Sofitel Luxury Hotels and LRA Worldwide Partner on Global Quality Assurance Initiative

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Paris, France/HORSHAM, Pennsylvania; May 11, 2009 – Sofitel Luxury Hotels has selected LRA Worldwide to partner on a program designed to ensure consistent delivery of an enhanced guest experience at more than 150 properties worldwide. The project is employing a phased approach; both Sofitel and LRA teams have spent the first quarter of 2009 codifying and communicating a refined set of brand standards to each property, with a round of consultative quality assurance evaluations to follow.

LRA, a leader in the development and measurement of brand standards for the global hospitality industry, worked closely with Sofitel leadership on a program that would reflect the distinct Sofitel brand, which combines the tradition of the French art de recevoir with the very best of local cultures at each location. A crucial component of that process is organizing the material in a manner that still captures the art of hospitality but is easily communicated and clearly measurable. The content is being housed via LRA’s proprietary web-based quality management technology, TouchPoint Manager™, providing Sofitel General Managers with a platform to conduct interactive self-assessments prior to the visits from LRA consultants beginning later this year.

“LRA’s unique mix of brand sensibility and operational expertise has made them an ideal partner in this effort,” said Olivier Arnoux, Vice President of Guest Experience, Sofitel Worldwide. “Together, we’ve ensured that our brand promise is operationally attainable. LRA’s consultants and technology platform will provide a powerful tool to measure our guest experience on a global level and continuously enhance that experience locally.”

“We call it ‘operationalizing the brand’,” explained John Roberto, LRA’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Quality Assurance. “Our charge is to help Sofitel distill its brand messaging and imagery into easily-communicated and measurable line items to ensure consistent execution from Brisbane to Berlin.”

Including Sofitel, which is an independent business unit within the French Accor group, LRA provides a variety of branding, standards development and performance measurement services to seven of the top ten hotel companies in the world. In all, LRA’s Quality Assurance practice conducts nearly 13,000 site visits and evaluations each year, either as a stand-alone offering or as an integrated part of an overall Customer Experience Management project. In addition to its work with other lodging clients such as Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IHG, Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Grupo Posadas, Pestana Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Wyndham Worldwide, LRA works with industry leaders in Sports, Conference Centers, Timeshare, Gaming, Homebuilding, Retail and Travel.

About Sofitel Luxury Hotels:
Sofitel, World Class Hotels & French Elegance.
Sofitel is the only French luxury hotel brand with a presence on five continents with 150 addresses, in more than 50 countries. Sofitel offers contemporary hotels and resorts adapted to today’s more demanding and more versatile consumers who expect and appreciate beauty, quality and excellence. Whether situated in the heart of a major city like Paris, New York or Bangkok, or nestled away in a country landscape in French Polynesia or Brazil, each Sofitel property offers a genuine experience of the French art de vivre.

Discover Sofitel on www.sofitel.com

Discover A|Club at Sofitel, the new worldwide Accor loyalty program on www.a-club.com

About LRA Worldwide, Inc:
LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability.

In LRA’s 25-year history, we have grown from a provider of customized quality assurance evaluation programs for the hospitality industry, to a leading CEM consulting company offering a variety of client solutions. The evolution has been driven by our clients asking us one question – “How do we get better?” In response, we have built a range of performance measurement, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so. Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the National Basketball Association, the PGA TOUR and Ritz-Carlton Clubs deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit us at www.LRAworldwide.com.

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