Corinthia Hotels CEO Hints at U.S. Expansion, Details Wyndham Partnership

Ever since Tony Potter took over as CEO of Malta-based Corinthia Hotels one year ago, he has maintained the same disposition. "It's been fun," he said at a World Tourism Awards event last week in New York.

Potter is charged with leading the hotel group, which has a portfolio of 16 four- and five-star hotels spread primarily through Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Corinthia is now in the midst of finishing up its new brand standards, which includes separating its sales and marketing teams and adding initiatives such as the "Sunshine Breakfast" at each property.

Potter also brought up the possibility of expanding the brand to the United States in such gateway cities as Boston, New York and Los Angeles. "We'd love to expand in the U.S., but we are realistic," he said. "We'd be interested, but careful."

One hotel group that could be a springboard to Corinthia's U.S. expansion is Wyndham Hotel Group, which Corinthia signed an agreement with back in August 2006 to jointly manage Corinthia properties under the Ramada and Wyndham names. Potter said that its five-star Corinthia properties would not change flags, and become part of the Corinthia Hotel Luxury Collection.