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Abta event to focus on reaching luxury clients

April Hutchinson

UNDERSTANDING AFFLUENT consumers and how to grow or enhance a luxury travel business will come under the spotlight at a new event from Abta next month. The Luxury Travel Conference

will take place at UK Chamber of Shipping in London on March 22 with TTG Media partnering with the association for the event and ttgluxury’s editor April Hutchinson moderator for the day. “Delegates can expect to learn how to identify and reach the luxury customer and how to promote and sell the right products to these customers, with experts across the luxury sector sharing their expertise on the day,” said Victoria Bacon, director of brand and business development, Abta. Among the speakers will be Peter Shanks, managing director UK & Ireland of Silversea Cruises, whose topics will include how to engage with the over-50s luxury traveller. “[They] have gone from the ‘silent

generation’ to the boomers and now represent the largest market segment,” said Shanks. “It’s luxury and cruise that are increasingly appealing to them, especially


Rosewood opens up in Phnom Penh

THE CAMBODIAN capital of Phnom Penh has become the latest venue for a new Rosewood hotel. The 175-room Rosewood Phnom Penh sits within the new 39-storey Vattanac Capital Tower, with the property becoming the fi rst “urban hotel in south-east Asia” for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. The tower is now the city’s tallest building and emblematic of

20 22.02.2018 A manor suite at Rosewood Phnom Penh

the country’s economic development. According to the WTTC, Cambodia

was expected to attract more than 5.2 million international tourists in

Expedition cruising is a potential growth area for luxury agents

something like expedition cruising.” Shanks added he would also look at how agents can feel more “confi dent” selling luxury travel. “Confi dence is key I’d say, as you

have to be able to bring the product to life and talk confi dently with luxury customers,” he said. “In the wider industry, travel can be more about price and promotion, but we need to focus on explaining why some products are reassuringly expensive. This [luxury travel] is an emotive product and selling it can be a daunting journey for an agent, but it doesn’t have to be.” In another session, Philippe Brown,

founder of bespoke travel designer Brown & Hudson, will cover topics such as how to present yourself as an expert advisor, interviewing clients, cultivating lasting relationships and exploring people’s motivation behind travel. “You have to adopt a palette of

approaches, as affl uent travellers are constantly changing and the key thing is to treat clients as individuals,” Brown said. “Yet some business models don’t always allow you to do that; instead they’re focused on shortcuts – but you can’t think like that in luxury, it has to be about crafting something unique.”

The Luxury Travel Conference costs £245 (plus VAT) for Abta members and Abta Partners, or £365 for non-members (

2017 and both Alila and Six Senses are also due to open luxury resorts in the country later this year. “With its rich history and dynamic

future, the ‘Pearl of Asia’ is an ideal place to expand the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts brand and this debut represents an important milestone in our global growth,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive offi cer of brand owner Rosewood Hotel Group. Rosewood Phnom Penh has been designed by Melbourne’s BAR Studio, with two of its four restaurants created by Tokyo-based Bond Design Studio.

April Hutchinson 020 3714 4118 checking in

Plastic-free Bangkok hotel Akayrn Hotel Group will open what’s claimed to be Asia’s fi rst plastic-free hotel this May. At Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok, no plastic will be allowed in bars and restaurants and guests will be given stainless steel water bottles to refi ll. The whole group plans to become single-use plastic free by 2020.

Recognition for Four Seasons Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has been recognised as one of the 2018 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. The list is compiled by Fortune and consulting fi rm Great Place to Work, with results based on employee survey responses.

PrivateFly joins Virtuoso PrivateFly has become a preferred partner of global luxury network Virtuoso, which the private jet booking platform said was a “milestone step in its international B2B growth plans”. Virtuoso’s 16,000 travel advisors in 45 countries can now book private jet travel through an integration with PrivateFly’s technology platform and team.

Brits opt for Atmosphere Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts has seen a 52% increase on UK visitation in 2017. The group, which started in 2013 with Atmosphere Kanifushi, welcomed 6,664 UK guests last year, which it said was the equivalent of one in 20 Brits in the Maldives staying at one of its resorts.

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