating experience to work with so many talented hoteliers, our members—but also a very humbling experience to serve you as chairman. And for all that, I will be forever grateful,” said Gauer who is also general manager of Lausanne Palace & Spa.

Kracht, vice chairman and proprietor of the legendary Baur au Lac in Zürich, continues a Leading Hotels tradition; he is the scion of a family of renowned independent hoteliers, whose properties have become icons in the art of hotelkeeping. “The real value and driver of this company is the quality of its members and the dedicated employees who support our hotels,” he said. “We have had an ambitious business plan to drive more revenue to our members. This plan relies not on an overall increase in our number of hotels, but in the quality of our portfolio—even if this means losing some properties that do not make the mark.”

This year has been a successful one for Leading Hotels members, President and CEO Ted Teng told the convention. In-room revenue is up 15% compared to last year, despite a 4% reduction of hotel inventory.

New marketing campaign focuses on family hotelkeeping

Andrea Kracht
Andrea Kracht

Along with the new logo, Leading Hotels is embarking on a new marketing scheme featuring a completely redesigned hotel directory. The new directory highlights the unique nature and character of every one of its member hotels—each distinct, but all bound by a commitment to providing outstanding and memorable travel experiences. “This is more than a company—it is a shared heritage,” Kracht said.

To that end, Leading Hotels hosted a press conference that introduced representatives from Leading Hotels whose stewardship has passed through the hands of no fewer than three generations of the same family. Among the attendees were Tonino Cacace of Capri Palace Hotel & Spa; Guido Fiorentino of Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria; Carmela Camera Gambardella of Hotel Santa Caterina; Michael Geisel of Hotel Konigshof; Elisabeth Gürtler of Hotel Sacher Wien; Innegrit Volkhardt of Bayerischer Hof; Andrea Kracht of Baur au Lac; Antonio Sersale from Le Sirenuse; Ernst and Andrea Scherz of the Gstaad Palace; Gianfanco Morgano from Grand Hotel Quisisana. 

“These hoteliers symbolize the spirit and art of independent luxury hotelkeeping by celebrating a dedication and devotion to the past, coupled with a foresight and courage to evolve for the future,” Teng said. “We believe this truly personal expression of genuine hospitality lies at the heart of our organization.”