The Hotel Yearbook, a family of publications focused on hotel industry trends and foresight, has been wholly acquired by WIWIH AG, which was the previous owner of a 50% stake. Four special editions are in preparation now and will be published in the spring of 2019, as planned.
WIWIH AG, a sister company of the No. 1 industry portal HospitalityNet, has acquired the remaining 50% stake in the Swiss-based Hotel Yearbook, making it the sole owner of the publication. It had previously been published as a partnership with Lausanne-based Wade and Company SA, the firm that created the publication in 2007.
Henri Roelings, owner and Managing Director of WIWIH, said, "We're very happy to carry on with this prestigious publication. Since it first came out over a decade ago, The Hotel Yearbook has published hundreds of articles written by knowledgeable and highly respected opinion leaders in the hotel industry, from about 50 different countries, each one addressing an upcoming trend or development affecting the future of the business. Thanks to its focus on such insider insights, it has provided valuable opinion and information from the very beginning."
Conceived as a forward-looking annual, The Hotel Yearbook was the original brainchild of Woody Wade, who launched the publication jointly with the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and Burba Hotel Network. As its editor, he gathered thought pieces contributed by a wide range of industry leaders, each one writing about observations, ideas, and expectations for the year ahead from their unique perspective. When the three-way founding partnership ended, Wade teamed up with Roelings, who provided the impetus to transform the yearbook from a once-a-year publication into an entire family of special editions focusing on such areas as technology, digital marketing, and sustainability. The publications also moved online and became available free of charge.
"When Henri became co-publisher, he saw the need to change to a digital business model," explained Woody Wade. "Thanks to this transformation, and the wide reach of Henri's HospitalityNet and HSyndicate networks, the readership of The Hotel Yearbook is now in the hundreds of thousands worldwide. It's become a must-read as it presents the opinions of very experienced professionals from every part of the global hotel industry."
After helming some 30 editions over the past twelve years, Wade decided to step back from publishing to focus on his scenario planning practice. "I have always been interested in helping companies foresee future developments that could affect them," he said. "The Hotel Yearbook and my scenario generation workshops were always a good fit, and now my focus will be on the scenarios rather than the publications."
Roelings affirmed that for the year 2019, the three Hotel Yearbook special editions currently in the pipeline will be published on schedule, focusing on Sustainable Hospitality (March), Digital Marketing (April), and Technology (April). "Each of these special editions has a very well networked, high-profile Guest Editor, a concept we started a couple of years ago. 'Sustainability' is being led by Prof. Willy Legrand of IUBH in Bad Honnef; 'Digital Marketing' by Martin Soler of Soler & Associates in Spain, and 'Technology' by Prof. Ian Millar at EHL. Woody Wade has agreed to stay on in his function as editor for these four editions."
The Hotel Yearbook has also been actively supported by the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), based in Austin, Texas. Frank Wolfe, CEO of HFTP, said of the new ownership arrangement: "Henri and Woody have done a fantastic job of creating a very readable magazine which became an excellent platform for opinion leaders to share their insights with industry professionals all over the globe. As Henri takes over, we are looking forward to working with him and helping The Hotel Yearbook attain new goals and dimensions."