LuxuryMichael Issenberg, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific, shares his insights from ILTM Asia Pacific.

Luxury travellers seeking more authentic experiences

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ILTM 190529
Michael Issenberg, AscottHotels Asia Pacific’s chairman and CEO, at ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore.

Beyond the offer of unique properties, Accor also aims to answer to the changing demands of luxury travellers with the introduction of its new loyalty programme, ALL — Accor Live Limitless, which officially replaced the former Le Club AccorHotels early this year.

Sustainable and authentic experiences that offer a sense of place are key elements of experiential travel, which luxury travellers are on the hunt for these days, a leading hotelier told Travel Weekly Asia.

“No one’s riding an elephant anymore these days. They prefer an experience where you’re going to a rehabilitation centre for elephants, for instance,” said Michael Issenberg, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific on the side of ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore on May 28.

“It’s about authenticity, food, and also about events – people are travelling for sporting events, concerts et cetera. They don’t really just want to lie on the beach anymore. They want to experience where they are, a sense of place. As a hotel it’s our job to deliver that not just in the hotel, but what’s available when you arrive”.

Known for its ability to create a true sense of place, Raffles – a core luxury brand in addition to Fairmont and Sofitel – will be experiencing a “renaissance” of sorts in 2019 and 2020, according to Issenberg, thanks to the opening of Raffles Maldives and Raffles Shenzhen (2019), the highly anticipated reopening of Raffles Singapore this August, as well as the opening of Raffles Udaipur next year.

Located on an island in the middle of a lake, Raffles Udaipur, the first for Raffles in India, is accessible only via a boat and offers a unique experience for its guests even before they arrive at the hotel.

Beyond the offer of unique properties, Accor also aims to answer to the changing demands of luxury travellers with the introduction of its new loyalty programme, ALL — Accor Live Limitless, which officially replaced the former Le Club AccorHotels early this year.

While competitors have gone on similar paths to reinvent their loyalty offerings, Issenberg said Accor’s stands out for its ability to put together a holistic experience and not just standalone aspects of it.

“We partner with IMG and AEG, the former for F&B experiences outside the hotel, and the latter to make sure we’re getting access to great tickets, and then package that together with a great hotel stay to deliver the full experience,” he added.


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