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Strategic business opportunities across luxury industry sectors in 2012

Four Seasons Hotel, Denver

Beyond the ongoing financial and political turmoil in many parts of the word in 2011, the year has also surfaced exceptional business opportunities for the luxury industry, mostly related to product development, innovative communications online and offline or the re-interpretation of heritage values. Here are some of the opportunities the CPP-LUXURY.COM team has compiled.

HOTELS

Travelling with pets made easier from 1st January

From the 1st of January it is cheaper and easier to travel with  pets thanks to new rules being implemented as part of the Pet Travel Scheme, owners saving time and money for travel proceedures. Under the Pet Travel Scheme, pets from the EU and other countries with robust veterinary systems (listed non-EU countries), such as the USA and Australia, will be required to vaccinate against rabies and then wait 21 days after vaccination before they travel. Pets from unlisted, non-EU countries, such as India, Brazil and South Africa, will need to meet stricter criteria. This includes vaccination against rabies, a blood test, and a three month wait after the blood sample before they enter the UK.

Travelling with pet has become increasingly popular in the past years, many luxury hotels applying pet friendly policies. Pet packages include: walking your dog, shopping, salon services, special diets etc.

24 hour check in / check out

More international luxury hotels have been introducing this service, which provides guests the ease of check in or check out at any time during the day. For both leisure and business travellers, this has translated into hassle free travel, without worrying about timings. The Address Hotels in Dubai have successfully implemented this type of service. 24 hour check in / check out are ideal for hotels in Middle East and Asia, especially India, where, for instance, most flights from Europe arrive and depart during the night.

All inclusive stays at luxury city hotels

Four Seasons Hotel in Denver was the first international luxury chain hotel to introduce an all inclusive rate – F&B, accommodation, SPA etc. Although applicable for a limited periods, such offers are a unique competitive advantage in terms of awareness, the respective hotels gaining instant overall awareness of value for money, competing directly with ”Club” product of luxury hotels such as Ritz Carlton or Shangri-La which provide, through access to their Club Floor or Executive lounge to a range of complimentary snaks, soft drinks and select spirits. Such packages are ideal especially for corporate travellers, which would otherwise be restricted to include SPA treatments or dinners in their travel expenses.

Consistent ecology and environmental protection policies

In-room technology aimed at reducing power comsuption when guests are not in the rooms  (light automatic switch off and decrease of air conditioning speed), outsourcing from local producers (food, amenities), environmental building certification have gradually replaced the inefficient sheets and towels ”save water and detergents” as well as the automatic master switch with the use of a card. Consumers need to feel they engage with the hotel in protecting the environment. Ecology could be turned into an experience when communicated sensibly internally with hotel guests. Many luxury properties around the world have been successfully introducing electric powered cars and bikes, a trend which is here to last for the long term.

Organic

From the breakfast eggs to the bathroom amenities kit, an increasing number of wealthy frequent travellers have become more and more aware of the actual source of the respective products. It doesn’t take a science degree to understand that, for instance, a shampoo or body lotion which has an 18 month guarantee from opening label contains mostly chemicals (articial ingredients, preservatives etc). Although maybe pricier, hotels which have introduced bathroom amenities mostly made of organic ingredients have not only notice an increase in actual consumption but have also built awareness with guests who are beginning to place great importance on such details.

SPA treatments with organic based products have been gaining recognition among guests. I have recently visited several SPAs at major luxury hotels where the demand for organic treatments has exceeded the cosmetic ones, hotels facing an odd situation given that in many cases, the traditional cosmetics brands have been the ”main” brands of the respective SPA, some even co-branding the SPAs.

Oliver Petcu

to be continued with FASHION / ACCESSORIES on 15th January

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