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
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.