|Travelers looking for relevant experience in luxe environment|
Millennials are forcing the re-branding as they have tremendous spending power - spending over $2 billion on travel this year and looking for more than accommodation, they want an experience. To adjust, the luxe hotel brands like Four Seasons, W Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood, and others are not only refitting existing locations but are also entering new markets where there is an emphasis on youthful, affluent audiences. Cities where there is a prominence of music, fashion, and creative arts both in the U.S. and overseas. From Sao Paulo to Athens, New Orleans to Scottsdale the move is on to build new and re-brand the old. It's all about servicing a new traveler type - the 'affluent explorer'.
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The hospitality industry see this new demographic as less interested with opulence, pampering, and traditional luxury and instead seeks deeper connections, authenticity and insights into the cultures where they travel. This re-brand by the luxe hotel industry is looking to new, undiscovered destinations and endeavor to shift the epicenter of culture and cool.
A lot of research and brand strategy is performed to ensure the brand is not harmed but bolstered by the shift to a different market focus. This is an opportunity and a challenge which requires plenty of attention on brand outreach, particularly when entering an overseas locale.
Look for these new luxe lodgings popping up and how the re-branding of the industry takes place.
Principal, Fund-House Ventures