CEO Filip Boyen talks about his organisation’s ambitions and roadmap in the region
With the Hong-Kong based Peninsula Hotel group scooping five star honours across its brand for the Forbes Travel Guide 2019 Star Awards, and other hotels earning five-star rating for the first time, like Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Bulgari Resort Bali and Bulgari Hotel Beijing, all eyes are turned to the east when it comes to luxury travel. For several years, Forbes Travel Guide has been enhancing its presence in the region, so we asked the organisation’s CEO, Filip Boyen, to tell us more about their activities there.
We consider Asia Pacific a mature market. We entered China with Beijing and now are covering eight cities there, along with nine more countries throughout the Asia Pacific/ Oceania region, including the more recent addition of Vietnam. We do now proudly feature Seoul as a destination on our list, and the city boasts several Star Award recipients, including The Shilla Seoul, a Five-Star award winner. Growth and expansion continues in Asia Pacific, and we will be announcing our first winners for Cambodia. Plus, growth of destinations in the Asia/Oceania region are happening already this year, including the Republic of the Maldives, French Polynesia and New Zealand.
GROWTH OF DESTINATIONS IN THE ASIA/OCEANIA REGION ARE HAPPENING ALREADY THIS YEAR, INCLUDING THE REPUBLIC OF THE MALDIVES, FRENCH POLYNESIA AND NEW ZEALAND
It’s less than a year since you’ve been at the helm of Forbes Travel Guide. How are you “ fitting in”?
My tenure at Forbes Travel Guide has own by, and it is hard to believe my anniversary will be in November. It has been the most enjoyable time in my career. One of the greatest highlights was Verified, The Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit, which had more than 700 attendees, celebrates our annual Star Award winners and offers attendees the opportunity to join a program of informational sessions. Another highlight of my new role was being able to then take the time afterward to set up a schedule of destination visits and see those properties in person. Forbes Travel Guide exists to champion, support and celebrate all those with a passion for extraordinary service and that makes my job incredibly meaningful and enjoyable.
What differentiates Forbes Travel Guide?
Forbes Travel Guide is the only global, independent luxury ratings association that offers objective, professional incognito evaluations to determine the very best properties in the world. A rating cannot be bought or influenced; we pay for all our own inspections, and the results are determined via a stringent set of standards, that is both geographically and culturally sensitive in application. We are a transparent business and have taken very specific steps over recent years to bring clarity and open dialogue with the industry.
Photo: Filip Boyen CEO, Forbes Travel Guide