Release of the First World Luxury Index™ Hotels

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At the Luxury Hospitality 2013, world’s first exclusive luxury hospitality think tank for hospitality leaders, an event organized by International Herald Tribune (IHT) and Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Digital Luxury Group will release the results of the World Luxury Index™ Hotels

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Top 50 Most Sought-After Hotel Brands

“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” says Florent Bondoux

•    Global interest for luxury hotels remains stable at +1.5%

  •     US dominates the luxury hotel industry: 75% of analyzed 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%)
  •     Hilton, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons lead their respective categories
  •     New York remains top destination for luxury hospitality destinations worldwide – London, Dubai and Paris are fastest growing international destinations

At the Luxury Hospitality 2013, world’s first exclusive luxury hospitality think tank for hospitality leaders, an event organized by International Herald Tribune (IHT) and Ecole hôtelière 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 hôtelière 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 hôtelière 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,” comments Samad Laaroussi, Holder of the Chair of Luxury Hospitality of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, presenting the results at the IHT/EHL 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 travelers. 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 travelers visiting the US, this will have a positive impact on the luxury hotel industry.” mentions David Sadigh, Founder and CEO of Digital Luxury Group presenting the results at the IHT/EHL 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 travelers, 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” says Florent Bondoux, Head of Strategy & Intelligence at Digital Luxury Group.

A sample of the report is available for download at: http://www.dlgr.com/wlihotels.
More detailed data and analysis on a particular brand or topic is available upon request.

About Digital Luxury Group
Digital Luxury Group (DLG) is the first international company to provide luxury industry market intelligence (such as the World Luxury Index™ and World Watch Report) and use this strategic viewpoint to create and implement unique digital marketing and communication strategies for luxury brands. With headquarters in Geneva, the company has offices in New York and Shanghai. For more information:http://www.digital-luxury.com

About Luxury Society
Luxury Society is the world's most influential online community of top luxury executives. Based in Paris, with members in more than 150 countries, Luxury Society informs and connects CEOs, managers, journalists, consultants, designers and analysts from across the luxury industry. http://www.luxurysociety.com

About Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) offers university-level studies to talented and ambitious students who are aiming for top careers in the international hospitality industry. In addition to this international recognition, EHL constantly broadens the scope of its three academic programmes by integrating market trends and new technologies. Since it was founded in 1893, EHL has educated more than 25,000 hospitality industry executives. The worldwide network of alumni represents an invaluable asset for every member of the EHL community. Today, there are over 1,800 students, from almost 90 countries, enjoying the unique and enriching environment of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. http://www.ehl.edu

About the Chair of Luxury Hospitality of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
The objective of the Chair of Luxury Hospitality is to contribute to the advancement of managerial thinking, practices and research about the specificity of hospitality luxury. Through a holistic and multidisciplinary approach, the goal is to develop research, create an observatory and sharing platform dedicated to luxury hotels by bringing together within the same network academic skills from EHL and professional skills from the hotel industry and other industries with a strong luxury customer experience focus. The current research axes of the chair are the following: how to translate brand values into a brand luxury experiences? How to integrate the online as a part of the brand experience extension? What are the values associated with luxury consumption for the upcoming generation and emerging markets? How to manage and deliver luxury experiences in cross-cultural environment?

About Luxury Hospitality 2013
Organised by the International Herald Tribune (IHT) with the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Luxury Hospitality 2013 is the first exclusive global think tank designed for leaders in this field. Taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland on 6th June 2013, the summit will see around 100 senior figures and over 20 guest speakers gather to discuss the evolving interpretations of “luxury” and share case studies to help drive their businesses forward. http://www.luxuryhospitalityleaders.com

About the International Herald Tribune (global.nytimes.com)
The International Herald Tribune (IHT) is the premier international newspaper for opinion leaders and decision-makers around the globe. It combines the extensive resources of its own correspondents with those of The New York Times, is printed at 40 sites throughout the world and is for sale in more than 160 countries and territories. Based in Paris since 1887, the IHT is owned by The New York Times Company. For more information about the IHT, visit http://www.ihtinfo.com.

Luxury hotel brands included in study:

Upper Upscale Brand: Camino Real Hotel, Dusit Thani, Embassy Suites, Gaylord Hotel, Hilton, Hotel du Vin, Hyatt, Joie De Vivre, Kimpton, Le Meridien, Mgallery, Millennium Hotel, Nikko, Okura Hotel, Omni Hotel, Pan Pacific, Pullman Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel, Renaissance, Sheraton, Steigenberger, Swissotel, Vivanta by Taj, Westin, Wyndham.

Luxury Major Integrated Chain: Andaz, Bulgari Hotels, Conrad, Fairmont, Gran Melia, Grand Hyatt, Hotel Missoni, InterContinental, JW Marriott, ME hotel, Park Hyatt, Raffles, Ritz-Carlton, Royal Tulip, Sofitel, St.Regis, W Hotel, Waldorf Astoria,

Luxury Exclusive Small/Med Size: Affinia, Africian Pride Hotel, Anantara, Angsana, Banyan Tree, Four Seasons, Guoman, Hospes, Impiana Hotel, Jumeirah, Kempinski, Langham, Loews, Lotus Resort, Mandarin Oriental, Oberoi, One & Only, Orient-Express Hotel, Peninsula, Regalia Hotel, Regent, RockResorts, Rosewood, Shangri-La, Six Senses, Taj Hotel, The Leela, Trump Hotel.

Press contacts:
Laetitia Hirschy, Digital Luxury Group, Geneva, lhirschy(at)digital-luxury(dot)com +41 22 702 0760

Valerie Silverman Kerr, Digital Luxury Group, New York, vsilvermankerr(at)digital-luxury(dot)com +1 914 806 6647

Anouck Weiss, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Lausanne, anouck.weiss(at)ehl(dot)ch +41 21 785 13 54

Pascale Stehlin, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Lausanne, pascale.stehlin(at)ehl(dot)ch +41 21 785 13 49

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