Meet John Licence, Continental Brand Leader – Europe – Autograph Collection
What characterizes your brand Autograph Collection in terms of construction and design? How do you select the hotels? How do you embody the spirit of the Autograph collection brand? Can you give us an example?
The Autograph Collection marketing tag line is ‘exactly like nothing else’ and that’s exactly how we like our potential partner hotels to be , unique and luxurious. We require every hotel to have unique design and architecture be they a new build or a restoration of an older building. In addition to the unique design and personality we carry out a full inspection of facilities to ensure the hotel is in excellent condition and secure and safe for our customers. We require the hotel to be as much of a destination as the city where it is located. The Cotton House in Barcelona is a great example of a hotel that was developed in the former HQ of the Cotton growers association. The design, brand identity and services were developed to reflect the stunning architecture and history of the building, offering unique experiences that only this hotel can offer.
What are your plans to expand the Autograph Collection?
The Collection will reach 100 hotels by the end of the year, which in 5 years makes us the fastest growing full service brand in the industry. As mentioned above we are very selective to ensure the standards and experiences are unique and high quality so we will continue to grow steadily. We fully expect to be close to 200 hotels globally and have 50 hotels in Europe by the end 2017.
What separates the Autograph Collection from other hotel chains of Marriott? How do you preserve the local character while making sure a hotel is up to the Autograph collection standard? What is your business approach to the “art de recevoir/Art of welcoming”?
The Autograph Collection hotels are all unique, they have their own personality and design and the only thing that links them all is their high levels of service and product.
The hotels are franchised and run by independent owners and companies, hotels are encouraged to keep their local character as long as they operate in an upper upscale and luxurious standard.
Each hotel has its own welcome that celebrates its unique identity and reflects the culture of the location and style of hotel.
JOHN LICENCE, Continental Brand Leader – Europe – Autograph Collection
John Licence is the continental brand leader for Autograph Collection in Europe. Autograph Collection is the exclusive portfolio of independent hotels within the Marriott International Luxury and Lifestyle portfolio.
Acting as the strategic business leader for Autograph Collection in Europe, John focuses working with the European development team to find and select the right properties to join the collection. Additionally he oversees the team that ensure the effective conversion of new hotels and leads the partnership with current hotels to communicate global brand initiatives and standards, while also acting as the primary liaison between the European continent and Autograph Collection leadership teams.
An industry veteran, John began his career as a management trainee before moving on to hold numerous management positions across multiple disciplines including food and beverage, operations, sales and marketing, and human resources. His most recent tenure in Europe included a leadership role for Marriott International as vice president of Marriott’s global sales organization for Europe and South Asia, based in Frankfurt.
Prior to his current role, John served as vice president of sales and marketing for Marriott International in the Caribbean & Latin America. He is currently based in London.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.