All About Schulze

Kenneth Shapiro Horst Schulze, the subject of this issue’s cover story (“The Second Time Around,” page 16), came into the TravelAge West offices not long ago to talk about his new project, the Solis and Capella hotel brands. We were already interested in this industry pioneer because of his success with

By: Kenneth Shapiro

Horst Schulze, the subject of this issue’s cover story (“The Second Time Around,” page 16), came into the TravelAge West offices not long ago to talk about his new project, the Solis and Capella hotel brands. We were already interested in this industry pioneer because of his success with Ritz-Carlton, but after meeting him, it was clear to everyone that Schulze was an inspiring force in travel and that our readers deserved to get to know him better.

Schulze has spent the better part of his life in the hospitality industry starting when he was 14, in Germany, working as a busboy in a local hotel. The business is his lifelong passion; still the fit wasn’t always apparent to everyone. At one point, his parents implored him not to go into the hospitality industry thinking it was too unpredictable.

Now, over 50 years later, Schulze, a success by any measure, is considered one of the visionaries of the industry.

“I’m excited about [the new brands] because it puts purity and honor in our profession. That’s what I want to do,” he says in the story.

Schulze’s story illustrates the importance of following your own instincts in business. It is all too easy to get distracted from your goals by listening to too many voices, even if they are well intentioned. I’m willing to bet that, like Schulze, many of you were told not to start your own businesses, or that travel is a far too unpredictable and difficult.

Well, let the naysayers talk. In the meantime, Schulze, at age 67, clearly disagrees. At a time in his life when he could chose to do anything, or nothing, he’s investing his time, money and considerable energy back into the industry that has been his passion for all those decades. And, as for travel agents, Schulze admires their resourcefulness too.

“I think [travel agents] have done something really beautiful by reinventing themselves,” he says.

It’s a mutual respect, and we’re anxious to see where his latest passion takes the industry. K.S.

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