Jean-Jacques Gauer chairs since 1990 the chain The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW). It operates a network of 450 luxury establishments in the world. By also Director of the Lausanne Palace, he explains to the "Echos" what the financial crisis has caused a lasting change in patterns of consumption of the clients of the great palaces. The "bling-bling" has more rating...
How the chain The Leading Hotels of the World has crossed the global crisis
It was known, as the others, a difficult year with a fall in average 20 of reservations, which however masks large regional differences. The India quickly recovered from the attacks of the past year, and the Asian market in General is doing well. This is true also of South America and New York. Other markets such as the France, the Italy and the Switzerland are doing less well. The customer is, but she travels less than in the past. Airlines are also feeling the effects. To United Arab Emirates, finally, the fall of the reservations about reaching 30, despite an average price of the rooms 10. In our chain, the average price, which reached $ 440, has dropped only 10 dollars a year.
Some areas have been hit more than others
Hotel of business is doing significantly less well than recreation or vacation in the Alps. Urban hotel, it has sorely lacked seminars, conferences and congresses.
Specialists refer to paradigm changes in luxury hotel...
It is quite true. The scale of the values evolved. People want more authenticity, less than "bling-bling" and tape-to-l'oeil. The time where the hotels are autoproclamaient holders of 8 or 10 stars is gone. Some institutions went much too far in the bidding and the "always-plus" to compare themselves to their neighbors. But is it really helpful to put bouquets of flowers to $ 300 room at each corner of the rooms Or, the Peninsula in Hong Kong there really need to have 18 Rolls before coming to pick up customers at the airport The era of the sheer scale is complete. Most lenders will not, for example, to the too foil Burj al-Arab in Dubai, when Alpine palaces in Courchevel, St Moritz and Gstaad seduce more. They now offer snowshoe walks in the forest, followed by a good raclette in a mountain refuge, rather than organize ballets of helicopters, as in the past, to bring their clients to the top of a snowy peak.
Are these developments called upon to endure beyond the crisis
They are there to stay. People were shocked to see the bankers and traders live large train while, by their actions, they Dove populations in poverty. The new generation have a thirst for luxury goods consumption different from the previous. This is true in the hotel as in watch or fashion.
How will the chain to adapt to this new trend
The right product in the market will always draw his pin of the game. The Ritz with his beautiful spa, good restaurants, ideal location and its prices not disproportionate to other institutions in New York or London will never harm to survive. But the border between the too ostentatious luxury and exclusivity is tenuous. We are currently searching the
Will this lead you to a review of your members
We have further hardened our admission requirements and some institutions will have difficulties in our new standards. Hotels who have the most difficulty to meet our standards derive all of the association down might disappoint the expectations of our customers. About 70 hotels should leave our association over the next three to four years.
Moreover, a few strings very pleased to join us when they have fewer than ten hotels decide then, growing to fly their own wings. This was the case of Four Seasons in the past, and I see other examples profiler in the future.