With Australia’s borders reopening and hopes for tourism to rebound quickly, many hotel groups are investing in soft brands. Graham Perry, Managing Director of BWH Hotel Group Australasia, explains the importance of boutique hotel stays for the modern guest.
Fueled by social media, the expectations of seasoned leisure and business travelers are confusing as they seek to collect destinations visited. We are seeing exponential growth of this trend in the post-pandemic era and the greater the bragging ability, the greater the attraction.
Hybrid work models are creating new “bleisure” travelers looking to merge their business and leisure travel needs. It’s breaking down the traditional boundaries between weekdays and weekends. International border closures have led more Australians to experience their own backyards, fueling renewed interest in regional areas from international and domestic travellers.
All of this is leading to a nimble new marketplace where travelers are demanding that their boutique stay become an integral part of the destinations they collect. The Australian accommodation industry must react quickly and decisively if it is to capture this new business. Investors have a unique opportunity to capitalize on these lifestyle and boutique lodging trends as long as they are located in destinations that new travelers want to collect and brag about.
Global hotel companies are providing the perfect film to capitalize on these trends in either hard brand or soft brand formats. BWH Hotel Group’s strong pipeline shows that investors and hoteliers are seizing the opportunity to link their hotel developments to BWH’s distribution and reservations capability, its 50 million loyal members, revenue management, sales and marketing and operational support. They can choose between tying these hotel developments to BWH lifestyle brands like Sadie, Glo or Aiden (BWH hard brands), or tying to BWH soft brand solutions like WorldHotels Collection, BW Premier Collection or BW Signature Collection where their own brand takes precedence.
Hard or soft brands can work, but only if the hotel’s unique design makes guests feel at the heart of the destination.
For more, check out the April issue of HM, out next week.