With Australia’s borders open once again and hopes high that tourism will rebound quickly, many hotel groups are investing in soft brands. BWH Hotel Group Australasia Managing Director, Graham Perry, explains the importance of boutique hotel stays to the modern guest.
Fuelled by social media, the expectations of seasoned leisure and business travellers are merging as they look to collect destinations visited. We are witnessing exponential growth in this trend in the post-pandemic era and the greater the brag-ability, the greater the attraction.
Hybrid working models are creating new ‘bleisure’ travellers who are looking to merge their business and leisure travel needs. This is tearing down the traditional borders between the weekday and the weekend. International border closures have caused more Australians to discover their own backyard, fuelling revitalised interest in regional areas from both international and domestic travellers.
This is all driving a new agile marketplace where travellers are demanding that their boutique stay becomes an integral part of the destinations they are collecting. The Australian accommodation industry must react quickly and decisively if it’s going to capture this new business. Investors have a unique opportunity to leverage these trends in new lifestyle and boutique accommodation as long as they are located within destinations that new travellers want to collect and brag about.
Global hotel companies provide the perfect foil to leverage these trends in either hard brand or soft brand formats. BWH Hotel Group’s strong pipeline illustrates that investors and hoteliers are taking up the opportunity to link their hotel developments to BWH’s distribution and booking capability, its 50 million loyalty members, revenue management, sales and marketing and operational support. They’re able to choose between attaching these hotel developments to BWH’s own lifestyle brands like Sadie, Glo or Aiden (BWH hard brands), or linking to BWH’s soft brand solutions like WorldHotels Collection, BW Premier Collection or BW Signature Collection where their own brand takes precedent.
Either hard or soft brands can work but only if the hotel’s unique design allows guests to feel they are staying in the heart of the destination.
For more, check out the April issue of HM, published next week.