Willy Hobal is the founder and CEO of Hobal Luxury Collection, a natural progression for the entrepreneur after 10 years of success in the hospitality industry. With proven expertise when it comes to sales and marketing for hotels, Willy and his team have developed a unique and effective approach to achieving optimal profitability for their clients.
Willy answered some questions about his background and current work.
Hi Willy, how did you start in the hospitality industry and discover your skill in sales and marketing?
It all started when I was 9 years old. I started working at that age, cleaning a house. The owner of the house was working in a hotel, and I admired her profession so much that I keep saying to myself that one day I will be working in the same hotel. About 8 years later, I started working in her position in exactly the same hotel, and it was there when I discover my passion for hospitality. I worked hard and was promoted to different positions over the years, and it wasn’t until I hit the sales and marketing department that I discovered my greatest talent in the industry. This passion led me to open Hobal Luxury Collection to help independent luxury hotels.
What drove you to take these skills and create your own company Hobal Luxury Collection?
During 2019 I remember looking for days trying to find a representation company that covers the main European markets and offers integrated sales, marketing, and PR services – all in one, with a cost-effective budget. Due to my frustration of not finding that service, it gave me the courage to design the hotel representation company that I always dreamed of working with – Hobal Luxury Collection.
Can you describe some of the strategies you employ to promote hotels?
We use what we internally call the “sales triangle”, where we involve hotels, agencies, and clients. As a B2B company, this strategy makes us feel more like H2H (human to human). We promote hotels with travel agencies and educate them about the property’s best qualities, then we create content that is delivered to the target consumers. Those consumers will contact their travel agents to ask for that specific property, which the agents will know because we already informed them about them by us. The sales triangle drives new business to fantastic hotels that we believe deliver a truly memorable experience to guests.
Does promoting hotels across Europe require a different approach compared to other regions of the world?
Yes, in Europe, it requires more one-on-one relationships. The consumers here are not motivated to just follow what everyone is doing, so hotel marketing requires creating a bond based on trust and quality to convert a prospect into a client. Creating random publicity, putting your name in big screens does not work at all, it’s all about creating trustworthy connections.
What do you believe makes your firm stand out from your competitors in the industry?
Our integrated services, having all in one, is a major benefit for independent hotels. Knowing that they will get the best coverage with a cost-effective budget, this is our biggest appeal. However, we also stand strong on our core values; quality, trust, creativity, and passion are part of our company DNA. We love what we do.
With COVID having a huge impact on the travel and tourism industry, how have your services adapted?
Indeed, most of the industries are suffering a lot now because of COVID-19, but things are slowly opening up, and people are starting to travel again. What I can predict so far is that demand for luxury hospitality will increase because of the need of distance, space and privacy, and this is a great opportunity for the independent luxury hotels we work with. We are working a lot more with digital connections and home-based work, but before the pandemic, it was our idea to provide the freedom to work from home and independency for our team.
Thank you Willy for your time!
You can follow up with Willy Hobal at www.hoballuxurycollection.com