Leading Hotels of the World cater to the “curious traveller”
Philip Ho – SVP EMEA & APAC and Chris Walker – SVP Sales Americas for Leading Hotels of the World met at ILTM Cannes with Cleverdis editor-in-chief Richard Barnes, and spoke about the evolution of their group… He firstly asked about LHW’s trademark “curious traveller”…
Chris Walker: They are people who feel travel is essential to their life. It’s not an option where some years they travel and some years they don’t. It de nes who they are. They’re out on the road ten times a year or more, so they’re heavy, heavy travellers, and our biggest opportunity with our broad portfolio of hotels is to really move them from one to the other. So when you stay at one Leading Hotel of the World in one city and you love it and have an amazing, unique experience that you think of us the next time when you’ve got that wanderlust and you’re going to your next destination. We have 142 hoteliers at our ILTM stand. We are the largest exhibitor at the show. A luxury travel show is our sweet spot and a great chance for us to have a show of strength and show who we are and how many options we have.
90% OF OUR PROPERTIES ARE OWNED BY INDIVIDUALS OR FAMILIES WHO HAVE A PASSION FOR THE BUSINESS, BUT ALSO FOR THE SOCIETY AND THE CULTURE IN WHICH THEY LIVE… Philip Ho
Philip Ho: Each hotel is unique and has a different story. Therefore, for each hotelier, being here to tell his or story is very important.
Everyone talks about travellers wanting “experiences”. How do you sell that?
PH: It’s so intangible that our recommended approach is that you have to see the hotel; you have to experience the hotel. I met the owner of an agency yesterday, and his goal was to visit a hundred Leading Hotels before year-end. He feels that’s his best way of sharing with his clients the experiences that can be had a truly remarkably uncommon hotel like ours. He thus becomes an advocate. On the guests’ side, some have a goal in life of staying at every single Leading Hotel of the World. For many, the LHW Directory is their “book of dreams”. At last count, our top customer had about 250 different hotels in which he’d stayed across the network, but he’s still 150 short of his goal. When we talk about cultural immersion, the reason why our hotels do that much better is because 90% of our properties are owned by individuals or families who have a passion for the business, but also for the society and the culture in which they live. And they express this through their hotels.”