Hotel & Tourism SMARTreport #39

cleverdis

THE PROFESSIONAL BUYERS’ REFERENCE

SMARTreport

ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

#19 / WEDDINGS AND HONEYMOONS

NOT JUST WHITE SAND BEACHES AND

SWAYING PALMS

SPOTLIGHT ON

ASIA PACIFIC

#27 / THE BOOM CONTINUES

CHINA AT HEART OF THE ASIAN

TOURISM MIRACLE

INNOVATIONS

& TECHNOLOGIES

#51 / TRENDS IN BOOKINGS

THE NEED FOR SPEED IN

2018 & BEYOND

…WE TALK VERY

MUCH ABOUT BEING A

“LEAN, MEAN FIGHTING

MACHINE” AND I THINK

THAT’S PAYING OFF IN

OUR RELATIONSHIPS

WITH OUR OWNERS.

Dr Jennifer Cronin

President, Wharf Hotels

#39 - 2018 SUMMER EDITION / A CLEVERDIS PUBLICATION


Richard Barnes

Editor-in-chief

richard.barnes@cleverdis.com

Tel: +33 (0) 4 42 77 46 00

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 3

FOREWORD

MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

The travel industry is all about getting people moving. But not

at any cost. On the one hand, it is evident that people want to

have “genuine” experiences, getting off the beaten track, and

experiencing all the beauty the world still has to offer. But if the very

fact of them doing so spoils the place they are visiting, that is what

we now know as “over-tourism”.

The increasing awareness of the effects of over-tourism is having a

growing impact on how destinations are dealing with tourists in their

most popular locations. An excellent example is that of Thailand,

whose authorities put a total halt to the tourist “infestation” of

Maya Bay, while an important impact study is carried out.

It’s a step in the right direction, and part of a larger growing

movement towards responsibility and greater care for the planet.

This edition of the SMARTreport has a wide number of examples of

best practices when it comes to creating surprising, extraordinary and

memorable experiences for the travellers of today, and tomorrow.

Enjoy the read!

4 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

4 HONOURING THE SILK ROAD HERITAGE

Dr Jennifer Cronin, President, Wharf group

7 NEWS

7 PROMOTION OF DEVELOPMENT, POVERTY

REDUCTION, AND PEACE WITH TOURISM

9 EVENTS

9 VIRTUOSO TRAVEL WEEK

10 AS UNIQUE AS YOU

11 MARRAKECH AGAIN HOSTS LUXURY HOTEL

PLAYERS AT PURE EXPERIENCES

12 PATA TRAVEL MART HOSTED IN LANGKAWI

12 ASIA’S DOUBLE-BILL CORPORATE EVENT

13 WORLD ROUTES 2018 HEADS FOR

GUANGZHOU, CHINA

14 IFTM TOP RESA PARIS CELEBRATES 40 YEARS

15 ASIA’S PREMIERE Q4 TOURISM EVENT

17 EVENTS CALENDAR

19 ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

19 EXPERIENCE… WITH A CAPITAL “E”

20 WHEN “IMPOSSIBLE” DOES NOT EXIST

21 DO THE LOOP

22 IN THE FIELD WITH GUIDO GRAF

THE HONEYMOON –TRIP OF THE LIFETIME –

THE START INTO A NEW STAGE OF LIFE

23 HONEYMOONS

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

24 BEACH RESORTS

UNSPOILT NATURE, INCREDIBLE BEACHES

24 ROSEWOOD PHUKET – ON THE SHORES

OF EMERALD BAY

25 PRIVATE ISLANDS

15 KILOMETRES OF WHITE SAND BEACHES

– JUST FOR US

CONTENTS

25 A GEM IN CAMBODIA’S UNTOUCHED KOH

RONG ARCHIPELAGO

27 ASIA PACIFIC

27 ASIA PACIFIC – THE BOOM CONTINUES

28 TRANSPORT

AIRPORT PASSENGER TRAFFIC BOOMING

IN SE ASIA

31 THOUGHT LEADERS IN ASIA-PACIFIC

32 INBOUND - FACTS & FIGURES

ASIA LEADS GLOBAL TOURISM GROWTH

IN 2018

33 INBOUND - TRENDING DESTINATIONS

HONG KONG WINE & DINE PARADISE

33 HONG KONG GOING FROM STRENGTH

TO STRENGTH AS A GLOBAL MICE HUB

34 CREATING TOURISM MEDIA ASSETS

36 THE ROADMAP FOR LANGKAWI

36 POSITIONING OF FRENCH POLYNESIA AS A

TOURIST DESTINATION

37 PLACING THE ISLANDS OF TAHITI ON THE

TRAVEL ADVISOR’S TOP SHELF

38 INBOUND - NATURAL WONDERS

THAILAND MOVES TO PROTECT NATURAL

HERITAGE AT MAYA BAY

38 ROYAL BELUM - THE LAND BEFORE TIME

39 INBOUND - TRENDING HOTELS

LUXURIOUS COMFORT WITH A TASTE

OF TRUE SICHUAN HOSPITALITY

39 AMANYANGYUN OPENS A NEW GATEWAY

TO THE PAST

40 JUST HOW “GREEN” CAN A HOTEL BE?

40 MIMPI OPENS ON PERENTIAN ISLANDS

41 NICCOLO PRESENTS SKY HOTELS AT ILTM

ASIA

42 THE SPIRIT OF MARCO POLO AT THE HEART

OF CHINA’S “SUPER-CITY” - SHENZHEN

44 ACCORHOTELS AND AMBASSADOR GROUP

BUILD ON PARTNERSHIP IN KOREA

45 NOVOTEL AMBASSADOR SEOUL GANGNAM

OPTIMISTIC OVER FUTURE GROWTH

46 QUIET DAYS AT RAFFLES HOTEL LE ROYAL

PHNOM-PENH

47 ROSEWOOD PHNOM PENH OPENS IN

THE HEART OF CAMBODIAN CAPITAL

47 WHEN LUXURY MEETS WITH HISTORY ...

48 OUTBOUND

CUSTOMISED TRAVEL THE NEW FORM

OF OUTBOUND TOURISM FOR CHINESE

TRAVELLERS

48 CHINA THE MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR

TO “ASIAN TOURISM MIRACLE”

48 ASIAN OUTBOUND: DID YOU KNOW?

49 HELPING CHINESE TOURISTS

TO “TRAVEL EASY”

50 SERVICE AS A PILLAR OF THE VALUE

PROPOSITION

51 INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

51 “TECH” JUST ANOTHER FOUR-LETTER

WORD?

53 IN THE FIELD WITH DAVID ESSERYK

AI WILL CHANGE THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

54 GROW DIRECT BOOKINGS BY 25%?

YES, YOU CAN…

55 INCREASING THE NEED FOR SPEED

IN 2018 AND BEYOND

56 WHEN TWO GREAT NAMES GET TOGETHERG

58 THE ART AND SCIENCE OF DESTINATION

MARKETING

58 ON THE NEW DYNAMICS OF HOTEL

DISTRIBUTION


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

THE SINGLE MOST

IMPORTANT PRIORITY

IS OUR PEOPLE.

Dr Jennifer Cronin

President, Wharf Hotels

HONOURING THE SILK ROAD

Just like the legendary Italian explorers, Marco Polo and his father

based Wharf Hotels – umbrella to the two hotel brands reminiscent

of the ancient travellers – delves into new territories

Wharf Hotels is Hong Kong’s

heritage hotel management

company, an Asian corporation

recognising diverse cultures

that celebrates The Spirit of

Discovery. Formerly known as

Marco Polo Hotels Management

Limited, Wharf Hotels is a

wholly owned subsidiary of

The Wharf (Holdings) Limited,

operating luxury and premium

brands Niccolo and Marco Polo

Hotels across Asia.

Hong Kong-based Wharf Hotels pays homage to the legendary

spirit of travel, exploring and sharing experiences as the

embodiment of Niccolo and Marco Polo Hotels. Australianborn

Dr Jennifer Cronin was appointed President of Wharf Hotels

(firstly Marco Polo Hotels) in 2016. We asked her what key changes

have been implemented since she took the position.

For me the single most important

priority is our people. Therefore, talent

development and talent management

took priority at the beginning, and

through that, we have developed a

number of programmes, changing

the focus of where we are heading.

We initiated the Red Ring Leadership

Programme last year which has been

developed purely for all our leadership

associates. It has rolled out to about 500

of our people through the hotels in the

Philippines, China and Hong Kong. It

aims really to get them to think outside

of the box and to empower them to take

initiatives. If you are passionate about


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 5

something and believe in it and want to

make a positive difference, sometimes it is a

case of making those decisions and asking

for forgiveness later. But in Asia sometimes

that kind of thinking is not prevalent, so

we wanted to ensure that all of our people

understood this. That has been a real mindset

change for the company as to taking us

to the next level in our way of thinking.

Why Red Ring?

Of course, red in Asia is the colour of

strength. It shows boldness; it is a vibrant

colour. A ring, because we believe that all

our strategies need to be 360°, that they

should be seamless. Also, a circle means

good fortune in Asia, so it’s a combination

of factors. Further to that, we asked all of

our people to make interpretations in their

own way as well, and that has developed

into something where it’s rolled out in so

many other areas of what we do. All of

our conference training programmes now

encompass the red ring. So, it’s been a good

symbol for our people to understand. From

HERITAGE

Niccolo, the Hong-Kong

the red ring, we have created a sub-set of

four key competencies. And from that, we

then develop other initiatives.

Some of your terminology is changing

in an important way. Can you explain

this?

Indeed, hotel general managers grow up in

many instances through the industry from

entry-level, whether it be in finance, food

and beverage, or a rooms background,

and we have been calling them general

managers; but now, internally, we have

coined the phrase CBM: chief business

managers. We want these people to think

more like a CEO, to be more strategic in

their thinking. It may look like just playing

with words, but it is a constant reminder

that as a chief business manager they are

managing a multi-million-dollar business

and have to think strategically.

You also changed the name of the

company to Wharf Hotels…

Yes, that was last year. Our mother group,

Wharf, is one of the leading conglomerates

here in Hong Kong. It was established

in 1886, meaning the name Wharf is a

very reliable, strong performing company,

and aligning ourselves with this legacy is

very important when we are talking to

prospective owners in the Asian region

where we want to expand our group.

What would you say is your vision for

the group going forward then?

We know that we can’t compete with

the huge machines of some of those big

international names, and what we want

to create and to be known for is really that

of being a strong and profitable regional

group. We are not seeking flags

in every destination just for the

sake of it; we really want to

partner with owners ensuring a

profitable return on their assets,

increasing the value of their

asset. That is why we are not

just taking on any location that

might be available. With some

of the larger groups, in some

cities there might be 20 out

of the same group competing

against each other. Not naming

any names, but some owners are now

starting to question how can they operate

effectively if they are competing against

each other within the same company. So

that is why the Niccolo and Marco Polo

hotel brands are becoming more attractive

to the potential new builds, or if hoteliers

are dissatisfied, they are looking to a group

such as ours that can have a very direct and

personalised access between the owner and

our management group. They don’t have to

go through layers of regional offices to get

to head office. They can go direct to me and

to any of our executive committee. So, we

talk very much about being a “lean, mean

fighting machine” and I think that’s paying

off in our relationships with our owners

which are extremely good.

What percentage of your hotels are

owned and what percentage on

managed?

This is what sets us apart from the other

hotel groups. Of our current 16 hotels,

we own eight, so therefore we take on

management in the context of an owner,

and we are very committed to the returns of

the property, so that I think augurs very well

for who we are as a management group

and where we want to go in the future.

What is the roadmap for Niccolo and

Marco Polo hotels? You have already

said you’re not looking to become a

global brand but what are you aiming

to achieve going forward a few years?

We definitely want to be in gateway cities

of Asia. Marco Polo was previously in

Singapore and we are re-assessing various

locations and potential opportunities there

The Murray, Hong Kong,

a Niccolo Hotel


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

right now, as we are in Tokyo, so it is really

just ensuring that within the Asian region in

the short term we have covered all of our

bases of bringing the brand to life in those

cities.

How difficult is finding staff and

training them? I noted that you were

elected one of the best mentors in the

business.

I work a lot with the schools of hospitality,

particularly the Hong Kong Poly-U School

of Hotel and Tourism Management, as the

chairperson of their advisory board. I am also

on the advisory board for Griffith University,

and the advisory board for Bond University,

so I interact with a lot of the future hoteliers

and graduates and I see a great energy that

comes out of them in thinking processes

and creativity. We have to look at what the

new career journey will be in the future and

if we have a star, let’s make them an even

brighter star, and put that star even higher

in the sky, by working with them. So yes,

talent is hard to secure now, but I don’t

think we are the only industry. I think you’ll

find that in many other industries as well, it’s

not just the hotel sector.

How do you work with travel agents

and how important are they to your

business?

They are extremely important to our

business, and making sure all technology

is right and that they are able to connect

directly into our systems for instant

availability is a key priority for them, and

for us, just like ensuring that we are part

of a travel agent’s commission plan. This

year, we have introduced an automated

system which reflects the importance that

we give to business from travel agents.

So while OTA’s are an important part of

everyone’s market and I don’t think we can

ignore that, travel advisors are increasingly

creating great travel experiences, and we

need to incentivise them through the fact

that we can pay them fast thanks to our

new automated system.

What would you say are the three key

points of differentiation that set Wharf

Hotels apart?

Owner-manager-operator, therefore we

understand and think like an owner. That’s

important. Being a focused regional group

means that we are able to have very tight

strategies that can be nimble and change

quickly. And I think the personalisation for

our associates – that we can interact with

them and they can interact with me at any

level at any time, meaning personalised

attention to all people. Those are the three I

would pick out at the moment

Harbour view from Marco Polo

Hongkong Hotel

WE HAVE

INTRODUCED

AN AUTOMATED

SYSTEM WHICH

REFLECTS THE

IMPORTANCE

THAT WE GIVE TO

BUSINESS FROM

TRAVEL AGENTS.


NEWS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 7

The World Tourism Alliance (WTA) has been created as a

global, non-government, non-profit international tourism

organisation. Its membership covers national tourism

associations, influential tourism businesses, academia, cities

and media, as well as heads of international organizations,

former political leaders, retired tourism officials, heads of

tourism businesses and renowned scholars. Its headquarters and

Secretariat are located in China.

Upholding the vision of “Better

Tourism, Better World, Better Life”

as its ultimate goal, the WTA is

“committed to promoting tourism

for peace, development and

poverty-reduction based on mutual

trust, mutual respect, mutual

support and win-win outcome”.

In an official announcement,

Li Jinzao, Chairman of China’s

National Tourism Administration

and founder of the Alliance, said

that the WTA aims to provide

professional services to its members

by setting up platforms of dialogue,

exchanges and cooperation for

business match-making and

experience sharing and be open

to cooperation with international

organizations to promote global

tourism. It will establish high-level

tourism research institutions and

consultancies to study the trend of

international tourism development

and to collect, analyse and release

global and regional tourism data. It

will provide planning, policy-making

consultancy and professional

training for governments and

businesses. It will set up a

mechanism of reciprocity among

its members to share tourism

markets and resources and engage

in tourism promotional activities.

By holding annual meetings,

summits, expos and other events,

it will facilitate exchanges and

cooperation between government

and private sector, to advance

integrated development of the

international tourism with other

industries.

According to Li Jinzao, for presentday

tourism, five major factors

have become indispensable:

governments, enterprises, industrial

associations, think tanks and

tourists. These five elements are

irreplaceable, playing unique roles

in their own ways.

The effects of the five factors would

be crippled, if they were isolated

and worked in their own ways. To

integrate the five factors means we

will have to work on a new platform.

The new platform is exactly the

World Tourism Alliance (WTA). It

is the responsibility and function

as well as the founding principle

of the WTA to integrate the five

factors and optimise them on the

basis of the integration. Hence, be

Li Jinzao, Chairman of China National Tourism

Administration and founder of the World Tourism

Alliance (left), with Gerard Lefebvre, President

of Cleverdis (publisher of the Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport), at the launch of the WTA – on the

occasion of the 22nd general assembly of the

UNWTO in Chengdu, China.

PROMOTION OF

DEVELOPMENT,

POVERTY REDUCTION,

AND PEACE WITH

TOURISM

Born in China, the World Tourism Alliance

emerges as a major new force to guide the

industry

it the governments, enterprises,

associations, think tanks or tourists,

every entity will find its place on

the platform of the WTA and voice

its opinions. We hope that tourism

cities and enterprises, associations,

think tanks and tourists can make

good use of the platform and

engage in mutual learning


EVENTS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 9

Virtuoso Travel Week 2017

VIRTUOSO TRAVEL WEEK

The crème de la crème rises to the top at the Bellagio in Las Vegas

August 11-17, 2018 sees the elite of the

luxury travel industry gather in Las Vegas

for the exclusive Virtuoso Travel Week: the

“ultimate annual global travel community

event”.

Exclusive to the Virtuoso network,

Virtuoso Travel Week focuses on the

evolving marketplace conversation

between Virtuoso advisors, their clients,

and preferred suppliers, with advisors

making a “buying trip” on behalf of their

clientele.

Based primarily on “speed dating”,

Virtuoso Travel Week features hundreds

of thousands of hours of personal

networking between Member Agency

and Preferred Partner attendees, extensive

professional development opportunities,

and a celebration of Virtuoso, the world’s

top luxury travel network.

In addition, Virtuoso Travel Week’s

conference sessions and seminars make

the entire event a “must” for the cream

of the luxury travel sector.

This year, the opening ceremony on

August 12 will see Simon Sinek as

the keynote speaker. Described as “a

visionary thinker with a rare intellect,”

Sinek teaches leaders and organisations

how to inspire people. With a bold goal

to help build a world in which the vast

majority of people wake up every single

day feeling inspired, feel safe at work, and

feel fulfilled at the end of the day, Sinek is

leading a movement to inspire people to

do the things that inspire them.

GEN X TRAVELLERS WANT

MORE SUSTAINABLE

TRAVEL, SAYS VIRTUOSO

LUXE REPORT

In a new survey, Virtuoso has revealed

how its affiliated travel advisors are seeing

rising interest among clients in search of

sustainable tourism vacations. Hailed as

an industry trend forecaster, the 2018

Virtuoso Luxe Report surveyed its travel

advisors on sustainability as a factor in

consumer choice in travel.

According to the travel advisors, when

making travel decisions, they say it is

Millennials who are leading the charge.

They are three times more likely than

second-place Generation X to seek out

and support travel companies that are

committed to sustainable tourism.

“Sustainable tourism represents a

transformative movement and our goal

remains to support our travel partners

in their best practices, from saving

endangered species to supporting

community development projects around

the world. By sharing these inspirational

stories and educating Virtuoso advisors

and their clients on the positive impact

that comes from traveling in a more

mindful way, we are helping to advance

travel as a force for good,” said Jessica

Hall Upchurch, Virtuoso Sustainability

Ambassador

Meet with Cleverdis Editor-in-chief,

Richard Barnes @ Virtuoso Travel

Week: editorial@cleverdis.com


EVENTS

© Chris Cypert

Ritz-Carlton,

Amelia Island

AS UNIQUE AS YOU

Signature’s annual owners’ meeting in Florida helps hoteliers

customise to meet their unique business goals

Signature’s annual Owners’ Meeting this

year takes place from September 5-8 at the

Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, Florida.

The event provides owners with the

opportunity to review the sales & financial

performance of the organisation, preview

new programmes slated for 2019 and

to network with their peers alongside

Signature’s preferred supplier partners and

industry experts.

This year’s theme, “As Unique as You”,

represents Signature’s commitment

to providing every member access to

services and benefits that you can customise

to meet your unique business goals. The

superior personalization capabilities of

our technology solutions and marketing

programs are our greatest advantage, and

the more your teams leverage our tools to

ensure every client feels special, the more

business you will retain and the more

clients you will attract.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: KEN SCHMIDT

Ken Schmidt is one of the most

in-demand business speakers

and communications consultants

in America. A member of the Harley-

Davidson turnaround executive team,

Schmidt is an expert at creating

demand for and selling of “the

invisible” in an age when customers

see little difference among competing

companies and the products they sell.

High energy, honest and passionate,

he has the expertise to help revitalise

and inspire your business. In his own

words, what are you willing to do

today, that’s different than what you

did yesterday, for the people who can

put you out of business tomorrow?

FRANK J. DEL RIO

President & CEO,

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd.

Frank J. Del Rio is the president and chief

executive officer of S&P 500 company Norwegian

Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., comprised of

Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and

Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Del Rio assumed this role

in January 2015. Under his leadership, Norwegian

Cruise Line Holdings has grown to a fleet of 25

ships and has achieved significant milestones,

including double digit annual revenue and

adjusted EPS growth; launching the first sailings to

Cuba from an established North American cruise

brand; and the successful introduction of new

vessels for each of the company’s three brands,

including the company’s first ship customised and

dedicated for the Chinese market.

EBEN PECK

Senior Vice President Government

& Public Affairs, American Society

of Travel Agents

Eben Peck joined ASTA in 2012 and

since 2017 has served as Executive Vice

President, Advocacy at the American

Society of Travel Agents (ASTA),

where is he responsible for

ASTA’s work to advocate for the

travel agency community at all levels

of government, within the travel

industry and before the traveling

public.

Meet with Cleverdis Editor-inchief,

Richard Barnes @ Signature’s

owners’ meeting:

editorial@cleverdis.com


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 11

MARRAKECH AGAIN HOSTS

LUXURY HOTEL PLAYERS AT PURE

EXPERIENCES

Founded in 2009 by travel visionaries Serge

Dive and Sarah Ball, Pure Life Experiences is a

hand-selected global community of leading

experts in experiential travel – including

high-end suppliers; private travel designers

serving a high-net-worth clientele; and

renowned members of the travel press.

across four means: talks; workshops;

discussions; and screenings.

Organisers claim: “Carefully curated for

your business, experts will show you how

simple changes – from maximising use of

social media to motivating your teams to

peak performance – can boost your bottom

line. Looking after the bottom line and

protecting your brand’s core values don’t

have to be mutually exclusive”

Pure provides access to hand-selected

private travel designers and exhibitors,

through a unique algorithm that curates

personalised diaries, forming the core of

the PURE.

Central to Pure is 42 meetings over three

days, 20 minutes each, curated by industry

experts to suit your business needs.

The Matter conference, meanwhile,

stimulates both personal and professional

growth, giving you the chance to engage

and collaborate with the world’s most

influential thought-leaders, whether from

travel or outside the industry.

Content is organised around five central

themes, giving plenty of choice and access

to even more takeaways and delivered

MÖVENPICK MARRAKECH

PREPARES FOR PURE MARRAKECH

SHOW

Christophe Prieu is Sales &

Marketing Director at Mövenpick

Marrakech, which along with

Palais des Congrès, is playing host

to September’s Pure Marrakech

exhibition. We asked him how

important the event is to the

business.

Pure Life is one of the most important

travel shows worldwide, and we are very

honoured to welcome it at Mövenpick

Marrakech and Palais des Congrès. More

than 1,200 travel professionals from

all over the world gather to celebrate

experiential travel.

What are the advantages of having

a single interface (hotel and

convention centre) from a show

organiser perspective?

As the hotel and the congress centre

are linked and managed by Mövenpick,

it offers our clients the ability to have

an individual spokesperson. Smoother

logistics in event organisation is the key

to a successful event.

What is your message to travel

agents attending Pure Marrakech

who have wealthy clients?

Experiential travel in Marrakech is

all about Berber and Arab culture,

thousands years old history and genuine

encounters with local communities


EVENTS

ASIA’S

DOUBLE-BILL

CORPORATE

EVENT

Langkawi Skybridge

PATA TRAVEL MART

HOSTED IN LANGKAWI

Langkawi is the venue for PATA

Travel Mart 2018 (PTM 2018)

with this signature Pacific Asia

Travel Association event 12-

14 September being hosted by

Tourism Malaysia and Langkawi

Development Authority.

Announcing the event, PATA

CEO Dr Mario Hardy stated,

Tourism Malaysia and Langkawi

Development Authority have

been a valuable PATA member

and partner since 1959 and 2017

respectively and we look forward

to the opportunity of showcasing

the culture, heritage and beauty

of Langkawi. Delegates to PTM

2018 will experience one of Asia’s

most remarkable and attractive

destinations.”

PATA Travel Mart is Asia-

Pacific’s premier travel trade

show featuring networking and

contracting opportunities to help

travel and tourism organisations

access decision makers, meet new

clients, expand their networks,

establish new relationships and

consolidate existing business

partnerships.

According to Dato’ Haji Azizan

Noordin, CEO Langkawi

Development Authority, “PTM

2018 is a much-awaited tourism

event to be organised in Malaysia

especially in Langkawi. Naturally,

with the buyers and sellers coming

here, and the foreign media,

we hope we can put not only

Langkawi, but also Malaysia, again

on the international platform for

tourism. The build-up to the event

is also very important. That’s why

we are keen to have the PATA

Travel Mart here. We hope this will

be a turning point.”

Azizan received his Life

Membership Award at PATA

Annual Summit 2017 in Negombo,

Sri Lanka, and was recently elected

Vice-Chairman of PATA

Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings

Asia (IT&CMA) and Corporate Travel World (CTW)

Asia-Pacific is promoted as Asia-Pacific’s Only

Doublebill Event in MICE and Corporate Travel,

hosted in Bangkok from 18-20 September. Both

events have been co-locating since 2004, offering

its delegates an exceptional platform to do

business, learn and network with industry players

from around the region and beyond.

IT&CMA is a leading international MICE

event centred in Asia-Pacific. Established in

1993, IT&CMA is at the forefront of fostering

MICE growth opportunities for the Asia-

Pacific and beyond. Its multi-faceted

programme engages regional and international

industry suppliers and buyers in the

realms of business, education and networking.

IT&CMA also features dedicated platforms

designed around the interests of valuable

MICE niche segments, enabling the event to

consistently deliver a delegate profile that is both

relevant and dynamic.

CTW Asia-Pacific, meanwhile, is promoted as the

“leading corporate travel management conference

for the Asia-Pacific”. Launched in 1998, CTW

Asia-Pacific is dedicated to cultivating Travel &

Entertainment (T&E) best practices among Asia-

Pacific’s corporate travel professionals. Influencers,

planners and decision-makers of corporate

travel functions in their organisation attend the

annual conference to keep themselves abreast

of the latest trends and knowledge that enable

them to get the most out of their T&E decisions

TTG Asia event

Meet with Cleverdis President, Gérard Lefebvre @ PATA Travel Mart:

editorial@cleverdis.com


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 13

WORLD ROUTES 2018 HEADS

FOR GUANGZHOU, CHINA

Guangdong airport authority set to host the global meeting for airlines,

airports and aviation stakeholders

World Routes 2018 will be hosted

from September 15-18 by Guangdong

Airport Authority, the owner of Baiyun

International Airport. Baiyun is China’s

third busiest airport and the 15 th busiest

in the world, handling nearly 60 million

passengers in 2016. A second terminal,

opening this year, will be able to handle up

to 80 million passengers a year.

At the conference, airlines, airports and

destinations plan and negotiate future air

services.

Routes events are unique forums dedicated

to the development of new air services.

They revolve around pre-scheduled

meetings, an exhibition and a conference.

Four “regional” route development forums

are held between February and June in the

Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa, with

the flagship World Routes event taking

place in September.

Guangzhou, an economic hub on the

Pearl River in Guangdong Province, South

China, will provide the perfect platform

for the event in 2018. The city has been

an important trade centre for 2,000 years

due to its strategic position near the South

China Sea. Its economic strength has

helped Guangdong to maintain its status

as the richest province in China for the last

three decades.

The colourful Canton Tower and Cantonese

cuisine have made Guangzhou a popular

choice with international tourists. Other

attractions include the asymmetrical

Guangzhou Opera House, the Five Rams

Statue in Yuexiu Park, a variety of Buddhist

temples and Baiyun “White Clouds”

Mountain.

Guangzhou’s growth is set to continue

into the next decade as Baiyun’s expansion

projects are completed. The airport will be

transformed into a five-runway, threeterminal

operation that can handle 62,000

flights, 100 million passengers and three

million tons of cargo a year by 2025.

Steven Small, brand director of Routes

said: “Baiyun International Airport’s

development plans reflect Guangzhou’s

economic strength. China is due to

become the world’s largest aviation

market in the next seven years and Baiyun

will take a leading role in this growth.”

International route development

professionals from 270 airlines, 600 airports

and 80 tourism authorities attended World

Routes 2017 in Barcelona, and Guangzhou

can expect similar numbers next year.

Kejian Zhang, Chairman of the Board of

Guangdong Airport Authority said: “It’s a

great honour to win the right to host World

Routes 2018. I believe it will be an excellent

opportunity to showcase Guangzhou City

and Guangdong Province to the looking

forward to meeting all of the friends of this

great event. We’ll be meeting them with

our best service and full enthusiasm”


EVENTS

© Reed Expositions France

IFTM TOP RESA

IS SET TO WELCOME

OVER 30,000

PROFESSIONALS

IFTM Top Resa 2017

IFTM TOP RESA PARIS

CELEBRATES 40 YEARS

Indonesia comes under the spotlight as country of honour

at this year’s show

IFTM Top Resa, the leading

global event for the travel

industry held in Paris,

celebrates, in 2018, its

40 th edition.

An event offering multiple

target markets: leisure, business,

mice and group tourism, IFTM

Top Resa, is set to welcome

over 30,000 professionals, key

industry buyers, journalists,

digital influencers, students and

tourism Ministers who come

to meet the 1680 exhibitors,

(destinations and tourism offices,

airlines companies, hotels,

technology and starts-up firms,

etc.).

Each year, the show’s content is

enhanced to create a platform

to drive growth for exhibitors,

offering all visitors a platform for

doing business, networking and

sharing expertise.

WONDERFUL INDONESIA “COUNTRY OF HONOUR”

For the first time in its history, IFTM Top

Resa will give centre stage to one of the

destinations exhibiting at the event through

a new “Country of Honour” title. The aim of

the initiative is to shine an extra spotlight a

selected exhibitor. Wonderful Indonesia thus

becomes a major partner of IFTM Top Resa and

will benefit from strong visibility and promotion

in all communication tools and at main events

before, during and after the show.

In addition to their presence at two panel

discussions led by a representative from

Indonesia, special training sessions will also be

held for travel agents. Wonderful Indonesia

will have a stand in the zone dedicated to Asia

and will share its exhibition area with partners

including regional tourist offices, hotels, travel

agencies, tour operators and DMCs.

Frédéric Lorin, Head of Tourism at Reed

Expositions France said, “Wonderful Indonesia

is an important and loyal partner of IFTM Top

Resa. We are pleased and proud that this

destination is the first ‘Country of Honour’ and

that it has chosen our event to raise its profile

in France.”

Eka Moncarre, Manager of the Indonesia

Tourism Office in France, commented, “IFTM

Top Resa is France’s leading professional event

for the tourism industry. It is the essential key

trade show for reaching and meeting purchasers

and the media. The ‘Country of Honour’ title

gives us superb and unique visibility to promote

our destination and partners and to showcase

Indonesia’s merits as a destination. Tourism

is a major focus for our country’s economic

development. With the opening of our tourism

office in Paris in 2016, we demonstrated our

wish to welcome more French tourists. We are

certain this partnership will bring us closer to

our goals”

Cleverdis is the publisher of the official show magazine, “IFTM Daily”.

Meet with IFTM Daily Editor-in-chief, Richard Barnes @ IFTM Top Resa: editorial@iftmdaily.com


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 15

WE ARE HUGELY

GRATEFUL FOR THE

ONGOING SUPPORT AND

COMMITMENT FROM OUR

MANY EXHIBITORS

ITB Asia 2017

ASIA’S PREMIERE TOURISM EVENT

ITB Asia sees record number of new exhibitors

for its 11 th show in Singapore

ITB Asia, “Asia’s Leading Travel Trade Show”

is exceeding expectations on exhibitor

numbers, recording a 20.8% increase in

new exhibitors signing up for the show year

on year. This comes after the major success

of last year’s 10th anniversary show which

saw record-breaking numbers with 113

countries exhibiting at the event.

ITB Asia 2018 will take place at the Sands

Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay

Sands, from 17 - 19 October 2018.

ITB Asia 2018 has seen a surge in

exhibitor demand from National Tourism

Organisations (NTO), Regional Tourism

Organisations (RTO), hotels and travel and

technology sectors. Such impressive growth

has called for the necessary expansion

of the show space to cater for these new

exhibitors. The show welcomes new NTO

exhibitors from Abu Dhabi, Botswana,

Croatia, Mauritius and Papua New Guinea

and as well as new RTO exhibitors such

as Fukuoka, Kansai, Lviv, Marianas and

Rovaniemi. In a bid to strengthen the show’s

focus on travel technology, key travel and

technology exhibitors including the likes

of Klook, Sabre and TripCreator are set to

feature during ITB Asia 2018 as well.

According to the ITB World Travel Trends

Report by IPK, Asia continues to be a major

growth region for the travel and tourism

industry worldwide. Whilst worldwide

outbound trips grew by 3.9% in 2017, Asia

is leading this growth figure by a staggering

11%. Outbound visitor growth is expected

to increase by 4 – 5% over the next year, led

primarily by US and Asian travellers.

A 13.8% surge in European presence y/y is,

say the organisers, attributable to ITB Asia’s

pole position as a key platform for the travel

and tourism industry in Asia, during which

European exhibitors can best capture the

growing Asia outbound travel and tourism

market.

“We are hugely grateful for the ongoing

support and commitment from our many

exhibitors, who are crucial in driving the

growth and success of ITB Asia. Each year

we work hard to strengthen our leadership

in the travel trade show industry and focus

on growing ITB Asia’s success in the coming

years” said Katrina Leung, Managing

Director, Messe Berlin (Singapore), organiser

of ITB Asia

NEW BESPOKE

SHOW DAILY

BY CLEVERDIS

Following on the ongoing

success of ITB Berlin News,

and the launch this year of

ITB China News, Cleverdis

(publishers of the Hotel &

Tourism SMARTreport) are

henceforth partnering with

ITB Asia to produce the official

show daily, entitled simply ITB

Asia News.

Meet with ITB Asia News Editor-in-chief,

Richard Barnes @ ITB Asia:

editorial@itb-asia-news.com


EVENTS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 17

IFTM Top Resa 2017

EVENTS CALENDAR

10 AUGUST 2018

HSMAI ROC Brazil

Sao Paulo, Brazil

www.hsmai.org

11-15 AUGUST 2018

GBTA Convention

San Diego Convention Center

San Diego, CA, USA

convention.gbta.org

11-17 AUGUST 2018

Virtuoso Travel Week

Las Vegas, NV, USA

https://virtuosomeetings.virtuoso.com

3 SEPTEMBER 2018

World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia &

Australasia Gala Ceremony

InterContinental Grand Stanford, Hong

Kong

www.worldtravelawards.com/event/asiaand-australasia-2018

5-8 SEPTEMBER 2018

Signature’s Owners’ Meeting

Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, FL, USA

www.signaturetravelnetwork.com

9-13 SEPTEMBER 2018

PURE Life Experiences

Marrakesh, Morocco

www.purelifeexperiences.com

12-14 SEPTEMBER 2018

PATA Travel Mart

Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre

(MIEC), Langkawi, Malaysia

www.pata.org/ptm/

15 SEPTEMBER 2018

World Travel Awards (WTA) Latin

America Ceremony 2018

Guayaquil, Ecuador

www.worldtravelawards.com/event/latinamerica-2018

15-18 SEPTEMBER 2018

World Routes

Guanzhou, Guandong Province,

China

www.routesonline.com/events/193/worldroutes-2018/

16-18 SEPTEMBER 2018

The Hotel Show Dubai

World Trade Centre, Dubai,

United Arab Emirates

www.thehotelshow.com

18-20 SEPTEMBER 2018

IT & CM Asia

Bangkok Convention Centre,

CentralWorld Bangkok,

Thailand

www.itcma.com

24-27 SEPTEMBER 2018

ILTM North America

Fairmont Mayakoba,

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

www.iltm.com/northamerica/home/

25-26 SEPTEMBER 2018

HTNG Insight Summit

Plug and Play Tech Center,

Sunnyvale, CA, USA

www.htng.org/page/ISNA_2018

CLEVERDIS

PARTNER

25-28 SEPTEMBER 2018

IFTM Top Resa

Pavilion 7, Porte de Versailles,

Paris, France

www.iftm.fr/en/Home/

CLEVERDIS

PARTNER

3 OCTOBER 2018

The Hotel Distribution Event (HDE)

The Montcalm Hotels,

London, United Kingdom

www.hoteldistributionevent.com

6 OCTOBER 2018

World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa &

Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony

International Convention Centre,

Durban, South Africa

www.worldtravelawards.com/event/africaand-indian-ocean-2018

10-11 OCTOBER 2018

The Annual Hotel Conference (AHC)

Hilton Manchester Deansgate,

Manchester, United Kingdom

www.theahc.co.uk

17-19 OCTOBER 2018

ITB Asia

Marina Bay Sands,

Singapore

www.itb-asia.com

CLEVERDIS

PARTNER

A CLEVERDIS Publication, 65 avenue Jules Cantini, Tour Méditerranée,

13006 Marseille - France - Tel: + 33 442 77 46 00 - Fax: + 33 442 77 46 01

E-mail : info@cleverdis.com - www.cleverdis.com

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Publisher: Gérard Lefebvre - Publishing Director: Jean-Guy Bienfait

Managing Director: Jean-François Pieri - Project Manager: Wenchao Wang

Marketing Manager: Nathalie Meissner - Editor-in-Chief: Richard Barnes

Associate Editor: Simon King - Editorial coordination: Yingying Deng

Art Director: Hélène Beunat. With the participation of: Bettina Badon,

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>>To contact them: first name.last name@cleverdis.com

Printing: Pure Impression, Mauguio, France

Registration of Copyright July 2018 • ISSN 2110-8676. Information presented in this publication is purely indicative in order to illustrate subjects contained

therein. No guarantee can be given as to the accuracy of data or content at time of printing and thus the latter should not be used to professional or commercial ends.

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the consequences, whatever their nature may be, that may result from the interpretation of this data or content, or any eventual errors therein. All rights are reserved.

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are entirely their own, and are included with the understanding that they contain, to our knowledge, no malicious intent. The inclusion of all texts, photographs and

other documents supplied by those included in the report imply the acceptance by their authors of their free publication therein. Documents and photgraphs are not

returned. It should be understood that this publication contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements other than

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publication. Photo Credits and Copyright: All Rights Reserved


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 19

EXPERIENCE…

WITH A CAPITAL “E”

UK-based marketing agents Underscore

recently explored how “luxury” is being

defined, and nowhere is this more

evident than within the luxury travel

industry.

Not surprisingly, the survey revealed that

the biggest megatrend is that of seeking

“off the beaten track” destinations.

Luxury travellers desire to experience the

true culture of an area by engaging with

locals and wandering neighbourhoods…

to discover their own version… and

travel brands are thus enticing luxury

travellers by enabling them to co-design

their experiences.

Health-conscious travel has never been so

popular with 31% of people increasing

their travel budgets because they

increasingly recognise its importance for

their health and well-being (TripAdvisor

study).

Finally, the trend of “sustainable luxury”

or “guilt-free luxury” was once an

oxymoron but the luxury travel industry

has embraced the need for change and

innovated to the point that a lot of

operators now believe that the more

sustainable they are, the more luxurious

they are.

In the following pages, we look at how

these trends are affecting romance

travel, along with the growing demand

for private island getaways.

The Royal Sands Koh Rong, Cambodia


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS

LOOKING FOR AUTHENTIC

EXPERIENCES

Jonathan Cheung

CEO, Abercrombie & Kent China

WHEN “IMPOSSIBLE” DOES NOT EXIST

Jonathan Cheung, CEO of Abercrombie & Kent China outlines the

roadmap for this well-known business in the region.

From humble beginnings in Africa, Abercrombie & Kent has become a

global organisation. We started by asking Jonathan Cheung, CEO of

Abercrombie & Kent China, to tell us more about the business, which

was founded by Geoffrey Kent…

As our founder Geoffrey Kent said, real

luxury has three hallmarks: authenticity,

flexibility and a sense of well-being.

Authenticity means the experience is true

to its place and its traditions, incorporating

elements of the past and reflecting the

local culture. Flexibility refers to service

that anticipates your needs and satisfies

them in an unobtrusive manner. Peace

of mind is the sense of well-being that

comes from traveling with a first-class

organisation staffed by professionals for

whom the word “impossible” does not

exist.

When travelling, people are always

looking for authentic experiences, so we

offer our clients not only exquisite viands

or fancy accommodation but also chances

to discover something that others had

rarely discovered before.

We have our own local offices around the

world. When you travel with A&K, your

guide is always local, someone with an

intimate knowledge of the destination. Our

guides are experts whose education, field

research and personal accomplishments

make them ideal companions.

What kind of interest is there for your

private jet ‘round the world tours?

Demand is strong with many itineraries

selling out within weeks of being

announced. In China alone, we have

seen increasing interest in the private jet

experiences from our affluent clients who

enjoy their highflying luxury lifestyles.

Travelling by private jet allows guests to

experience far more than a conventional

itinerary – with greater comfort. During

those private jet tours, these people are

offered a chance of meeting like-minded

people with a deep curiosity about the

world and sharing exclusive insider access

experiences. These include exclusive use

of some of the world’s finest hotels,

boutique lodges and camps in one-of-akind

locations.

Geoffrey Kent is a champion of

sustainability. How does this get

translated into what you do?

The travel industry is in the midst of a

transformation toward greater equity and

sustainability. At Abercrombie & Kent

Philanthropy (AKP), we are dedicated to

positively impacting lives and livelihoods in

the communities where our guests travel.

We are equally committed to ensuring

guests learn about our philanthropic

investments as an integral part of their

travel experience, and to witness and

engage. From Africa to Asia, Latin America

to the Antarctic, we are working with

partner communities on education,

health care, conservation and enterprise

development projects. We now have 41

projects in 19 countries where we strive

to work with our community partners

to address the education, health care,

enterprise development/job creation and

conservation challenges they face


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 21

DO THE LOOP

Interview – Astrid Oberhummer, owner and CEO - Lobster Experience

GmbH and loop GmbH, organisers of the loop luxury fairs

The loop luxury fair is now in its sixth year in Frankfurt, and this November

loop runs for its second round in Tirol. Dedicated to the luxury tourism

industry, the fairs provide a unique platform to generate high quality

business, enhance one’s network, join a powerful community and drive new

trends. We asked Astrid Oberhummer to tell us more about the event.

To reach the high level of quality, the concept

of loop is designed in a special way. There

are only up to 100 international suppliers

meeting with 130+ selected VIP buyers from

the German speaking market for a period of

three days. Every participant will have up to

62 meetings during these days. The meetings

are reminiscent of a speed dating format,

15 minutes each. After each meeting, the

buyers move to the next exhibitor according

to the schedule. The two evening events

provide perfect networking opportunities

while enjoying a fantastic entertainment

programme with lots of great food and

surprise acts.

What can buyers & suppliers expect?

Buyers will be presented the full range of

luxury products due to the international

line-up. We gather unique, privately owned

hotels besides the well-known, prestigious

hotel brands as well as selected lifestyle

exhibitors. The Chedi Muscat, Bulgari Resort

& Residences Dubai, Velaa Private Island,

Borgo Egnazia, Bürgenstock Hotels and many

others trust in loop. As our buyers have to

be all-rounders to meet the requirements of

their clients, we strive to offer them a diverse

line-up in each loop edition.

However, the suppliers get in touch with

the top buyers from our market place. They

are all dedicated to luxury with a significant

turnover in this niche segment. Intensive

bonding between those two groups is the

overall goal of loop.

What are the plans for future loop luxury

fair events?

The brand is growing rapidly at the moment.

Already, loop is no longer held exclusively at

its home base in Frankfurt am Main/Germany,

we celebrated a successful entree in Tyrol/

Austria last November. Due to the high

demand, there will be a third loop in Prague,

in 2019, to cater for the fast emerging

Central and Eastern European markets

Astrid

Oberhummer

Owner & CEO,

Lobster Experience GmbH

and loop GmbH

SMARTreport Commercial Content


In The Field

with Guido Graf

THE “INSIDE LINE” ON WHAT’S HOT IN THE FIELD OF TRAVEL ADVICE

PART 4

ROMANCE TRAVEL

THE HONEYMOON

–TRIP OF THE

LIFETIME –

THE START INTO

A NEW STAGE

OF LIFE

When talking about Honeymoons,

most couples still dream about

French Polynesia, Seychelles,

Maldives, Mauritius – all tranquil

places with white beaches and blue

water. In this edition, Virtuoso Travel

Designer Guido Graf explains why

this is changing.

In the past five years, we realised that

this age-old dream is dramatically

changing. There are still couples

looking for a timeout together on a

remote beach, but more and more

couples are looking for unique

experiences.

In many cases, the honeymoon is

the most expensive trip someone

will ever take in their life. It’s

absolutely understandable, as

this trip should be something

particularly special, and

should be the first

page of the story

that a couple will

write together

throughout the

rest of their lives.

It is always vital to talk with

the couple in order to get a

real idea about their dreams

and wishes and to understand the

passions they share.

Topping the list for honeymoons is the

Safari, as this is an experience about

which both sides can be enthusiastic.

The ladies always love seeing the

animals (specially the baby lions) and

the men love being out in the nature

and exploring. Safari Lodges are a

perfect place for romantic dinners

and while having the last drink before

going to sleep, the stars in the desert

always shine more brightly than one

can ever see in the city.

IT IS

ALWAYS VITAL

TO TALK WITH THE

COUPLE IN ORDER TO GET

A REAL IDEA ABOUT THEIR

DREAMS AND WISHES AND

TO UNDERSTAND THE

PASSIONS THEY

SHARE.

Cruising is also becoming more and

more popular. The fact of having to

unpack just once and explore a lot

of different cities and harbours is a

very relaxing experience – and at the

same time, cruise lines have special

Honeymoon packages, providing

special surprises for the newlyweds,

such as a romantic dinner on a remote

deck or even a visit with the captain

on the bridge, or dinner with him/

her.

Otherwise, exploring

the world (in luxury)

is a dream we

often hear from

honeymooners.

There are no

particular countries

to point out here, as the

interests of couples vary

greatly. Asia is always popular

and there also experiences like

staying and working for a couple

of days in a monastery, or it may be a

road trip across the USA that gives the

feeling of freedom.

There are so many kinds of perfect

honeymoon, it is important to sound

out the couple, understand their

needs and be creative enough to find

the suitable experience which will

create lasting memories. Honeymoons

are often a great start for the travel

planner to become friends with the

couple, following which they will

become regular clients

SEE YOU AGAIN IN THE NEXT EDITION


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

HONEYMOONS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 23

ROMANCE TRAVEL IS ONE

OF THE BIGGEST SECTORS OF ALL

IN TERMS OF LUXURY TRAVEL.

Richard Barnes

CEO, Amour

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

How and why romance travel is taking on growing importance

Romance travel isn’t limited to your typical overseas engagements, weddings

and honeymoons. There are mini-moons, baby-moons and even silvermoons

now on the scene, as more and more couples find a reason to pack

their bags and seek new experiences together. As Richard Barnes, CEO, Amour

organises global networking events in the sector, we asked him how he sees it

progressing over time.

One of the things I find most surprising when

talking to industry professionals about romance

travel is hearing it referred to as a niche market.

Romance travel isn’t niche. Romance travel is

one of the biggest drivers of travel today. In fact,

we are seeing more of our buyers reporting that

their wedding and honeymoon bookings are

representing a much higher proportion of their

business portfolio than in previous years. Couple

that with the fact that newlyweds are now

spending approximately 10% of their annual

salary on a post-wedding adventure, romance

travel is one of the biggest sectors of all in terms

of luxury travel.

What are travel agents looking for? What

are the key trends?

There are three main trends that our private

travel designers, travel agents and concierge

companies look for in a partner.

INSPIRATION - seamlessly blending comfort and

character into their offering. More often than

not, personalisation and the little details make

the most memorable experiences. The more

bespoke and designed a programme is, the

better.

UP-AND-COMING DESTINATIONS – travel

designers are always on the lookout for the latest

destinations in travel. Many of their clients are

looking for the ‘non-touristy’ destinations that

are off the beaten track but offer picturesque

views.

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES FOR THEIR CLIENTS -

working with passionate suppliers to deliver

travel and hospitality offerings that connect

travellers to inspiring, unforgettable experiences.

These are the trend setters who can offer ‘once

in a lifetime’ experiences lovers can cherish.

The great news is, because people generally have

less time on their hands today, they are turning

to travel curators, lifestyle management teams

and concierge style companies to help manage

their travel itineraries. Travel booking companies

that leverage this, by putting together bespoke

experiences and original packages, will come out

on top

Following on from Amour

Europe in Monaco in March,

which brought together

over 300 global suppliers

and buyers, another event

is planned for Los Cabos,

Mexico later this year.

From 13-16 November,

Amour Americas will be

held at Secrets Los Cabos,

one of the world’s most

romantic destinations.

Carefully selected romance

travel buyers and destination

wedding planners from

across North and South

America are invited to build

relationships with global

suppliers through a unique

programme of individual

meetings and networking

activities.

El Arco, Cabo San Lucas,

Mexico

© Shane Smith


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

BEACH RESORTS

Luzi A.

Matzig

Director and Investor,

Royal Sands Koh Rong Resort

ROSEWOOD PHUKET

– ON THE SHORES OF

EMERALD BAY

UNSPOILT NATURE,

INCREDIBLE BEACHES

Royal Sands Koh Rong Resort

delivers a promise of pure white

sand and turquoise seas

Cambodia’s Koh Rong is fast growing as a premium

tourism destination. We asked Mr. Luzi A. Matzig,

Director and Investor from the Royal Sands Koh

Rong Resort what makes the island, and his resort,

so special.

Rosewood Phuket is nestled along 600 metres of

one of the last remaining secluded beaches on the

island, on Emerald Bay in southwestern Phuket.

Rosewood has unveiled Asaya, its pioneering new

wellness concept.

Guests can enjoy convenient access to the bustling

seaside towns along this stretch of coastline,

while Phuket’s cultural heart, the historic Old

Town, is a short drive away.

Located just off the coast of

Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Koh

Rong is famous for its serene

beauty, often described as an

“island paradise” by visiting

tourists. The Royal Sands Koh

Rong Resort is the ideal place

to discover this still-preserved

nature.

High End tourists

sometimes have apparent

contradictory choices when

it comes to the level of

comfort they desire at the

same time as wanting «wild

nature»... What are your

thoughts on this?

Koh Rong has beautifully

unspoiled nature with fivestar

accommodation easily at

hand. The Royal Sands Koh

Rong Resort offers the ultimate

level of hotel comfort with

splendid villas with private

pools, equipped with high

speed internet access. Also

from a gastronomic point of

view, we offer services worthy

of the very best western and

Khmer tables.

Can you describe the resort

in more detail?

The Royal Sands is a new fivestar

all-villa resort comprised

of 67 units. Its design

incorporates high-quality

materials including teak wood,

bamboo and limestone, with

many open-air areas from

which to enjoy the numerous

ocean and sunset views

The resort features 71 pool pavilions and villas

immersed within a 43-acre verdant landscape,

creating a tropical beach hideaway perfectly

placed for guests to explore the hidden charms of

Thailand’s most famous island destination.

Each sea-facing, residential-style room features

interiors that blend east and west, contemporary

and traditional. Their expansive garden terraces

are private sanctuaries of relaxed outdoor seating,

daybed, infinity pool and Andaman Sea views.

The 130 square metre Ocean View Pool Pavilions

feature spacious bedroom and living room areas

and an exterior courtyard with deep soaking

bathtub and rain shower. The 796 square metre

Ocean House comprises a master bedroom, twin

bedroom, separate living and dining rooms and

an oasis of garden courtyards and shady terraces,

and guests can choose a plunge in their private

infinity pool or taking a few short steps to the

warm, crystal-clear waters of Emerald Bay


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

PRIVATE ISLANDS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 25

15 KILOMETRES OF

WHITE SAND BEACHES

– JUST FOR US

The only resort on the coral island of

Desroches, Four Seasons Desroches

has a real desert island feel

Opened on March 1, 2018, Four

Seasons Desroches is the only

resort on this idyllic tropical island,

just a 35-minute domestic flight

from Mahé: a rustic hideaway on

one of the world’s most beautiful

desert islands.

One of the latest additions to the

Abercrombie & Kent portfolio,

the resort is truly exceptional. The

beach suites’ and villas’ interiors

have vintage touches which hint

at a 19th-century explorer theme,

though you have all the modern

conveniences. There are four

different dining options, including

The Lighthouse (pictured), where

one can sample the freshest

seafood around.

Couple’s massages by Terres

d’Afrique are offered at the Spa,

and children can meet the giant

tortoise in the Kids for All Seasons

programme.

On Desroches, families and

couples will see something new

every day. It might be when

kayaking along the shore,

cycling the forest-lined paths or

picnicking in the most secluded

spots. And with 15km of beaches

to choose from, one doesn’t ever

have to deal with crowds

A GEM IN CAMBODIA’S

UNTOUCHED KOH

RONG ARCHIPELAGO

Most of Cambodia’s islands – scattered across the

sapphire waters of the Gulf of Thailand – remain

undeveloped but offer deserted oases of virgin

rainforests, tropical reefs and glistening white

beaches.

Guests to Song Saa will be amongst the first foreigners

to experience this untouched world, reminiscent of

Thailand’s islands before its tourist boom.

The resort spans the islands of Koh Ouen and Koh

Bong, connected by a footbridge over a marine

reserve that has been established to safeguard the

islands’ reefs and marine life including dugongs,

seahorses and exotic species of tropical fish.

Twenty-four luxury villas are built from sustainable

materials and have adopted a ‘rustic chic’ design.

The resort is inspired by Cambodian fishing villages

with features such as over- water buildings, thatch

roofs, rough-hewn natural timbers and drift wood

furnishings.

Guests can enjoy uninterrupted sunrise or sunset

views from their overwater, ocean or jungle villas,

complete with private pools and creature comforts.

Each villa promises a sanctuary where guests can

shower looking out over the ocean, sip cocktails

whilst watching the sun set from their private deck

or have the resort’s chef treat guests to fresh seafood

under the stars.

A two-bedroom royal villa has its own private jetty for

speedboat arrival and offers exceptional luxury and

privacy, for those in search of an exceptional discrete

island hideaway

Song saa private ilsand overwater

villa two 2 bedroom infinity pool

back deck at night


ASIA / PACIFIC

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 27

ASIA PACIFIC

THE BOOM CONTINUES

In Asia and the Pacific,

international tourist arrivals

are forecast by the UNWTO to

increase by 331 million to reach

535 million by 2030 (+4.9%

per year), making it the region

with the highest absolute gain

in arrivals. The largest increase

will come from North-East Asia,

adding 9 million arrivals a year.

In cash terms, Asia and the Pacific

generated US$495 billion in

international tourism expenditure

in 2015 – whether by overnight

or same-day travellers – or some

39% of the world total, up from

20% in 2000, after several years

of double-digit growth.

China has emerged as the fastest

growing source market in recent

years and the top spender in

international tourism since 2012,

both in Asia and the Pacific and

globally.

At the First World Conference

on Tourism for Development in

Beijing in 2016, Chinese Premier

Li Keqiang stated “…Travel is no

longer a luxury for the few, but

rather a necessary consumption

for the average Chinese...”

Langkawi, Malaysia


ASIA / PACIFIC

TRANSPORT

AIRPORT PASSENGER

TRAFFIC BOOMING IN

SE ASIA

Airports in Southeast Asia enjoy an

incredible year in 2017 with growth at most

airports fluctuating between 6% and 20%

Local airports in S.E. Asia reached

new attendance records in 2017.

Jakarta, Singapore and Bangkok

Suvarnabhumi accommodated for the

first time over 60 million passengers in

a year, Manila passed the 40-million

passenger mark; Bali and Surabaya

passed 20 million passengers while

Cebu, Chiang Mai, Danang and

Medan welcomed the symbolic target

of 10 million passengers.

Jakarta remains Southeast Asia busiest

airport ahead of Singapore and

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, although

it is mostly domestic passenger

movements. Bangkok is however

Southeast Asia’s largest airport in

passenger numbers.

Many factors explain the sustained

boom in traffic last year. Economic

growth in Southeast Asia remained

high; the densification of networks

by low cost airlines drove demand,

especially tourism. New routes such as

Bangkok-Haiphong, Penang-Surabaya

or Kuala Lumpur-Davao popped up

last year. Emphasis has been given by

airlines for new flights toward China.

There are over 22 million Chinese

travellers heading to Southeast Asia

on holidays.

This has translated into dozens of

new routes opening between Chinese

second-tier cities and Southeast Asia’s

popular destinations

MAJOR GROWTH IN

VIETNAM AIR TRAFFIC

Vietnam’s Aviation is literally booming with

growth rates exceeding 18% on average.

Danang traffic jumped by 24% while Nha

Trang/Cam Ranh enjoyed a growth of over

20% while Phu Quoc Island in the South

has seen traffic jumping by 14%. Vietnam

Airlines is the major carrier in the Mekong

sub-region, operating 90 routes to 20

domestic and 29 international destinations

with an average of 400 flights per day,

connecting the world’s major cities to

destinations in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia

and Myanmar

AUSTRALIAN

INTERNATIONAL

PASSENGER TRAFFIC UP

5.2% Y/Y

Australia’s Department of Infrastructure

and Regional Development has released

figures showing strong growth in

international air travel into and out of the

country. Melbourne saw highest growth

with a 7.8% hike in year ending April 2018

versus the same period the previous year.

The southern Australian city accounted

for 26.4% of all international air traffic.

Sydney, with a rise of 6% y/y accounts for

40.5% of all traffic. Brisbane is in third

place with 14.5% of international traffic

Scoot now flies

Berlin to Singapore

SCOOT FLIES BERLIN

TO SINGAPORE

Since June 2018, travellers from the capital region

have a direct flight from Berlin to Singapore four

times a week, with Singapore Airlines’ low-cost

carrier Scoot. The connection operates every Monday,

Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Scoot’s Boeing 787

Dreamliner offers on-board Wi-Fi, in-flight streaming

for smartphone, tablet or laptop as well as sockets at

every seat. Travellers from Berlin have several further

connecting flight options across the Scoot network

to 60 destinations including destinations in Malaysia,

Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan

and Vietnam


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 29

BEIJING CAPITAL

AIRLINES LAUNCHES

NON-STOP LONDON-

QINGDAO SERVICE

HAINAN AIRLINES

ROLLS OUT NEW

SERVICES

Hainan Airlines,

upgraded business

class

Hainan Airlines introduced a number of enhancements for

customers including the rollout of the Boeing 787-9 aircraft

equipped with Wi-Fi technology and upgraded business

class cabins with “reverse herringbone” seat layout. The

airline has also partnered with Michelin-starred chefs

to create an exclusive menu for its “Hai Chef” service,

providing passengers with unprecedented quality in terms

of in-flight food and an air travel experience.

Hainan Airlines said it also incorporates the highest calibre

of design and luxury into the travel experience, including

an international VIP lounge, the HNA Club, designed by

renowned Hong Kong designer Dr Patrick Leung

Until recently, passengers flying from Qingdao to London needed

to transfer in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Hong Kong. Since

November 2017, with the London-Qingdao service, the first twice

weekly non-stop service between the two cities, passengers have

been able to save significant time in transit, eliminating the need

to switch aircraft while on route as well as avoid what can often

amount to many hours of wait time at the intermediary airport.

With only 12 flying hours, the non-stop service provides

a convenient air bridge for passengers from Qingdao and

surrounding areas to London. The launch of the London-Qingdao

non-stop service is part of Beijing Capital Airlines’ roadmap for

ongoing global expansion as well as the accelerating of the

establishment of its global network

Beijing Capital Airlines,

Airbus A330

STRENGTHENING TAILWIND!

Making charter flights from various

points of Europe and Near East to

touristic centres of Turkey, Tailwind

Airlines is working to expand

its visibility among Asian travel

professionals. Tailwind Airlines

General Manager Mehmet Bostan

underlined the importance of

Asia as a source market for his

company, stating, “Asian countries

which became more powerful

economically in recent years have

an important potential. Potential

wet lease collaborations with Asian

countries also have a big significance

for Turkish companies.”

Tailwind Airlines is a joint Turkish

British partnership, established to

create an efficient airline to support

the continuing air travel growth in

the Turkish civil aviation sector. With

the predicted forecast of increased

tourists to go from 23 million to 50

million in the near future, it is evident

that Turkey requires an improvement

on the availability of air transport


ASIA / PACIFIC

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 31

PATA WILL ALWAYS REMAIN

A STRONG ADVOCATE FOR THE

DEVELOPMENT OF A RESPONSIBLE

AND SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL AND

TOURISM INDUSTRY

Mario Hardy

CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association

In the past three years PATA has

focused on building a financially

strong organisation, increasing

the number of members globally

and improving engagement with

its members and partners. We

asked Mario Hardy what’s to come.

After the UNWTO’s Year of Sustainable

Tourism for Development in 2017, you

have launched a new initiative. Please

tell us more.

We recently launched the BUFFET (Building

an Understanding for Food Excess in

Tourism) Initiative, a campaign aimed at

Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

The overall outcome of the campaign is

to produce a research paper with case

studies and best practices on eliminating

food waste. The final report will be shared

globally and hopefully be the start of a

global movement.

In the years to come, the Association will

look to be thought leaders, by focusing

on further engagement with its members

by monitoring current trends and issues.

However, PATA will always remain a

strong advocate for the development of

a responsible and sustainable travel and

tourism industry.

What are the key trends you’re seeing

in Asian travel and tourism (inbound

and outbound)?

After having met with ASEAN Tourism

Ministers, I can safely say that an area of

focus for most destinations is the issue of

tourism dispersal. Many countries suffer

from overcrowded tourist destinations

and often times the infrastructure in place

does not support these high number of

tourists. Dispersing tourists to secondary

and tertiary destinations will also help

local communities alleviate poverty

by generating new sources of income

and creating new job opportunities.

This is something that PATA has been

advocating for the past three years and

we are extremely pleased to see countries

embracing this new philosophy.

THOUGHT

LEADERS IN

ASIA-PACIFIC

Exclusive Interview – Mario Hardy –

CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association

reducing food waste in our industry. This

is an issue that everybody in the travel and

tourism industry witnesses. When you go

to any tradeshow, conference or hotel

breakfast buffet, we can see the amount

of food waste that usually goes to landfill

which adversely affects our environment.

On that same day you could walk out of

your hotel and see people in desperate

need of food. At PATA, we want to play our

part and continue to work towards the UN

What interesting new members have

you landed of late?

We value every member that joins the PATA

family, however some of the more wellknown

brands that have recently joined

include PayPal, Airbnb and Royal Brunei

Airlines. In 2017, we welcomed more than

125 members from the public and private

sectors to the Association


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

FACTS & FIGURES

Chinese tourists visiting

Taman Negara National Park,

Malaysia

ASIA LEADS GLOBAL TOURISM

GROWTH IN 2018

According to figures published by the UNWTO in June,

Asia and the Pacific (+8%) recorded the highest growth

across world regions this January-April 2018 period, after a

6% increase in 2017. Results in Asia were driven by South-

East Asia (+10%) where most destinations posted strong

results, particularly Vietnam (+28% through May) which

has seen a surge in international tourists in recent years.

Philippines enjoyed a 15% increase in arrivals this period

and Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia all 14% growth.

South Asian destinations (+9%)

also enjoyed a strong start of

the year, with Sri Lanka (+15%),

Nepal (+13%), Maldives (+11%)

and India (+9%) all reporting

robust growth.

International arrivals in North East

Asia increased 6%, led by Japan

(+15%), which has become a

major destination in the region

following six straight years of

double-digit growth.

Macao, China (+9%) and

Hong Kong, China (+7%) also

reported solid results, while data

from China, the region’s largest

destination is still pending for

2018.

The continuous growth of

Chinese outbound travel is an

asset for all of Asia, the continent

being well-placed to reap the

benefits of China’s continuous

travel boom. In addition,

increased air travel competition,

good value for money in services,

easier visa entry facilities to an

increasing number of Asian

countries and quickly expanding

transportation infrastructures are

also stimulating travel demand in

the region.

INDIA’S INBOUND

TOURISM BOOM:

+15.6% IN 2017

India’s Minister of State for Tourism, KJ Alphons,

told us his country is experiencing a boom in

domestic and international tourism, with 10.2

million visitors received in 2017, up 15.6% on

2016, and that the introduction of e-visa has

been the biggest game changer for the Indian

Tourism Industry: “We now have a more liberalised

e-visa regime is in place. The window period for

application under the e-visa scheme has been

increased from 30 days to 120 days to allow

tourists plan their trip better. The stay duration has

also been increased from 30 days to 60 days with

double entry on e-tourist and e-business visas and

triple entry on e-medical visas. This will bring cheer

to citizens from 163 nations around the world

planning to visit India.”

The e-visa facility is now gives entry through 24

airports as well as five seaports (Cochin, Goa,

Mangalore, Mumbai and Chennai) to tap cruise

tourists from different countries. The requirement

of doing bio-metric visas for cruise passengers in

the five seaports has been deferred till 2020


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

TRENDING DESTINATIONS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 33

HONG KONG

WINE & DINE

PARADISE

Primarily known as a high-end wine merchant

in Hong Kong, Paulo Pong is Chairman of

the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Product and

Events Committee. We asked him why he

was chosen for the position…

For my knowledge of wine and food. I established

Altaya Wines 2001 as a boutique wholesale wine

merchant and I am also the co-founder of restaurant

business Classified Group. I have sat on the board of

the Hong Kong Tourism Board for four years and it

needed my help.

Hong Kong is the event capital of Asia, with

events such as the Dragon Boat Festival, which

takes place every June. What kind of events are

attracting tourists in the second part of the year?

Not to be missed is of course the Wine & Dine Festival

which will run from October 25-28. The 10th edition

of the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival brings together

world-class food, drinks and entertainment right next

to the stunning Victoria Harbour skyline. Aside from

wine-pairing meals designed by master chefs and

tasting classes by industry experts, there will be more

than 400 booths featuring everything from single

malts to craft beer to keep your palate refreshed. We

have events almost every month in Hong Kong

Paulo

Pong

Chairman, Product

and Events Committee,

Hong Kong Tourism

Board

HONG KONG

GOING FROM STRENGTH

TO STRENGTH AS A

GLOBAL MICE HUB

What are the key assets of HK as a business destination

and how is business tourism developing in Hong

Kong? We put the question to Anthony Lau, Executive

Director, Hong Kong Tourism Board.

With its strategic location,

safe and business friendly

environment, visa-free policy for

visitors from over 170 countries

and regions, and superb

aviation connectivity with the

region’s key financial markets,

Hong Kong is recognised as

the world’s premier meetings,

incentive, conventions and

exhibitions (MICE) destination

and business hub of Asia. Last

year, we welcomed nearly two

million MICE visitors to Hong

Kong, representing a 2%

increase from the previous year.

What could change the face

of tourism here?

Before the end of 2018, we

will see the completion and

Anthony

Lau

Executive Director,

Hong Kong Tourism Board

commencement of operations

of two major infrastructure

projects – the Hong Kong–

Zhuhai–Macao Bridge and the

Express Rail Link Hong Kong

Section – which will put Hong

Kong within one hour’s reach

of the Greater Bay Area and

connected with the 20,000kmlong

national high-speed rail

network, which covers most

major mainland cities.

These exciting developments

will further strengthen Hong

Kong’s unrivalled position as the

super-connector to the highgrowth

Mainland China market

and reinforce the city’s edge

as the premier business hub in

Asia


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

TRENDING DESTINATIONS

CREATING TOURISM MEDIA ASSETS

Malaysia benefits from Cleverdis promotional support thanks to

new hub for media

In order to assist in the

promotion of Tourism

Malaysia, Cleverdis (pubishers

of the SMARTreport, along

with the official show dailies

at ITB Berlin, China and Asia)

have undertaken a mission

to create stories and media

assets, visiting numerous

locations in Malaysia and

gathering information

that’s “ready to run” for

media or trade. The result is

TourMAB.com, the world’s first

easy-to-use rights-free asset

base specifically designed for

media professionals in the

travel and tourism trades.

Following is a selection of some

of the top stories gathered so

far…

PENANG: NEW CANOPY

WALK ENHANCES HABITAT

Visitors to Penang’s virgin rainforest now

have an extra way to enjoy the breathtaking

surroundings, thanks to a 230-metre

canopy bridge opened this year.

The Habitat is a world-class eco-tourism

facility located on the fringes of a

130-million-year-old rainforest on Penang

Hill. This rainforest precariously exists sideby-side

with urban Penang and its environs.

The Habitat’s eco-friendly attractions

include an historical 1.6km Nature Trail built

in the early 1800s by the British East India

Company. The latest edition is a canopy

bridge entitled “Langur Way”. Enjoying

a higher perspective thanks to a series of

two suspension bridges 40 meters above

the rainforest floor, visitors are able to

soak in the surrounding sounds or catch a

glimpse of the wildlife such as the Dusky

Leaf Langur and its family swinging around

in the rainforest. The Habitat Canopy Walk

is designed and engineered to be “tree

friendly” without rigging any of the steel

cables directly onto the trees. The spacious

and sturdy platforms provide a safe and

unobstructed up-close view of the jungle’s

canopy.

DISCOVERING MALAYSIA’S

SECRET SOUTH

Johor state is one of the least-known

destinations for foreign visitors heading for

Malaysia. But that is changing quite rapidly.

Deputy Director Tourism Malaysia Southern

Region – Aaron Gan Chai Heng explains that

the state of Johor has started to progress

as an emerging market for Malaysia: “The

trend started in 2010. That was when the

regional development authorities started a


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 35

Els Club Desaru

Canopy Walk - Habitat

Paradise 101

major project on what is now known as

Legoland. It was a huge project that was

already in its planning stages in 2008.

Development took some time, but starting

2014 onwards, when Legoland started

its operations, we started to capture a

different target market. Previously what

would happen is that travellers coming

from Singapore would just do day trips

to Johor Bahru, to see the museums and

the Mosques and so on. But over the

years, due to the currency exchange we

started to see a change in demand, where

people were wanting more and more to

stay in hotels in Johor Bahru, travelling to

Singapore for a day-trip.”

In Johor Bahru city, one can see rapid

development today, with high rise

buildings coming up so fast. Public

transportation will be fully in place by

2022, with the Bus Rapid Transit system

(BRT) starting in 2021 and the Rail Transit

System (RTS) a little later. This will greatly

ease traffic congestion.

GOLFING ON

DESARU COAST

The Troon group recently completed not

one, but two spectacular new Els Club

Malaysia golf courses on the country’s

Desaru Coast in the southern state of Johor.

The Els Club Desaru Coast Ocean Course

offers 27 holes of championship golf

designed by Ernie Els. Situated along the

Desaru Coast in the southern state of

Johor, golfers experience three distinctly

different 9-hole courses aptly named the

Lakes (Par 36), Coast (Par 36), and the

Ridge (Par 37). It also features an almost

5,000 sq m purpose-built clubhouse for

meetings & events.

Appointed as General Manager, Stephen

Havrilla has 19 years of experience

working with Troon Golf, and assumes

responsibility for operations of The Els

Club Malaysia brand across both of its

stunning Malaysian destinations: The Els

Club Desaru Coast courses and The Els

Club Teluk Datai. Havrilla says the three

key assets of the courses are: “Playability,

conditioning of the golf courses, and the

environment each one sits in. It changes

elevation throughout the three nines, so

you get a different feel for each nine you

play.”

The degree of difficulty changes from the

coast all the way to the ridge, so there’s

a little bit of everything for every golfer,

explains Havrilla.

PARADISE 101:

MY OWN PRIVATE ISLAND

When a new breakwater was needed for

Langkawi’s Telaga Harbour, the Naam

Adventure Tourism Group saw a unique

opportunity – to develop a man-made

island.

Langkawi’s Paradise 101 Island thus

emerged from the sea as a unique onehectare

MICE and family destination – a

day resort targeting the domestic and

international clientele.

The island’s name comes from the fact

that it is the 101st island in the Langkawi

archipelago, and thanks to its white sandy

beach and swaying casuarina and pinoh

trees, overlooking the Andaman Sea, it

is indeed very paradise-like. One of the

main attractions of this mini-island is the

fact that it can be privatised for weddings,

awards ceremonies, presentations and a

plethora of other uses. Exciting team

building events can be organised for the

company seeking increased motivation,

engagement and communication across

the board. Itineraries are tailor-made to the

company’s needs; whether it be improved

communication or team bonding


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

TRENDING DESTINATIONS

I WOULD SAY CLOSE TO 95%

OF BUSINESSES ON LANGKAWI

RELY ON TOURISM.

Dato’ Haji

Azizan Noordin

LADA CEO & PATA Vice-Chairman

THE ROADMAP FOR LANGKAWI

Exclusive Interview - Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin - LADA CEO and

PATA Vice-Chairman

LADA was formed in 1990 to

oversee the development

of Langkawi, primarily to

attract investments, as well as

to build tourism, and to develop

the local community. Dato’ Haji

Azizan Noordin is not only the

CEO of Langkawi Development

Authority (LADA), but was recently

elected Vice Chairman of PATA and

Chairman of the organisation’s

Government Destination Sub-

Committee. We asked Dato’ Azizan

how tourism is progressing for the

island destination.

Since I came in, I have been putting a lot

of emphasis on the “low lying fruits”, and

especially on events. We had 35 events last

year alone in the tourism sector, averaging

around three a month. They included the

Royal Langkawi Classic Car Show, Royal

Langkawi Superbike, some extreme sports,

even beach volleyball, with the world FIVB

coming here. All these things are attracting

more and more people to Langkawi.

Naturally the airlines are doing their bit,

with new flights to the island and expansion

works to the air terminal, expanding

capacity by around 20%. In the past, I

worked with Tourism Malaysia, which gave

me a lot of contacts, and we are getting a

lot of attention from the airlines. Air Asia

have increased their flights. Not only from

Kuala Lumpur, Guangzhou and Singapore,

but now from Shenzhen, Johor Bahru

and from Kuching in Borneo, and China

Southern Airlines are flying three flights

a week to Langkawi from Guangzhou.

The airport is currently handling 3-million

passengers a year, and by the end of 2018

that could rise to 4-million. For 2020, our

target is 5-million tourists.

How important is tourism to your

economy?

I would say close to 95% of businesses

on Langkawi rely on tourism. That’s why

this year, we have to really step up with

our promotion, and consequently I have

been receiving a lot of enquiries about

investment. We are getting quite a lot of

inquiries about setting up hotels. Currently,

we have around 10,500 rooms in 3-, 4- and

5-star properties, not counting Airbnb and

budget hotels.

What would you say are the three “key

selling points” of Langkawi?

Number one is the Geopark status. We

have the clear blue sky, the pristine seas

and beaches. Number two is the attractions

within that. We have the mountain and

the cable cars, we have the boat rides to

go the islands, we have the Laman Padi…

everything is very unique in Malaysia, the

region, and indeed even the world. Thirdly I

believe it’s the culture and the people


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 37

© Tahiti Tourisme-Gregoire LE BACON

© Pierre-François Grosjean

Bora Bora

Huahine

PLACING THE ISLANDS OF TAHITI ON

THE TRAVEL ADVISOR’S TOP SHELF

Cleverdis teams with the Ministry of Tourism of French Polynesia to

create a new marketing tool for tourism professionals

For years, travel agencies have wheeled out

itineraries of “farniente” holidays to the

Islands of Tahiti almost solely for newlyweds,

whose “oohs and ahhs” when pawing

over glossy brochures sporting over-water

bungalows have been sure-fire weapons in

selling the destination in this way.

That’s changing. In the past few years, the

Ministry of Tourism, and its destination

marketing organisation, Tahiti Tourism,

have been hard at work to create a new

image – or brand for French Polynesia. A

harmonised and concerted plan has been

rolling out since 2015, aimed at diversifying

the perception of the tourism offering,

while better co-ordinating and adding

professionalism to a broad range of local

actors.

In terms of global positioning, a choice has

been made to continue targeting the very

high end, while also diversifying in areas

such as “homestay”, with an emphasis on

outdoor activities. By underlining culture

and nature as assets, French Polynesia is

putting its best foot forward as a socioenvironmentally

sustainable destination.

Key assets include breath-taking natural

beauty, authenticity, patrimony, human

contacts, culture and outdoor activities.

Security, natural riches, diversity of sporting

activities and quality of the hospitality

offering are all major drawcards.

Efforts are being made to attract tourists

from new source markets such as Australia

and Latin America, not to mention China.

Further investment is constantly being

sought in the hospitality market, whose

limits are currently among the key braking

factors to growth. By the same token, more

low-season tourism is being encouraged in

order to take advantage of the current stock

of rooms.

A new SMARTguide was thus created by

Cleverdis to give travel professionals a

succinct and synthetic overview of “how

to sell” the Islands of Tahiti. It must be

noted that Tourism Tahiti has a number of

exceptionally well compiled and presented

documents to assist travel professionals

in more detailed planning, and their

personnel are always available to help

travel professionals and the public alike

in preparing travel to this beautiful and

astounding destination.

The SMARTguide outlines, in succinct

style, the new strategy of the destination

marketing organisation, activities, transport

links, and key selling points of each of the

many different archipelagos

You can find the online version of

the SMARTguide on the website

www.hotelandtourismonline.com

under the “publications” menu.


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

NATURAL WONDERS

THAILAND MOVES TO PROTECT

NATURAL HERITAGE AT MAYA BAY

Maya Bay, the world-famous tourist

destination that is part of the Phi

Phi Islands in the Andaman Sea,

is closed for a four-month break

while assessments are made of the

impact of tourism on the paradise

destination.

Thailand’s Department of National

Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation

(DNP) announced that Maya Bay in Hat

Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National

Park will not allow visitors during a muchneeded

rejuvenation period from 1 June to

30 September, 2018.

The DNP will not allow boats to enter

the bay in front of the beach, or even

drop anchor at nearby Loh Samah Bay, as

visitors and their vessels will not be allowed

to enter Maya Bay.

During the hiatus, the DNP is undertaking

a coastal and marine environment quality

evaluation study on the condition of

reef and beach resources, environmental

control, and tourism management.

Temporary closings of natural attractions

are not new to Thailand. Each year, the DNP

closes several national

parks for a period to

allow for ecological

recovery time.

Depending on weather

and park conditions,

dates vary as the

closures are often due

to extreme weather,

especially during the

rainy annual monsoon

that may create unsafe

conditions.

© Diego Delso

Krabi Vice Governor, Apinan Puakpong

noted that only Maya Bay will be closed to

visitors while neighbouring Mu Ko Phi Phi

(Phu Phi islands) and its beautiful beaches

remain open to the public

ROYAL BELUM - THE LAND BEFORE TIME

Malaysian authorities

are working on

opening-up the

country’s oldest and

largest state park to the

public… little by little.

With Belum literally meaning

“Land Before Time”, Royal

Belum State Park is still one

of Asia’s best kept nature

secrets. It is part of Malaysia’s

largest and oldest forest

reserve – Belum Temenggor

– in the northern part of the

Malaysian Peninsula. Being

contiguous with the smaller

Bang Lang National Park and

Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary

in South Thailand, this makes

the entire area one of Asia’s

largest biodiversity basins.

Along with the Taman

Negara National Park, Belum

Temenggor is one of

the oldest rainforests in

world, dating back over 130

million years.

Opening up the park to the

public entails treading a

fine line between ensuring

the protection of the local

environment, while enabling

people from around the

world to experience this

unique place that gives a true

sense of “nature in the raw”.

This activity is being carefully

piloted by the Northern

Corridor Implementation

Authority

While in 2012, the Malaysian

Government declared

Royal Belum State Park a

“National Heritage Site”,

the park has now been

submitted as a potential

UNESCO World Heritage

site


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

TRENDING HOTELS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 39

AMANYANGYUN

OPENS A NEW GATEWAY

TO THE PAST

LUXURIOUS COMFORT

WITH A TASTE OF TRUE

SICHUAN HOSPITALITY

The InterContinental Century City

Chengdu brings together the best

of European tradition and Chinese

hospitality

This hotel stands out as an

exciting landmark in the capital of

Sichuan province, offering a full

range of guest rooms and suites,

with an array of outstanding

restaurants and lounge areas, a

stylish Spa InterContinental and

event and business facilities. All

of this can be enjoyed in luxurious

comfort with a taste of true

Sichuan hospitality.

Targeted at the “modern

corporate traveller”, all rooms

come with a business work area,

sound system, interactive TV and

24-hour technical assistance. The

InterContinental Century City

Chengdu is the ideal venue for

the business and leisure traveller.

InterContinental Century City

Chengdu is located in the dynamic

Century City complex in southern

Chengdu. In addition to the

hotel, the complex also features

the New Chengdu International

Exhibition & Convention Centre

and the hotel is just a 10 minute

drive from Chengdu’s city centre.

Century City Chengdu offers 555

guest rooms, including deluxe

rooms, Club InterContinental

suites and a grand Presidential

Mansion.

The Presidential Mansion boasts

1,670 square metres of pure

luxury. The hotel also offers nine

non-smoking floors and facilities

for the physically challenged.

Located on the fifth floor,

overlooking the Century City

complex, Club InterContinental

offers comfort and exclusivity;

guests are provided with exclusive

registration and checkout in the

private lounge

Amanyangyun is the fourth Aman destination

in China, the first in Shanghai, and the only one

where its dwellings had to travel more than 700

kilometres.

Opened in January 2018, Amanyangyun is the

result of an ambitious 15-year conservation

initiative, which saw the relocation of a forest

and the reconstruction of an historic village.

The story began in the city of Fuzhou in the

province of Jiangxi, where construction of a new

reservoir threatened the existence of thousands

of camphor trees and dozens of homes dating

back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Over the course of a decade, Fuzhou-born

entrepreneur Ma Dadong and Aman worked

together to ensure these relics of China’s ancient

past would not be lost to history, overseeing the

transportation and replanting of 10,000 trees –

including the 80-tonne Emperor Tree – and the

stone-by-stone disassembly and rebuilding of 50

antique houses.

Reborn 27 kilometres southwest of Shanghai,

Amanyangyun is a 10-hectare retreat that

presents a tranquil counterpart to the

neighbouring city.

Kerry Hill Architects meticulously restored the

50 disassembled antique houses to create 26

ancient dwellings for Amanyangyun.

As well as the antique pavilions, Amanyangyun

provides 24 newly created Ming Courtyard Suites

that complement their historic counterparts

Amanyangyun

Antique Exterior


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

TRENDING HOTELS

JUST HOW

“GREEN” CAN

A HOTEL BE?

Anthony Wong is Group Managing Director, Asian Overland

Services Tours & Travel, AOS Conventions & Events, Frangipani

Hotels & Resorts, Frangipani Natural Farms, Eco Green Design

& Construction and Construction Wetland. In 2005, he set

the goal of making Frangipani the “greenest hotel in the

world”. We asked him what constitutes a “green” hotel.

Most green hotels have 20 or 30

criteria, but here there are over

200 documented ways! We have

our own chickens, ducks, fish

and vegetables. This year we are

embarking on showing the locals

how to do hydroponic farming

using recycled elements. Many

people think it’s very expensive to

build a green hotel, and I say, “No,

it may cost you 5-10% more, but

you will obtain savings of 15-30%.

We treat our raw sewage to

drinking standard using water

plants and microbes on nonconstructible

land. We have nine

Anthony

Wong

Group Managing Director,

Asian Overland Services

Tours & Travel,

AOS Conventions & Events,

Frangipani Hotels & Resorts,

Frangipani Natural Farms,

Eco Green Design

& Construction and

Construction Wetland

bee hives on site, with stingless

bees. We grow a lot of our own

food here. Last year we harvested

three tons of organic mango. We

even have our own mulberry trees

from which we make tea. In the

next three to five years, we will

be making bio-gas from waste

food and human waste, and the

liquid from this process will go to

my organic farm on the rooftop.

This property will be a best-case

example and a green hotel school

MIMPI OPENS

ON PERENTIAN

ISLANDS

The beautiful Perentian islands off the northeast

coast of Malaysia’s mainland are still

little-known to the travel world at large, but

that is changing quite rapidly as top-level

infrastructure is added.

Purporting to be one of the only hotels on the

two main islands with full-time electricity (a big

plus), the four-star Mimpi Perentian Long Beach

Resort opened its doors in time for the highseason

2018 with around 50 of its eventual

total of 75 rooms operational.

Resort Manager, Fazli Abd Rahman explains,

“The water supply here comes all the way from

the mainland, but electricity has to come from

local sources. Some years ago, the government

built wind and solar generators on the highest

point of the island, but they broke down shortly

afterwards, and there has been great debate

since then as to how to replace them”.

Perentian islands are a paradise for beachgoers,

nature lovers and divers. Day trips take

snorkelers to numerous points of interest,

including Shark Point, where black-tip reef

sharks may be observed, and other points

where one can get a close-up view of the local

sea turtles, which are protected and adored by

the locals.

Long Beach is lined with numerous bars,

hotels and restaurants, frequented largely by a

younger European crowd: a fun, and thankfully

still not overcrowded place to visit!

View from Mimpi Resort


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 41

NICCOLO PRESENTS SKY HOTELS

AT ILTM ASIA

Contemporary chic, iconic status and sky-high views… I want it all!

Niccolo Hotels, the luxury contemporary chic hotel

collection by Wharf Hotels, presented its vision for

luxury sky hotels at the recent ILTM Asia 2018 at

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

The company presented several

properties at the event’s

Media Briefing on 22 May.

Wharf Hotels, a Hong Kong

based hotel management

company, successfully debuted

Niccolo Chengdu in 2015 at

premier address Chengdu

International Finance Square

(IFS), subsequently expanding

its footprint to Chongqing and

Hong Kong in 2017 and early

2018 respectively. Scheduled

to open in Changsha later

this year and Suzhou in 2019,

Niccolo Hotels aims to elevate

the brand’s positioning to be

renowned for contemporary

chic hotels with iconic status

and sky-high views crowning

the top floors of stately

towers.

NICCOLO

CHENGDU

Niccolo Chengdu is based in

the city’s top business and

retail precinct in Chengdu,

with a hotel that complements

prestigious luxury retail

brands. Since the launch of

Niccolo in Chengdu in 2015,

the hotel has frequently

attained successful market

leadership and market share

status in rate, occupancy and

RevPar.

NICCOLO

CHONGQING

Niccolo Chongqing, a sky

hotel ideally positioned

on levels 54 through 62

of Chongqing IFS, offers

guests 252 luxurious suites

and rooms sweeping views

of Chongqing and beyond

that naturally shift as dawn

transitions to dusk. Guests

may enjoy unrivalled vistas

of Chongqing’s spectacular

landscape and merging

mountains, skyline and the

dramatic confluence of the

Yangtze and Jialing rivers.

NEW: NICCOLO

CHANGSHA

Niccolo Changsha, the luxury

sky hotel slated to open

towards the end of 2018, will

be the fourth contemporary

chic hotel by Niccolo Hotels

following the opening of the

group’s flagship, The Murray

earlier this year.

Topping the top floors of

Changsha IFS, the 452-metre

towering city landmark is

comprised of the luxury

property, high-fashion retail

and corporate offices. Niccolo

Changsha will be located in

the Hunan capital’s premier

address, Furong District,

a new entertainment and

business hub in the city,

and offer 243 sophisticated

guest rooms and spectacular

suites placed between the

86 th and 92nd floors of the

development’s new Tower

One. Scenic views of Xiang

River and the city will be

visible from the hotel’s

Niccolo Kitchen, Bar 93, Tea

Lounge and function rooms,

all expected to become the

city’s fashionable venues

for occasion dining and

memorable experiences in a

refined, urban environment

Niccolo Chongqing

Niccolo Changsha


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

TRENDING HOTELS

Patrick Park

General Manager,

Marco Polo Shenzhen

THE SPIRIT OF MARCO POLO

“SUPER-CITY” - SHENZHEN

Exclusive Interview: Patrick Park – General Manager –

Marco Polo is much more than just a brand. We asked Patrick Park what

makes his hotel in Shenzhen different.

Marco Polo… What does the name tell

you? It tells you about a pioneer. It tells you

about travelling… And that’s exactly what

we are doing. Pioneering in new areas. We

are opening many hotels in new places. The

Marco Polo Shenzhen is an example. About

12 years ago, when we opened this hotel,

we were the first five-star international

hotel group to open in this area. Obviously

now there are many big brand groups here,

which is good, because we have friendly

competition, but this hotel was the pioneering

international brand in the CBD. Today

this means we are experienced, and have

experienced people. More than 35% of our

staff have been working here more than five

years, meaning we are very well “connected”

with this district, with experience in serving

international guests. Our main clients are

business people as well as MICE groups,

because we have so many function spaces.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I have been working in hospitality for over

30 years, mainly in Hong Kong – with three

different hotel groups, and I was in Dallas

for two years. I’ve been with Marco Polo

Hotels for the past 12 years. But all these

30 years I was involved in the guest area.

I was never back of house. I was always

front of house, where you see the guest,

MORE THAN 35% OF

OUR STAFF HAVE BEEN

WORKING HERE MORE

THAN FIVE YEARS, MEANING

WE ARE VERY WELL

“CONNECTED” WITH THIS

DISTRICT

you feel the guest, and you smell the guest.

You know what the guest wants, you know

how to mingle with the guests, not only

serving them, but also truly understanding

what they are here for. At the end of the

day, very simply, hoteliers are here to serve

the guest. Without them, there is no reason

for me to exist. All the rest comes after. It’s

a basic concept, but it’s important.

Tell us a little more about MICE.

The location of the Marco Polo Shenzhen

is ideal for this, right in the central business

district, with a lot of finance, insurance, and

corporate offices. Naturally, we serve a lot of

business travellers, and accessibility is good

– just 35 minutes from the ferry terminal

or the airport, and only ten minutes away

from the border to Hong Kong as well.

Added to that are our 31 function spaces,

including a ballroom that can cater for up

to 900 persons, and the auditorium – one

of only a few in Shenzhen, with 375 seats.

The rooms are in different sizes and shapes,

SMARTreport Commercial Content


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 43

Marco Polo Shenzhen Ballroom (Theatre)

AT THE HEART OF CHINA’S

Marco Polo Shenzhen

to meet the requirements of all kinds of

business meetings, functions and events.

We have different packages designed

specifically for MICE groups, and the

group has what we call MPR – Marco Polo

Rewards – giving incentives the bookers.

Any person who makes bookings for

these events gets points that he or she

can redeem – not only on hotel facilities,

but also some gift items as well.

You are doing a lot of room upgrades

at the moment. Please tell us more

about that.

We have been planning quite some

time, and we just started a couple of

months ago. We have two sample floors

to start. The hotel has been here 12

years, and along the way we have done

a lot of maintenance, but not major

renovations. We are not doing major

structural changes – just refurbishment

– changing all wooden furniture and

operational equipment in the rooms.

The new look rooms will cater more

towards contemporary business guests.

And nowadays, guests are increasingly

conscious about the environment, so

we are using more and more recyclable

products. For example, rather than use

plastic laundry bags, we now only have

reusable ones. There are also no more

paper cups – just glass. People value the

fact that we are making efforts in that

respect. Paint and wallpaper are also ecofriendly.

It costs a little more, but at the

end of the day, it pays off.

What are the three “USP’s” of this

property?

Number one is the people. Our associates

- who have been here quite some time

and are very loyal to the group. When you

travel a lot, in many different hotels, you

don’t remember the colour of the carpet

or the pattern on the wallpaper. It’s the

people – the smile – the lasting impression

of the guests – the ‘guest experience’.

WE HAVE DIFFERENT

PACKAGES DESIGNED

SPECIFICALLY FOR MICE

GROUPS, AND THE GROUP

HAS WHAT WE CALL MPR

– MARCO POLO REWARDS

– GIVING INCENTIVES THE

BOOKERS.

Number two is location. Our target

is business guests, and our location

surrounded by the big corporate offices

in this area. And the new high-speed train

to Hong Kong will be stopping just two

minutes away from here.

Number three is the facility of having 31

meeting spaces, and so much flexibility in

their potential utilisation


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

TRENDING HOTELS

ACCORHOTELS AND

AMBASSADOR GROUP BUILD ON

PARTNERSHIP IN KOREA

Vincent Lelay, Vice President Operations at AccorHotels Korea, says

business is expanding very fast in the luxury to upscale hotel categories

Accor Ambassador Korea

Hotel Management Co.,

Ltd, established in 2006, is

a joint venture built in partnership

between the AccorHotels and the

Ambassador Group. Vincent Lelay,

is Vice President Operations at

AccorHotels Korea. We asked him to

tell us more about the partnership…

We offer propitious partnerships by

integrating hotel owners’ needs, market

analysis, and regional expertise through

management, franchise or lease contract.

Accor Ambassador Korea, which is a joint

venture company, represents both hotel

groups in Korea. Ambassador Group has

grown into becoming the leading local

hotel group and has the most extensive

knowledge on the local market. With

AccorHotels’ global network, extensive

brand portfolio, strong sales distribution

platform and management know-how,

we have the best partnership to operate

successfully in South Korea. Together, we

will maintain our leading position in the

hotel industry and further develop hotels

especially in the luxury and upscale hotel

categories.

What does the portfolio consist of?

The company currently operates 24 hotels

in six cities (Seoul, Suwon, Incheon, Daegu,

Changwon, and Busan). Our portfolio

of brands encompasses from luxury to

economy, including currently Pullman,

Grand Mercure, Novotel Suites, Novotel,

Mercure, ibis Styles, ibis, and ibis Budget.

Accor Ambassador Korea is the largest hotel

operator in Korea with more than 7,000

rooms, 2,000 employees and is also the only

international hotel operator with a regional

operational headquarters located in Seoul.

How could you best describe your

current offering in this market?

Currently, we have a very strong positioning

in the market specifically within midscale

to economy hotel categories. We were the

first international hotel brand to pioneer the

economy hotel sector and to successfully

become the leading hotel economy brand

with ibis family brands. Novotel also has a

strong presence in Korea with two new

flagships recently opened in Seoul. We are

also now expanding very fast in luxury to

upscale hotel categories with the opening

of our most recent project, Seoul Dragon

City. This magnificent “hotel-plex” opened

its door in October 2017, with 1,700 rooms

and four distinct AccorHotels brands.

What is your roadmap – especially for

luxury properties — in this region?

This July, we are opening the Novotel

Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun (523

rooms), our first Novotel mixing hotel and

residence hospitality. With an exclusive

rooftop outdoor and indoor pool and stateof-the-art

bar, we will again showcase an

attractive product for our guests. Fairmont

hotel, which will be located in Yeouido,

Seoul will open mid 2020. Although we

cannot disclose much more at this point,

we have many more exciting projects in the

pipeline for luxury hotel properties

Vincent

Lelay

Vice President Operations,

AccorHotels Korea

OUR

PORTFOLIO

OF BRANDS

ENCOMPASSES

FROM LUXURY TO

ECONOMY

SMARTreport Commercial Content


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 45

NOVOTEL AMBASSADOR

SEOUL GANGNAM

OPTIMISTIC OVER FUTURE

GROWTH

The flagship Novotel Ambassador Seoul Gangnam holds a venerable

record, having maintained a 90% occupancy rate for 10 years.

The property has established a reputation

as an upscale business hotel in Seoul with

modern and comfortable interior, attentive

service and comfort. Located in the heart of

Gangnam district, the recently refurnished

Novotel Ambassador Seoul Gangnam is

equipped with 332 guestrooms with a

modern and comfortable interior design,

and exclusive VIP and superior floors. With

80% of visitors coming from overseas,

and 20% from aroud Korea, the flagship

property caters for both business and leisure

trips.

HOTEL FACILITIES

& SERVICE

The hotel has nine meeting rooms, all of

which are equipped with advanced AV

and lighting system with capacities ranging

from 10 to 500 guests that are suitable

for all kinds of events including seminars,

conferences, receptions and weddings.

Wired and wireless internet access is

available throughout the hotel while the

business centre located in the lobby offers

the most convenient services for business

clients. Furthermore, the ‘Inbalance by

Novotel’ fitness centre is equipped with

state-of-the-art facilities including a

swimming pool, sauna, golf range, weight

room and aerobics room.

The hotel offers 24-hour room service

and high-class dining and entertainment

services at five restaurants and bar

including the international buffet restaurant

“the SQUARE”, contemporary Korean

dining “Entree”, the Japanese restaurant

“SHUNMI”, live music bar “Gran A” and

the Lobby Lounge.

CONVENIENT LOCATION

Novotel Ambassador Seoul Gangnam

boasts a convenient location offering easy

access to the Trade Center Coex, major

expressways, and subway stations. The

airport limousine bus running between

the hotel and Incheon international airport

departs from the hotel’s front door every 20

minutes, which provides an optimal setting

for business travellers. The hotel is also near

to Gangnam station and Garosugil, offering

enjoyable dynamic night life and fancy

shopping.

Based on the extensive experience and spirit

of service found at AccorHotels around

the world, Novotel Ambassador Seoul

Gangnam provides warm and attentive

service, resulting in a happy and comfortable

guest experience. Novotel Ambassador

Seoul Gangam was recently named one of

the “Top 20 luxury hotels in South Korea”

by TripAdvisor

SMARTreport Commercial Content


ASIA / PACIFIC INBOUND

TRENDING HOTELS

QUIET DAYS AT RAFFLES HOTEL

LE ROYAL PHNOM-PENH

Exciting and enchanting, refreshing and reinvigorating, the Raffles

is loved by those with an adventurous spirit and a taste for the very

best in legendary service

During a recent stay at the Raffles Hotel Le

Royal in Cambodia, we were able to see for

ourselves that the guests can be assured

that here, just as at all their other locations,

Raffles occupies a very specific place.

The Cambodian capital is a fascinating

melting pot of culture, custom and history,

and we would recommend that travel agents

whose customers wish to discover the city,

begin with the Raffles. Clients are greeted at

the airport with a smile & cold towel by one

of the Raffles Hotel Le Royal’s chauffeurs and

are whisked to the hotel in one of their new

black BMWs. They will enjoy a wonderful

sense of arrival, with the property’s sweeping

driveway and majestic portico.

An imposing statement of Khmer, Art Deco

and French Colonial style; Hotel Le Royal

originally opened its grand doors in 1929.

It reopened as Raffles Hotel Le Royal in

1997 after a carefully planned extension

and refurbishment. To protect this piece of

Cambodia’s heritage, local artisans were

commissioned to recreate painted ceilings,

decorative beaten copper crests and outdoor

sculptures; all this, around a central private

courtyard, with two swimming pools fringed

by Frangipani-lined tropical gardens.

We highly recommend to book a suite in

the heritage building providing an amazing

full 24-hour Butler Service. If your customers

are gastronomy buffs, they will adore the

Restaurant Le Royal which is Phnom Penh’s

most elegant dining room. It is one of the

few restaurants in the world that serves both

Royal Khmer and modern western cuisine.

Raffles Weekend Brunch is not to be missed

with free-flow champagne and cocktails.

Another “must”: the famous Elephant Bar,

an institution in the city.

The Raffles name is synonymous with luxury,

glamour and extraordinary adventure, and

the Raffles Hotel Le Royal is a perfect example

of this in the heart of Phnom Penh

ABOUT

RAFFLES

Raffles Hotels & Resorts is a luxury

brand of the AccorHotels group,

with an illustrious history dating

back to 1887, when the worldrenowned

Raffles Hotel first

opened its doors in Singapore.

Today, this remarkable collection

includes twelve extraordinary

properties in many of the world’s

top destinations including Paris,

Istanbul and the Seychelles. Many

more exciting locations are on the

horizon, with new developments

in Warsaw and Jeddah. Raffles

is proud to draw on its timeless

essence to deliver thoughtful,

personal and discreet service to

well-travelled guests.


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 47

WHEN LUXURY

MEETS WITH

HISTORY ...

A stay at the Sofitel Legend Metropole

Hanoi enables one to step into history and

experience the timeless character, romance

and elegance of Hanoi’s most storied 5-star

hotel.

ROSEWOOD PHNOM

PENH OPENS IN THE

HEART OF CAMBODIAN

CAPITAL

Rosewood Phnom Penh is

nestled in the 188-metre high,

39-storry Vattanac Capital

Tower prominently located

in the central cultural and

business district along Preah

Monivong Boulevard.

The property offers leisure

and business travelers to the

city vantage point to witness

the revival of what is already

considered one of the most

charming capitals in Southeast

Asia, with specially tailored

introductory experiences on

offer.

Sonia Cheng, Chief Executive

Officer of Rosewood Hotel

Group, said: “With its rich

history and legacy, ‘The Pearl

of Asia” is an ideal place

to expand the Rosewood

Hotels & Resorts brand and

this debut represents an

important milestone in our

global growth.

“With the ever-increasing

desire for authentic travel

experiences amongst affluent

explorers, Rosewood Phnom

Penh satisfies this urge while

also giving us the opportunity

to raise our flag in one of

the world’s most fascinating

cities.”

The hotel features 175

rooms including 37 suites.

Their design includes large,

round, window-facing tables

that double as dining or

work spaces. Guestrooms at

Rosewood Phnom Penh start

from a spacious 50 square

metre Executive Room to the

signature Norodom House at

225 square metres.

Gastronomes will be spoilt for

choice with a variety of dining

venues, with innovative and

cutting-edge fare spanning

Asian, Japanese and European

cuisines

Located steps from the Opera House in Hanoi’s French

Quarter, this hotel has been a prominent fixture in the

city since 1901. The Sofitel Métropole is the work of

two French entrepreneurs, André Ducamp and Gustave-

Émile Dumoutier and was the first place in Indochina to

present cinema screenings.

The Hotel Metropole Hanoi has a long tradition as

a luxury venue for prestigious events and a popular

location for business and leisure travellers such as

playwrights, ambassadors and heads of state.

The hotel includes 364 rooms. The historic Metropole

wing has 106 guestrooms and three Legendary Suites.

The suites are named after famous residents and visitors

to the hotel (Graham Greene, Charlie Chaplin, Somerset

Maugham) and have access to the Club Lounge.

The contemporary Opera Wing offers 236 guestrooms

and 18 suites, and one Grand Prestige Suite spans 176

square metres. Each room in the Opera Wing has been

individually furnished and decorated in a neoclassical

style.

The fifth, sixth and seventh floor are the Club Metropole

Floors, and home to the Grand Premium Rooms, six

Prestige Suites, and the Grand Prestige Suite – with

exclusive luxuries and services such as a personal butler,

afternoon tea, and evening cocktails


ASIA / PACIFIC OUTBOUND

CUSTOMISED TRAVEL

THE NEW FORM OF

OUTBOUND TOURISM

FOR CHINESE

TRAVELLERS

According to Ctrip, 2017

marked the beginning

of popularisation of

customised travel in China,

with Chinese travellers

willing to spend money

on gaining unique local

experiences.

The first report on Chinese

visitors to Europe’s

customised travel patterns

were jointly released by

Ctrip’s Customised Travel

and China Outbound

Tourism Research Institute

(COTRI) during a summit in

Budapest, Hungary.

Customised travel is

becoming a new form

of outbound tourism for

Chinese travellers especially

given the large number

of middle to high-end

customers and increase in

spending power. Since the

launch in January 2016,

Ctrip Customised Travel

has seen increased user

demand up to 120,000 per

month.

The report, entitled

“Customised Travels

of Chinese Visitors to

Europe”, indicated that

Chinese customised travel

market in 2017 is universal,

young and growing fast.

Some 40% of customised

travel is for outbound travel

plans, among which Europe

accounts for 10%.

From Ctrip’s travel data,

2017 saw more than six

million Chinese making

their first entry to Europe.

The data revealed that

9.3% of Chinese travellers

chose Europe as their

outbound destination,

making it the second most

popular continent for

Chinese travellers. Females

travel more than males and

23% of total outbound

tourists to Europe are aged

50 and over.

The top five European

countries for customised

travel are the UK, Italy,

France, Russia and Greece

Chinese tourists

in Rome

CHINA THE MAJOR

CONTRIBUTOR TO

“ASIAN TOURISM

MIRACLE”

The continuous growth of

Chinese outbound travel is

an asset for all of Asia, the

continent being well-placed

to reap the benefits of China’s

continuous travel boom, says

Ctrip.

Last year was a new record

year for Chinese travelling

overseas. According to

a report by Ctrip, in cooperation

with the China

Tourism Academy, Chinese

travellers generated 130.5

million trips outside their

country, a 7% jump over the

previous year (122 million

travels in 2016). Looking in

detail at statistics in many

Asian countries, China is

often now the number one

inbound market. This is, for

example, the case in Thailand,

Japan, South Korea, Vietnam,

Cambodia, the Maldives,

Indonesia and North Korea.

Within a year or two, Chinese

travellers will also be the

largest inbound market for

the Philippines and Lao PDR.

Thailand received some 10

million Chinese travellers,

while Japan welcomed last

year some 7.5 million of their

neighbours

ASIAN OUTBOUND: DID YOU KNOW?

Nearly 80% of tourists

from Asia and the Pacific

travel within their home

region.

Interregional travel

(outside the region)

accounts for around 22%

of Asian trips.

North-East Asian

destinations account for

55% of all intraregional

arrivals and much of this

is generated in the subregion

itself.

(Source UNWTO)

Over half of all Asian

interregional trips are

to Europe: Asia Pacific

demand for long-haul

destinations is primarily

for Europe, which

accounts for 12% of all

outbound trips and 54%

of all interregional trips

(outside the region),

measured as arrivals in

destinations.

The Americas account

for 6% of all Asia Pacific

outbound trips.


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 49

WE PROVIDE MERCHANTS

WITH CONSULTING, MARKETING

AND IT SYSTEM SUPPORT

Sandra Servos

Operating Director, Travel Easy

Travel Easy is one of the most

innovative partners one

can find for travel services

connecting Europe to China. The

company is building a network that

adds value and potential for all

members, enabling travel agencies,

shops and tourists to benefit from

a clear win-win synergy. We asked

Sandra Servos, Operating Director,

Travel Easy, to tell us more about

she is working in the Chinese

market.

Travel Easy aims at strengthening Europe as

an attractive shopping destination against

international competition. To be more

specific, Travel Easy strives to improve the

shopping experience for Chinese tourists in

Europe. In order to achieve that, we offer

our 100% tax refund service TAX FREE

EASY to Chinese tourists. It is a non-cash

refund meaning there in no need to queue

for cash in the airport. It is convenient, fast

and without hassle. An autofill-function

when filling-in the information in the tax

refund form makes life easier for both the

merchants and the tourists. Push messages

keep the tourists up-to-date on the status

of their tax refund form. We promote and

install Alipay as a payment method at our

connected merchants to ease the payment

process for Chinese tourists. Apart from

that we also assist European retailers in

achieving GDPR conformity and increasing

their visibility within Chinese tourists. The

secure handling of personal data is also

relevant for tour operators and tour guides

and we hope to be of help for both parties.

What are the key difficulties people in

Europe run into when working with

Chinese travellers, and how do you

assist in this respect?

Key difficulties arise from differences in

language, culture, law and regulations. The

result is a shopping experience that could

be improved. We assist Chinese travellers

in offering a Chinese speaking support

service as well as products and services

that ease the payment and tax refund

process and thereby improve the shopping

experience. Besides this, we provide

merchants with consulting, marketing

and IT system support in order to properly

prepare them for Chinese customers.

What kind of customers do you work

with already and with whom are you

looking to develop business?

We have local business resources in Europe

and work together with more than 200

merchants in Germany, Austria, Belgium,

HELPING CHINESE

TOURISTS TO

“TRAVEL EASY”

German-based company develops east-west

synergy and facilitates business

Netherlands, Finland, Denmark and

Hungary etc. Our innovative products and

convenient services will expand quickly to

more European countries, for example UK

in July and Spain in September. We hope

to find partners with whom we can jointly

improve the shopping experience for

Chinese travellers in Europe and enhance

the travel retail business in Europe in

general


ASIA / PACIFIC OUTBOUND

SERVICE AS A PILLAR

OF THE VALUE PROPOSITION

Exclusive Interview – James Jianzhang Liang, Co-founder,

Executive Chairman of the Board, Ctrip

WE CONTINUE

TO SEEK NEW

PARTNERSHIPS FOR

OUR 300 MILLION

PLUS REGISTERED

MEMBERS

James

Jianzhang

Liang

Co-founder & Executive

Chairman of the Board, Ctrip

As the travel industry comprises nearly 10% of global GDP, huge

opportunities still lie ahead, with online penetration remaining

relatively low in many pockets of the world. Ctrip is positioned

for not only travel opportunities in China, but also global opportunities,

particularly in the Asia Pacific region. By the same token, Ctrip’s CEO

Jane Sun recently spoke about the fact that travel is a “gateway to

global peace and prosperity”. We asked James Jianzhang Liang, Cofounder,

Executive Chairman of the Board what his thoughts are on this.

Travelling is a natural bridge to different

cultures and races. Day in and day out

our teams work tirelessly to ensure

travel becomes easier and safer through

technologies and services. This is a

passion of ours. Travel is the key to better

understanding, respect and happiness,

which we feel is the foundation to

promoting global peace and bringing

prosperity to all stakeholders.

Over the past months, you have

announced a number of joint ventures

and partnerships. Which of these do

you feel are the most important in

helping Chinese travellers have a

better experience?

We continue to seek new partnerships in

order to ensure and address the needs of

our 300 million plus registered members.

Along with all travel partners, we are

constantly finding ways to boost the

diversity of our travel products and assure

better service, particularly for the growing

Chinese outbound customer-base.

I think there are a lot of areas we can

improve upon to enable better experiences

and services in the indestination category.

We’ve been working with more and more

local partners to enable local services like

attractions, restaurants, trains and car

services, just to name a few. These are all

important links of the travel ecosystem

which would greatly enhance the

customer experience.

The 2017 China Outbound Tourism

Travel Report came up with some very

interesting findings, for example with

regard to Chinese travellers’ concern

for safety. How has Ctrip been able to

leverage this report and consequently

better meet the demands of its

customers?

Service has always been a pillar of our

value proposition to users. Chinese people

travelling overseas require more service

capabilities given language barriers and

cultural differences. This is why over 50%

of our employee-base are in the customer

service unit, providing 24/7 support for

our customers. Calls are answered within

20 seconds to ensure prompt reply and

efficiency. We’ve innovated to make

service even lower friction with our Virtual

Tour Managers (VTM) function. Travellers

visiting certain destinations can join

messenger chat groups that are managed

by group managers who have in-depth

destination knowledge, to provide

instant replies about almost anything our

travellers need. We also have the Global

SOS system which can provide timely

information and travel arrangement

options in emergency situations


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 51

© anyaberkut - iStock by Getty Images

“TECH”

JUST ANOTHER

FOUR-LETTER WORD?

For many, travel and tourism “tech” is increasingly a mindboggling

minefield – to be negotiated with extreme caution.

Technologies of numerous kinds are constantly being

conceived or invented, evolving, combining, but in reality,

they’re all making business a whole lot more efficient and

helping the travellers’ voyage be much more agreeable and

hassle-free.

In the next pages, we demystify some of the latest trends and

applications for what is of course not really a four-letter word

after all. Some of the industry’s top brains, such as Avvio Cofounder

& CEO Frank Reeves, Ctrip Destination Marketing

CEO Jenna Qian, HotelPlanner.com CEO Tim Hentschel, and

tech expert David Esseryk join us in the next pages with input

that will no doubt be invaluable in assisting in your decisionmaking

process.


In The Field

with David Esseryk

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 53

THE "INSIDE LINE" ON WHAT'S HOT IN HOSPITALITY TECHNOLOGIES

PART 22

HOSPITALITY AND A.I.

AI WILL

CHANGE THE

HOSPITALITY

INDUSTRY

In this edition of his regular report, David

Esseryk takes a closer look at how Artificial

Intelligence is starting to impact the

industry, and what we can expect to see in

the future.

THE TRULY SMART HOTEL

Over the last couple years, voice and textbased

assistants in our pockets have pretty

much become the part and parcel of our

lives, and now, we’re at the point where

we are comfortable with AI controlling our

homes.

The “Intelligent hotel system” is where all

the data channels are linked together

just like human arteries and veins,

forming a superlative, productive

and high-performance

structure that resembles

the future vision of the

automated hotel

system.

IoT-enabled

connections of motion

sensors, room control, and

smart voice control are poised

to change the way hotels function.

Integration of IoT into intelligencedriven

hotel operations will not only

personalise the guest experience, but also

impact the business model of the hotel

industry in the near future.

DEMAND-SPECIFIC OPTIMISATION

FOR PROFIT ENHANCEMENT

Due to seasonal changes and demandcentric

nature of the hospitality industry,

hotel and travel businesses are likely to

adopt need-specific solutions that address

the rush during holidays and other

unpredictable events. Hotels can benefit

greatly from this once they can capture,

understand and predict the future market

demand patterns in a smart manner.

Hoteliers can forecast the ups and downs in

demands with shifts in seasons and traveller

HOTEL

AND TRAVEL

BUSINESSES ARE

LIKELY TO ADOPT

NEED-SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS

THAT ADDRESS THE RUSH

DURING HOLIDAYS AND

OTHER

UNPREDICTABLE

EVENTS

choices and design the action plan that

helps optimize their service offerings, pricing

standards, and even brand marketing. In an

industry that is as dynamic as enthusiastic

travellers, being able to forecast with Big

Data and Machine Learning often results in

an increase in profit, competitive advantage

and number of customers.

The demand-specific predictability and

property optimization achieved

through machine intelligence

are built on seasonal choices,

current trends, local

events, hotel history

and various cultural

attributes. Using a

reliable and robust

forecast system, hotels

can schedule hotel room

remodelling, maintenance/

renovation work without

disturbing the net profit outcome.

INCREASE IN CUSTOMER

ACQUISITION, RETENTION, AND

LOYALTY WITH ARTIFICIAL

INTELLIGENCE IN HOTELS

Call it the biggest revolution or a challenge

for opportunist hotel brands – the

inspiration behind mass personalisation of

travellers’ choices springs from the archaic

system for search and booking which

disappoints modern-day travellers since it is

rife with a confusing array of undesirable,

ordinary options.

The new range of apps now leverages AI

interface engines to discriminate different

travellers’ profiles to design services that

best match their expectations. We’ll look

more closely at this in the next edition!

SEE YOU AGAIN IN THE NEXT EDITION


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

TODAY’S HOTEL GUESTS ARE

EXPECTING SMARTER AND MORE

TAILORED SERVICES

Frank Reeves

Co-founder and CEO, Avvio

GROW DIRECT BOOKINGS BY

25%? YES, YOU CAN…

Avvio’s Allora platform leverages AI to boost business for hoteliers

Avvio is a leading provider of direct booking technology and digital

marketing, with a guarantee to grow hotels’ direct bookings by

a minimum of 25% when they switch to Avvio. In October 2017,

Avvio claims to have become the first company in the world to provide the

hospitality industry with a booking engine driven by artificial intelligence.

We asked Avvio’s CEO Frank Reeves to tell us more.

Avvio is urging hospitality companies

to explore revolutionary and emerging

technology such as AI, to streamline

processes and to consider chatbots, for

short-term, high-efficiency solutions

alongside existing human expertise.

Today’s hotel guests are expecting smarter

and more tailored services to feel any

emotional connection and loyalty to a

venue. This is where artificial intelligence

comes in. AI is revolutionising how we use

technology in every aspect of our lives,

including the hotel industry.

We believe AI is a necessary adoption

which should be part of every hotel’s tech

strategy.

Avvio and many of our partners, clients

and industry colleagues, realise that

functionality found in hotels such as Alexa

for voice search and Allora for creating

unique direct booking experiences,

will help to revolutionise the current

technology stack for hoteliers.

What impact will AI have on travel

planning?

AI technology offers accommodation

firms a range of commercial benefits

such as unique online experiences, smart

rooms and personalised booking journeys.

Bookings and guest requests can be

handled seamlessly and authentically

without worry over accents or language

barriers. AI can also be used to analyse

guests’ moods based on both spoken

and written language. This can alert a

staff member when a guest is frustrated,

upset, excited or pleased, however, Avvio

continues to encourage hotels to continue

to hire and train staff too to provide a

personal context.

From a customer engagement

perspective, how will AI manifest

itself?

By tracking and analysing data across

hundreds of properties, based on

geography, guest history, booking

preferences, interactions on site,

conversations and more, AI can develop

targeted and relevant marketing material

aimed at specific individuals and create

a booking journey tailored to individual

needs. It is moving the hotels’ online

interactions away from a “one size fits all”

model to a flexible and dynamic system

which can adapt to appeal to different

customers. AI will enable hotels to make

specific recommendations, suggest

trips, or upsell additional services – and

teach itself how to enhance a visitor’s

experience


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 55

INCREASING THE NEED FOR SPEED

IN 2018 AND BEYOND

Tim Hentschel, CEO and Co-Founder of HotelPlanner.com,

outlines the five group booking trends and why hotels need to heed

the wake-up call.

Beyond the heightened demand

for more sophisticated technology

and customer service, we asked Tim

to present five trends driving the

need for speed in 2018 and beyond.

1 THE INDUSTRY’S BIGGEST

PLAYERS ARE REDUCING

GROUP AND MEETING

COMMISSIONS

The biggest news to come out of 2018,

so far, came in March when both Marriott

International and Hilton, made the sweeping

decision to reduce the commissions they

pay to group intermediaries from 10%

to 7%. The margin drop will lead to less

distribution channels, and less advertising

and marketing for the growing group travel

industry.

2 INTERMEDIARIES

CONTRIBUTING TO MEETINGS

COSTS WILL MEAN HIGHER

EXPENSES

Research from Kalibri Labs shows that

for every $1 hotels spend in distribution

costs ($1.2 billion in annual group

booking commissions), they are spending

$4 in hotel group sales departments, a

whopping $4bn in annual labour cost. It’s

much more cost effective to give these

hotel sales managers free tools to respond

to more leads instantly, than to make their

work days less productive by cutting off

distribution channels with lower margins.

3 MORE NON-HOTEL VENDORS

ENTERING GROUP MEETINGS

BUSINESS

With costs rising, a number of outside

vendors like Airbnb and WeWork are

gradually gaining market share by offering

their space for group meetings and events,

which for some customers offer a number

of upsides.

Nevertheless, there are still many

advantages for holding group meetings

and events at hotels, but at a time when

alternative vendors are competing for this

same market share, it further illustrates the

need for hotels to remain on the cutting

edge of technology to stay competitive and

strengthen their distribution margins.

4 HAVING A MORE CLEARLY

DEFINED ROLE FOR YOUR

HOTEL’S SALES OFFICE

Another big challenge hotels are facing has

to do with their ability to effectively delegate

when it comes to determining where the

responsibility for doing the group bookings

lies. Ultimately, it becomes a question of

whether or not it’s done directly through

the sales office or through the revenue

manager who is typically yielding rates

through a number of different channels.

This is why hotels need to automate the

process.

5 BETTER OPTIONS FOR

BECOMING “SMARTER” THAN

EVER BEFORE

Obviously, the term “smart” when it

comes to group bookings is fairly open

ended and there’s no single one-size-fits all

resource that can universally anticipate the

constraints of every single customer, which

are highly personalised. When you add that

to the price tag of higher costs, smaller

commissions and increased competition,

it’s also just smart business

Tim Hentschel

CEO and Co-Founder,

HotelPlanner.com

FOR EVERY

$1 HOTELS SPEND

IN DISTRIBUTION

COSTS, THEY ARE

SPENDING $4 IN

HOTEL GROUP

SALES


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

WHEN TWO GREAT NAMES

GET TOGETHER

Harman – “powered by Samsung” – bringing a whole new

world of opportunities to the hospitality market

David

McKinney

Vice President, Hospitality CSU,

Harman Professional Solutions

THROUGH THE

SOLUTIONS WE PROVIDE,

WE ARE HELPING THE

HOTEL TO ENSURE

GUESTS HAVE A POSITIVE

EXPERIENCE

In one of the most important announcements affecting

the global electronics industry in the past couple of years,

Samsung announced, at the end of 2016, that it had entered

into an agreement to acquire Harman for around US$8bn.

Samsung expects the combination to deliver significant growth

opportunities and benefits to customers by leveraging Samsung’s

and Harman’s complementary technologies, resulting in increased

market penetration across important end markets. As Samsung

is renowned in the hospitality industry for its custom offerings,

it was thus time to take a look at what repercussions this new

partnership will have on this industry in particular. We put the

question to David McKinney, Vice President, Hospitality CSU,

Harman Professional Solutions.

The Harman offerings in hospitality

cover all areas of the sector with

solutions for the guest room right

through to meeting spaces, conference

facilities, F&B, spa, and gym... Within

Harman we have many industry

leading brands that cover all aspects

of the hospitality experience, from

audio, video & control, and lighting

solutions. As Harman is now part of

the Samsung family this is the perfect

complement to Samsung in offering a

full system solution in the Hospitality

industry. Through our vast range of

technology offerings, Samsung and

Harman focus on creating unique

experiences in the various spaces in

the Hotel and Casino technology

ecosystem.

Please tell us more about how the

two great companies are working

together.

With Samsung’s acquisition of Harman

in 2017, both Harman and Samsung are

combining strategies and technology

offerings to expand the partnership we

have with many hospitality customers.

Samsung has been the leading display

brand in the hotel business with a

strong focus on the guest room,

whereas Harman has been one of

the leaders in public spaces in the

hotel with its JBL Professional, AMX

and Martin lighting brands. Putting

these strengths together and having

a combined voice to the customer

with enhanced support is where

Samsung and Harman can offer much

SMARTreport Commercial Content


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #39

2018 Summer Edition 57

AVANI Hotels

Martin Lighting installation

at Suntec Convention Center, Singapore

more value to the customer compared to

individual brands. Being able to offer such

a complete system from one company is

unique in the industry today.

How is digital affecting the hospitality

industry today?

Social media plays a significant role now in

all businesses. However, in the hospitality

market, it provides guests with opportunities

to voice their opinions on their experience

at the hotel. It is now very easy for a guest

to share a negative experience, and this

challenges hotel management to react

quickly. How they react is obviously key to

how there are perceived by other guests

and customers. Sometimes, however, a

positive experience is voiced, and this

can help drive demand to the hotel. At

Samsung and Harman, we strive to ensure

that through the solutions we provide,

we are helping the hotel to ensure guests

have a positive experience; either through

the immersive audio, lighting and display

solutions, or from simple interactions with

our products.

Connectivity is also having an impact on

hospitality in all areas of the property. With

many of the solutions from Harman being

fully connected, it provides an easy way

to answer hoteliers’ concerns on seamless

control of their installed solutions.

What do you see as being the biggest

challenges for the industry in the midterm?

Technology is moving rapidly and so are

guest expectations. Rapid advancements

in the home are driving new expectations

in the hotel guest room, whether it be

in voice, connectivity with devices or in

new unique experiences. The hospitality

industry is changing rapidly to meet

these new demands and expectations to

ensure that the hotel guest experience

is something that keeps guests coming

back. As we move outside the guest

room, we see even more challenges

and competition in the meeting and

conference space in which technology is

playing an important role. Having ways of

being able to connect to the technology

in a meeting space without a delay is a

guest expectation for which Harman and

Samsung are true specialists. The younger

generation of guests expect things to

happen immediately and don’t want to

wait. Keeping everything simple and

having an intuitive user interface is key to

being able to meet these demands.

AS HARMAN IS NOW PART OF THE

SAMSUNG FAMILY THIS IS THE PERFECT

COMPLEMENT TO SAMSUNG IN OFFERING A

FULL SYSTEM SOLUTION IN THE HOSPITALITY

INDUSTRY.

How do hoteliers benefit from your

work?

The hotelier has many advantages of

looking at Samsung and Harman as one

provider, not only for the latest cuttingedge

technology and solutions we

provide, but also from the installation

and support we offer. Dealing with fewer

suppliers to create one system is certainly

a common theme we hear all the time,

and this takes away a lot of headache for

the hoteliers. Products from Samsung and

Harman integrate very well together as a

system and one can only assume that as

we release new technologies in the future,

they will integrate even more seamlessly


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

THE ART AND SCIENCE

OF DESTINATION

MARKETING

Jenna Qian is CEO of Destination Marketing at Ctrip, leading a

business that connects destinations with people. We asked Ms Qian

how destination marketing is changing over time.

Chinese millennials are becoming the

new force in China’s tourism. This

massive group has a unique media

consumption pattern. From PC to tablet

PC to mobile; from official website to

microblogs to social media channels,

travel brands need consistent, concise,

and accessible contents. Mobile internet

has already surpassed TV in amount of

time spent, and it is still growing rapidly.

You talk about the “art and science”

of Destination Marketing. What do

you mean by that?

The art & science is of equal significance

to Destination Marketing. Though the

marketing method varies, the logic and

scientific analysis system behind marketing

are unchanged. Through scientific

analysis, we get a better understanding

of target groups, their consumption

preferences, and as a result, build strategy

to have full marketing penetration on

travellers’ decision and behaviour before,

during and after the trip.

Here I would like to share an example:

Ctrip’s marketing project with Peru.

CHINESE MILLENNIALS

ARE BECOMING THE NEW

FORCE IN CHINA’S TOURISM

Jenna Qian

CEO of Destination Marketing, Ctrip

The first stage is branding & awareness.

Through PC and mobile landing page,

Ctrip website advertisements, social

media posting, and KOL sharing,

beautiful images are displayed in ways

that make the destination immediately

desirable.

The second stage is sales conversion.

Ctrip leverages its large membership

and corporate partnerships to precisely

reach the target audience. Taking into

account differences in purchasing power,

interests, demographic information,

browsing history and more, we push

relevant travel product to each potential

tourist, and heighten sales conversion.

The last stage is maintenance. After

the initial launch, we assembled a Peru

Online Flagship Store that incorporated

tourism info, travel products, multimedia

content, and sales functions in one

place to create an interface that

collages all relevant tourism-related

information together. From scenic spots

to hotels to restaurants, visitors can

visually experience and instantly make

purchasing decisions

ON THE NEW

DYNAMICS

OF HOTEL

DISTRIBUTION

The consolidation of OTA giants has

centralised the distribution channels

for hotels, which are not only investing

heavily in direct bookings but are also

looking for new marketing channels.

We asked Andrew Hughes, Regional

Director Hotel Sourcing of Hotelbeds,

what he thinks of the distribution

landscape at the moment.

The distribution landscape is

constantly evolving. There are so

many developments, we’d take days

to cover them, though two stand out

at the moment. Firstly, consolidation is

occurring and will continue to occur,

largely driven through the desire of

hoteliers and B2B clients to leverage

partners’ technology to optimize

their business. Secondly, there’s

increased pressure on intermediaries

to demonstrate value in the supply

chains, as well as the clear ability to

influence clients to preference certain

partners over others. It’s also no longer

enough to have strong data available,

intermediaries and travel companies

need to demonstrate the ability to turn

the data into commercial outcomes

Andrew

Hughes

Regional Director Hotel Sourcing,

Hotelbeds Group

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