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Global interest for luxury hotels remains stable at +1.5%

Theodore Koumelis - 10 June 2013, 11:24

US dominates the luxury hotel industry: 75% of analysed hotels are American. Russians (+12.8%), British (+8.5%) and Chinese (+3.3%) are the fastest growing luxury hospitality consumers; but US consumers represent the largest consumer base for luxury hotel brands globally (66.3%)

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – At the Luxury Hospitality 2013, world’s first exclusive luxury hospitality think tank for hospitality leaders, an event organised by International Herald Tribune (IHT) and Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL), the results of the World Luxury Index Hotels will be unveiled for the first time. As part of their World Luxury Index series, Digital Luxury Group, the first international company to create luxury industry market intelligence and use this strategic viewpoint to develop unique digital marketing strategies for luxury brands, has produced in partnership with the Chair of Luxury Hospitality of Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne– the world’s first hotel management school, and Luxury Society, the world’s largest community of luxury executives, the World Luxury Index Hotels, featuring an in-depth analysis of leading luxury hotel brands.

This report is part of the World Luxury Index, an international ranking and analysis of the most sought-after brands within the luxury industry. This study covers 70 luxury hotel brands within 10 key luxury markets and provides insights on the interest coming from luxury consumers. The unbiased information is derived from 133 million consumer online searches.

Digital Luxury Group with the support of the Chair of Luxury Hospitality of Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne, uncovered a number of interesting findings:

Global interest for luxury hotels remains stable at +1.5%
US consumers express the largest interest for luxury hotel brands globally (66.3% of the total), but strong demand growth was fueled by Russians (+12.8%), British (+8.5%) and Chinese (+3.3%) who become the fastest growing luxury hospitality consumers. Signs of demand decline were recorded in Italy (-14.3%), Brazil (-12.1%) and Japan (-11.1%).

“The luxury hotel market is very heterogeneous from one market to the other. We have defined for this study 3 main categories: luxury brands integrated to hotel groups and hotel groups that are playing mainly or only in the luxury market segment. In the three categories, emerging markets are showing increasing interest for luxury hotel brands and the US market is by far the dominant market with the most connected and savviest consumers” commented Samad Laaroussi, Holder of the Chair of Luxury Hospitality of Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne, presenting the results at the Luxury Hospitality Summit 2013.

The US dominates the Luxury Hotel Industry
The US gave birth to the majority of leading hotel chains in the world (75.5% of hotels in the WLI Hotels are American) and US consumers, express the largest interest for hotel brands globally (66.3%). Furthermore, their cities are the most sought-after and fastest growing destinations worldwide, attracting a large segment of international travellers. New York leads the way as the #1 most searched city and Washington D.C. as the fastest growing destination worldwide.

“America’s State Department has now confirmed that US visa application processing times from Chinese and Brazilian tourists have decreased from a matter of weeks or months to just days. With more high income travellers visiting the US, this will have a positive impact on the luxury hotel industry” mentioned David Sadigh, Founder and CEO of Digital Luxury Group presenting the results at the Luxury Hospitality Summit 2013.

Surprises abound from BRIC markets
With +12.8% growth, Russia leads the BRIC markets. Brazil is showing slight regression since last year at -12.1%. Fastest growing hotels in the BRIC were: Shangri-La hotel in Brazil (+72%), Hyatt Regency in Russia (+89%), Ritz-Carlton in India (+59% - property set to open Summer 2013) and St. Regis in China (+56%). Most popular international destinations from BRIC markets were: Miami and New York for Brazilian travellers, Hurghada and Dubai for Russians, Dubai and Singapore (Indians), Hong Kong and Singapore (Chinese).

Hilton, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons lead their respective categories
Led by Ritz-Carlton, Luxury Major category hotels are fueling growth (+12.07%) whilst, the Upper Upscale category which accounts for 1/3 of all luxury hotels captures 3/4 of total global interest but stagnates at -1%. Brands: Hilton, Ritz- Carlton and Four Seasons lead their respective categories: Upper Upscale, Luxury Major and Luxury Exclusive. Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt and Starwood are the Top 3 leading Hotel Groups. Hilton Worldwide ranks first in 4 out of 10 markets:

Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and United States, whilst Starwood leads in BRIC markets. Jumeirah is the most rapidly growing amongst the Top 25 Luxury Hotel Groups.

“Four Seasons benefits from an outstanding level of online awareness reflecting a high level of brand desirability. The iconic Canadian brand is a best in class in luxury brand management and has invested massively in digital”said Florent Bondoux, Head of Strategy & Intelligence at Digital Luxury Group.

World Luxury Index Hotels by Digital Luxury Group

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