The Peninsula Hotel Group has been incredibly active over the last 18 months, launching a range of new initiatives including, a branding campaign, founding family documentary, a new property in Paris and a luxurious London hotel on the way.
Peninsula Hotel Group vice president marketing Robert Cheng sat down with ETB News to discuss the different strategies and opportunities undertaken by the prestigious hotelier in recent years, coinciding with the Group’s flagship Hong Kong property celebrating its 85th anniversary this month.
Peninsula Hotels’ global branding campaign – Peninsula Moments – was conceived and developed by the company’s in-house production team, showcasing each of the Group’s nine properties and the cities to which they belong, through a series of intimate short films.
“Our branding promotion has a deep focus on creating a greater emotional attachment to the brand through photography and film, capturing the unique spirit and story behind each property and location within our portfolio,” Mr Cheng said.
The Peninsula Hotel Group recently completed a HK$450 million revitalisation of its flagship Hong Kong property, embracing advanced in-room technologies in order to contemporise its offering.
“A lot of our guests didn’t want us to renovate… however, if your guests start telling you, you need a renovation, it’s probably too late… we wanted to stay ahead of the curve,” Mr Cheng said.
“A big part of the renewal was technology driven – within the rooms, everything is now controlled by touch pads – so we partnered with Samsung to develop a tablet that spoke for us, then had our in-house production team create the interface.”
The tablets are currently available in 11 languages and will also be a key element of the Group’s new 200-room, centrally located Parisian property, opening 1 August 2014.
Peninsula Hotels is investing heavily in the digital space, launching a new website in February 2014.
Peninsula Hotels has also secured a new site in London’s affluent Belgravia district, a short distance from Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, in order to develop its inaugural British property.
“For us, the purity of our brand is very important; the city and location are guiding aspects when deciding on whether or not to invest in a new property,” Mr Cheng said.
The Peninsula Academy – first launched in 1997 – provides guests unprecedented inside access to the rich culture of each hotel’s host city, with programmes designed to excite and inspire.
Although Peninsula Hotels continues to witness increases in direct bookings and online travel agent (OTA) reservations, traditional bricks-and-motor agencies still play a vital role in securing business.
“Travel agents help us to personalise our guest’s stay and they’re able to help us communicate what makes Peninsula so special, given there’s no shortage of high-end luxury hotels,” Mr Cheng said.
Looking into the future, Peninsula Hotels has signed a new deal to purchase a site in Myanmar.
“In the heart of Yangon, a future gateway city for Southeast Asia, we found this incredible heritage building, formerly the headquarters of the Burma Railroad Company,” Mr Cheng said.
“I think we have a really interesting philosophy of being proud of the heritage we have but also looking forward; having a blend of glamour from years past but also catering for the modern traveller and making people feel comfortable.”