BERLIN – Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), which turns 80 this year, expects to produce as good or better sales this year for its members than in 2007, its best year ever. Reflecting resilience in luxury travel demand despite current world financial turmoil, vice-president Asia-Pacific, Mr Mark Greedy, said LHW should “achieve or exceed” its 2007 sales production of nearly 1.65 million room nights, surpassing the previous record level, which was in 2005.
In 2007, 88 per cent of all LHW business came from global travel agencies, be they worldwide agency networks or specialised smaller agencies with upscale consumers. Within Asia-Pacific, agents contributed 89 per cent of LHW business in 2007.
Mr Greedy said: “The pie is expected to be more significant with the emergence of luxury consumers in China and India, improved opportunities from Japan and South Korea, and the sustained performance of Hong Kong and Singapore.”
For 2008, LHW has committed to a 200 per cent increase in its global luxury consumer media communications spend. A print, TV and inflight broadcast campaign, Every Quest Has A Beginning, will be launched to motivate more consumers to book LHW, and agents are expected to benefit as the enhanced demand is expected to be channelled through them. “Hence, the travel agent will have improved business performance from our consumer and also improved yield. LHW’s 2007 average room rate was US$470, which is the highest in the industry.
“At an average room revenue per stay of more than US$1,400, a minimum travel agent commission fee of US$140 per reservation is received, plus an extremely pleased client.”
Throughout 2008, LHW will be introducing motivational and rewarding travel agency sales incentives through the GDS and voice reservations channels. The previous success in Asia-Pacific of Around the World of Leading Hotels and LHW/ Galileo’s Travel Agent Sales Incentive will be enhanced by factors related to its 80th year.
Mr Greedy said: “We have included travel agencies in our 80th anniversary celebration in a most tangible way. We have created a unique and completely customisable package. This incredible trip-of-a-lifetime includes 12 destinations and 80 diverse elements including couture wardrobes, private tours, and balloon and helicopter rides. The trip pays homage to the epic film, Around the World in 80 Days, and is an extraordinary journey around the globe, retracing (loosely) the steps of Phileas Fogg.”
“Our 2008 priority is to maximise the awareness and demand for true luxury hotel stays and authentic travel experiences. As global travellers mature in taste, experience and expectations, they realise that this is found at only the highest level of luxury accommodation and this is an LHW member.
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