Super Rich In Search Of Exclusive Travel Experiences

A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report has highlighted that a massive market exists for luxurious travel offerings, as increasing numbers of the world’s super rich vie for most exclusive travel experiences.

Super luxury travel adventures, or one of a kind trips are what the world’s millionaires are searching for these days, according to the BCH report.

One of the key findings in BCG’s ‘Luxe Redux: Raising the Bar for Selling of Luxuries’ report, was that the global super rich population is on a drive to acquire exclusive experiences, with around 55 percent of total luxury spending worldwide being on experiential luxury, a sector which is poised to grow at a rate of more than 50 percent faster than the sale of luxury goods.

High on the list of expensive holiday treats for the super-rich is Helicopter skiing in Alaska, or a vacation at luxury goods group, LVMH’s, exclusive hidden leisure spot in the Maldives. The luxury experiences business, which offers services as diverse as art auctions, exclusive five-star hospitals with a personal butler service, and limited-access travel packages, is worth an estimated $770bn, says the report.

Jean-Marc Bellaiche, a BCG senior partner, said, ‘More and more luxury shoppers tell us they love experiences that make them feel pampered. But if luxury-goods players are to capitalise on the ‘experience’ trend, they have to move quickly and forcefully. To date, very few have been successful in adding experiential elements to their offerings, websites, or in-store execution. While the lack of such elements may not yet be hurting the providers’ financials, it is a missed opportunity to boost performance.’

Family Vacations Set To Grow In Asia Pacific Region

The first issue of the Asia Pacific Family Travel 2012 survey, conducted across key cities in seven Asia Pacific markets, indicate that families in the region are ready to spend more on vacations.

According to the survey, around 44 million people go for family vacations each year, for an annual expenditure of $29 billion worldwide. Families also indicated that they were willing to spend more money on vacations, which is good news for the travel and lodging industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

The survey, conducted by Turner Media Solutions, in association with Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, has reported that 74 percent of respondents travel with family members aged 19 and lower, while two-thirds of those surveyed travel with children aged 14 and below.

The research director for Turner Media Solutions, Betty Wu, said, ‘This unique survey shows the importance of family holidaymakers to the industry and reveals the opportunities out there for travel brands. More and more families in Asia Pacific have considerable disposable income and the study shows they intend to spend.’

Other survey results showed around a 20 percent increase in international travel in Indonesia, 38 percent in Malaysia, and 81 percent in the Philippines. For family travel, the popular destinations in this area are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and India.

Jennifer Yuen, the brand director for the Holiday Inn Brand, said, ‘According to this survey, 60 percent of respondents look to relax when they travel with family and this is where we do particularly well. At Holiday Inn Resorts, parents can find that balance between spending quality family time with their kids, whilst also having that adult break to recharge their batteries.’

Generator Hostels Opens Hamburg Hostel in Germany

Generator Hostels, a company operating hostels in Europe, has announced the launch of its newest hostel in Hamburg, Germany.

The Hamburg Generator has 686 beds, in a mix of two bedded, four bedded, six bedded, and eight bedded rooms, for budget conscious travellers, especially when travelling in a group. Prices commence from €17 for a dormitory bed, to €37 for a twin-bedded room.

The hostel also has 540sqm of public space, which includes the Generator bar and lounge, a terrace garden, a separate lounge, a cafe and a dance floor. Other amenities on offer are a movie screening room, complimentary Wi-Fi, bike rentals, and complimentary city tours.

The hostel operator, owned by Patron Capital, is currently serving around 30,000 visitors a month, and will be offering more new hostels across Europe, as part of a £200 million investment programme.

Josh Wyatt, the investment director at Patron Capital, said, ‘Hostels are a new and exciting asset class in the property sector, just as student accommodation has been over the last decade. Being the first institutional capital into the hostel sector, Patron has a longstanding commitment to the sector and continues to invest significant amounts of capital and team resources to ensure that Generator Hostels is the category leader and trend setter through the use of exceptional design, curation of a dynamic and communal atmosphere and a dedication to the highest safety levels.

With currently the largest freehold hostel chain in Europe, we look to grow more into capital cities. Today Generator Hostels is an institutional quality product attracting a wide range of travellers from around the world. We are very excited about the latest opening and the opportunities for the Group going forwards.’

London Hilton on Park Lane Celebrates London Summer

London Hilton on Park Lane, a Hilton brand hotel in London, UK, is celebrating the summer of 2012 with special offers.

Michael Shepherd, general manager of the hotel, said, ‘With the extreme crowds gone but the added bonus of a sparkling city, August promises to be the ideal time for a London city break and glorious summer holidays will be well under way. Visitors will be able to visit events and attractions such as the London 2012 Festival, countless museums, old favourites such as Madame Tussauds and Tower of London, and of course the new Olympics Park at Stratford.’

To celebrate the summer, London Hilton on Park Lane is offering a special ‘Celebrate London’ package’ in August, which includes a Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea for two in the Podium restaurant, and breakfast for two, also in the Podium restaurant, as well as accommodation, for rates commencing at GBP199 per person, per night.

The 453-room hotel is located in the heart of London’s Mayfair, overlooking Hyde Park. The property has acquired various prestigious awards, including the award for Best Business Hotel in the UK, 2011, from Business Traveller Magazine, Best Hotel in Europe, 2010, from German Business Traveller Magazine, and England’s Leading Business Hotel, 2009, from the World Travel Awards Europe.

The hotel amenities consist of three restaurants and five bars, including the Michelin-starred, Galvin at Windows restaurant, a Precor fitness centre, spa and sauna, a range of flexible meeting rooms including the Grand Ballroom for hosting up to 1,250 guests, and a Business Centre.

Interstate Hotels and Resorts Opens New Holiday Inn Express in Netherlands

Holiday Inn Express, a hotel brand from UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group, has announced the opening of its new Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam-South, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on June 1, 2012.

The 80-room hotel is located in Amsterdam’s financial district. The hotel has amenities that include a lobby bar, complimentary continental breakfast buffet and complimentary kosher breakfast.

The hotel also provides special Shabbat amenities, complimentary Wi-Fi, and there is an LCD satellite TV in every guestroom.

US-based hotel real estate investor, Interstate Hotels and Resorts, and TVHG Budget Group Beheer BV (TVHG), a Netherland-based hotel development company, jointly own the property. Interstate Hotels and Resorts are operating the Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam-South under a long-term contract with InterContinental Hotels Group.

Leslie Ng, the chief investment officer of Interstate Hotels and Resorts, said, ‘Due to our long and strong relationships with the world’s leading brands, and our nearly 20 year successful track record in Europe, we are able to bring significant advantages to hotel owners and developers seeking to invest in the region.

This hotel is our third Holiday Inn branded hotel opened in Amsterdam within the last 14 months. We see numerous opportunities to expand our hotel portfolio in Europe, operating both premium branded hotels and luxury independent hotels and resorts as well.’

Jim Abrahamson, the chief executive officer of Interstate Hotels and Resorts, said, ‘Europe is a significant part of our strategic growth plan and this partnership with TVHG demonstrates our commitment to the region, particularly with well-regarded local partners. These nine hotels will give us a significant market presence in this vibrant country and we look forward to continuing our partnership with TVHG.’

Hotel Indigo Opens Nine Hotels in First Six Months of 2012

Hotel Indigo, a boutique hotel brand from UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group, will have opened nine hotels in six different countries, worldwide, within the first six months of 2012.

The brand has currently opened seven new properties in 2012, including its new Hotel Indigo Berlin Hardenbergstrasse, in Berlin, Germany, the Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz, in Berlin, Germany, the Hotel Indigo Edinburgh, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar, in Del Mar, US, the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, in santa Barbara, US, the Hotel Indigo Waco Baylor, in Waco, US, and the Hotel Indigo Xiamen Harbour, in Xiamen, China

In June 2012, the brand will be opening two more Hotel Indigo hotels, the Hotel Indigo Newcastle in England, and the Indigo Veracruz Boca Del Rio in Mexico.

Janis Cannon, the company vice president, global brand management, Hotel Indigo, said, ‘Our geographic diversity is truly a testimony to the fact that customers around the world, from China to Scotland to Germany, value the experience at Hotel Indigo. Now in major cities around the world – with more on the horizon – we have a strong pipeline of more than 60 hotels, which we expect to open in the next few years.’

The company currently has 53 hotels in the development pipeline, in places including Atlanta and New York City, in the US, London, and York, in England, St Petersburg in Russia, Madrid in Spain, Hamburg in Germany, and in Tianjin and Hong Kong in Greater China.

The Hotel Indigo brand claims to offer local flavours, as well as retaining a unique identity, with no two hotel properties ever looking the same.

British Airways Offering Luxury Sale for Summer Travellers

British Airways, a UK-based airline company, is offering a luxury sale for holidaymakers.

The airline is offering substantial discounts of up to 60 percent in First and Business Class and on holiday packages, on a range of departures from July 21, 2012, to around 90 global destinations. The sale runs until June 14, 2012.

The airline’s passengers can benefit from discounts of up to 64 percent on business class flights to Montreal and Toronto, from the UK, and up to 50 percent on flights to Rio de Janiero, in Brazil, and Los Angeles, in the US. Flights from London City to Palma, Mallorca and Menorca in the Balearics are available with up to 38 percent savings, while flights to Barbados, St Kitts and Tobago in the Caribbean are available with up to 33 percent savings on business class seats.

The sale also includes holiday packages, with offers on vacations to St Lucia at the Marigot Bay Hotel, and discounted stays at the Waldorf Astoria New York hotel.

Flights to Europe are available with reductions of up to 48 percent in business class, while holiday packages across Europe include discounted stays in Majorca (Spain), Barcelona (Spain) and Prague (Czch Republic). Savings on fly-drive holidays are also available to destinations including Nice (France), Pisa (Italy) and Larnaca (Cyprus).

Customers can save up to 25 percent on business class flights to Buenos Aires (Argentina), and up to 20 percent on business class flights to Hong Kong (China).

All flights offer complimentary on-line check in and seat selection before departure, as well as free baggage and complimentary food and drinks on board.

New JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe Opens in Mexico City

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, a hotel company and a part of Marriott International, has announced its newest hotel in Mexico City, Mexico.

The new 221-room, JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe, is the brand’s second hotel to open in the City.

Rob Steigerwald, the chief operations officer for the Southern Americas at Marriott International, said, ‘Mexico remains one of the most vibrant countries for new development in all of Latin America. We are thrilled to partner with Grupo Diestra on this project, and reveal our second world class JW Marriott luxury brand hotel to Mexico City. This beautiful hotel brings the highest levels of accommodations and service to Mexico and is a great addition to the brand’s growing global portfolio.’

The JW Marriott brand has a remit to offer lavish properties in gateway cities and resort locations.

The JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe is offering two restaurants for dining and entertainment, in addition to a lobby bar, 24-hour room service and an executive lounge. The leisure amenities include a fitness centre and a, soon-to-open, Oriental Wellness Spa, which includes five treatment rooms, saunas, vapour rooms, Jacuzzis and a meditation area. The hotel also has around 13,100 square feet of flexible meeting space available for conducting corporate and social events.

Mitzi Gaskins, the vice president and global brand manager for the company, said, ‘We are confident that this unique and visually stunning hotel will become a landmark in Mexico City attracting travellers and groups from all over the world.’