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Luxury travel news

26 Oct 2017

BY Tom Parry


Hotels advised to focus on their individuality

Luxury hotels must “now more than ever” promote their individuality to compete against larger rivals.

Simon Casson at ttgluxury Seminar

"People don’t want our grandmothers’ luxury… for many people it’s not about having the best silver dining set"

Simon Casson (pictured), Four Seasons’ president, hotel operations Europe, the Middle East and Africa, urged hoteliers to “seriously look for what differentiates your brand” in the wake of high-profile consolidation deals in the sector over the past year.

While considering the impact on Four Seasons of Marriott International’s takeover of Starwood last year, Casson said: “We are pretty relaxed about it because it allows us to present a distinct counterpoint to customers.”

Jenni Benzaquen, Marriott’s vice-president, luxury brands Europe, said the Marriott-Starwood deal, which has resulted in a collection of 360 luxury hotels under eight brands, said the sector had to “unlearn what we think about luxury” to stay relatable. She added: “People don’t want our grandmothers’ luxury… for many people it’s not about having the best silver dining set,” she added.

Tim Davis, vice-president brand and marketing for Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), said it was a “really exciting time” for the company owing to growing demand for more intimate properties.

“People want to really ‘stay’ in a destination and want to be treated differently – as a name and definitely not a room number,” he said.

Casson told delegates that Four Seasons considered independent hoteliers, such as those helped by SLH, to be its biggest competitors – rather than other big luxury brands – because of the personalisation such establishments could offer.

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