Luxury side lock up Apr 2024
Luxury side lock up Apr 2024


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ILTM Asia Pacific 2024: Day two updates from luxury brands and destinations

ILTM Asia Pacific started this week, with around 1,300 suppliers and buyers gathered to connect and talk business regarding luxury travel. Karryon Luxury reports from Singapore.

ILTM Asia Pacific started this week, with around 1,300 suppliers and buyers gathered to connect and talk business regarding luxury travel. Karryon Luxury reports from Singapore.

After the opening night of ILTM Asia Pacific 2024 at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, travel advisors joined luxury brands for a full schedule of appointments. Meanwhile, we took part in the media briefing program with several luxury brands providing news and updates. Below is a summary of some of the highlights.

Marriott International Luxury Group

Josh Niland speaking at Fysh, The Singapore EDITION.

On Monday night we joined the Marriott International Luxury Group for dinner at its new property, The Singapore EDITION. Celebrated Australian chef Josh Niland, who is the partner chef at EDITION’s Fysh restaurant, was flown in from Sydney especially for the event. 

Following a gill-to-tail seafood cooking concept, the sustainably minded chef who owns Sydney’s Saint Peter restaurant demonstrated his prowess with a fish-dominant menu (including the desserts—we even took home a Saint Peter fish fat soap). 

Oriol Montal, Managing Director Luxury Asia Pacific (excluding China) at Marriott International, shared the results of the group’s recent ‘New Luxe Landscapes Report: Emerging Luxury Travel Trends Asia Pacific’.

The findings of the report showed wellness travel continues to be a rapidly growing sector in APAC, with millennials identified as a key demographic seeking restorative experiences. The report also found that ‘safety and security’, particularly in these times of global crises, has emerged as a dominant theme in luxury travel.


Nicolas Streff, Belmond, at the briefing.

On Tuesday, Karryon Luxury made its way to Jiak Kim House for a breakfast and press briefing hosted by Belmond. 

Nicolas Streff, Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Communications, discussed the group’s mantra of ‘slow luxury’. 

“We’ve only recently labelled it, but we’ve been doing it forever. It’s not just a trend – it’s our identity, and it’s the DNA of our places,” he said. 

Mindful living and valuing time are central to what’s offered across the Belmond range of products, which includes 47 hotel properties, trains, boats and safari experiences.

The new Dior Spa on Eastern & Oriental Express will launch in mid-July.

Highlights include:

  • The recent relaunch (March 2024) of the Eastern & Oriental Express with a new design and 15 restyled carriages
  • Streff announced that this train would soon be home to a new Dior Spa, “the first in Southeast Asia,” and also a retail space, opening in mid-July
  • The upcoming new carriage as part of the Venice Simplon-Orient Express, with more about the design to be revealed soon (launching in 2025)
  • In its new partnership with Parley for the Oceans, Belmond Parley will focus on local initiatives in an approach that aims to ‘think globally but act locally’
  • We were invited to visit the Belmond ‘platform’ at the ILTM showroom floor, where a mock of the Eastern & Oriental Express is on display

Next, it was over to the ILTM showroom, and after clocking in where the best coffee is on offer (the Marriott International stand – thank you, Scott Graham, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, for the tip), it was down to the media lounge for Karryon Luxury to attend the press briefings.

Luxury Group Marriott International coffee stand.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH)

Mark Wong, Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
  • SLH now has 579 hotels ‘live’ and another 18 in implementation
  • 62 hotels were signed in 2023, and 34 hotels have been signed in 2024, to date
  • They are seeing steady growth in their portfolio, working towards a 600-hotel goal in 2025.
  • They are “proud to be back in Laos” with their new eco-lodge, The Namkhan Luang Prabang, and they are entering Pakistan (opening September 2024), Nepal and Ecuador for the first time
  • SLH is seeing 32 per cent of its reservations come from  travel agents – “B2B is core for us.”
  • SLH is starting to get its footprint back in Australia thanks to its new partnership with Ovolo
  • A new category that SLH has not yet named is its outdoor accommodation. They have signed a group deal with Under Canvas in the Americas for luxury tented products. SLH is putting together a new collection that will be named and announced soon.
  • Its Considerate Collection has grown from 26 hotels when it launched in 2021 to 61 hotels today.  
  • “A lot of people were saying we are not telling our stories enough. We’ve now let our owners come and tell their own stories, so we’re launching a Considerate Collection campaign soon to share all the good things they are doing,” said Wong. Our group was shown a video that featured five different hotel owners.
  • A new collection, the Finest Collection, was recently launched, with 21 hotels. The list will keep changing… “They must stay to the standards. They are setting the bar high for the rest of the other hotels to keep up,” said Wong. 
  • A new exclusive strategic partnership will be launching in two weeks.

Preferred Travel Group 

Michelle Woodley, Preferred Hotel Group.
  • The family-owned company has four hotel brands and two consulting brands
  • Preferred Hotels & Resorts now has more than 600 independent hotels in 80 countries
  • Over the last 24 months, they have re-introduced the I Prefer Hotel rewards loyalty program and have just surpassed five million active members. 
  • The Legend Collection of Preferred Hotels & Resorts is celebrating more than 100 properties (announced last week). 
  • The group has announced new strategic partnerships with Virgin Limited Edition that will see the addition of eight Virgin properties to its Legend collection
  • It’s been a busy six months with multiple new hotels opening and joining the Preferred Hotels & Resorts group, including The Hotel Maria in Helsinki; MOLLIE Aspen, TEMBO in Barcelona, and Ara Maris in Sorrento
  • Coming soon will be Maison Albar Le Victoria, Nice (September), and Villa Dahlia, Stockholm (September)
  • Its Beyond Green group, launched in 2021, continues to grow, with currently 40 hotels in the portfolio. It has committed to donating one per cent of its annual sales to support a variety of high-impact environmental non-profit organisations in partnership with 1% for the Planet and &Beyond.

Pan Pacific Hotels Group

Choe Peng Sum-Pan-Pacific-Hotel-Group_ILTM-Asia-Pacific-2024
Choe Peng Sum, Pan Pacific Hotels.
  • They own about 78 per cent of their properties
  • During Covid, the company embarked on 22 new properties joining the group
  • Pan Pacific is present in 18 key gateway cities and will add properties in Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Kyoto in the next year or so
  • Pan Pacific Singapore has recently undergone a $40 million renovation – it has now opened its new bar, Plume. 
  • Pan Pacific Perth is currently undergoing a $55 million renovation and will be ready by August 2024.

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

ILTM Asia Pacific_Hyatt
L-R: Carina Chorengel and Kate Atkinson, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.
  • Hyatt Hotels & Resorts now has 1,341 properties across 29 brands
  • Since 2017, Hyatt has doubled the number of its luxury hotels and tripled the number of resorts 
  • 70 per cent of Hyatt’s hotels are in the premium space. “We are the smallest of the ‘big boys’ but we really play in the premium space,” said Chorengel. 
  • It’s top tier brands include Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Andaz, Alilia, and Thompson which they say will all grow in the years ahead
  • Hyatt Prive (Hyatt’s luxury travel agency program) offers unique experiences that only Prive travellers can enjoy.
  • Upcoming new luxury hotels include the 203-key Park Hyatt London River Thames opening in October, 2024; and Park Hyatt in Kuala Lumpur – set to open in Q4, 2024 (it will be the highest building in Asia)
  • Park Hyatt Marrakech opened this week, marking the brand’s debut in Morocco
  • They are opening their first Alila property in Shanghai in Q3, 2024. It will be the first urban Alila in the world
  • Andaz Bangkok will open in 2025; Andaz Miami Beach at the end of 2024; and Andaz Doha in Q4, 2024
  • They are seeing a surging demand for wellbeing. Japan, Australia, China and Thailand are proving to be the most popular destinations for wellness travel
  • The team shared examples of some of its immersive wellbeing experiences within its portfolio, such as a healing ritual at Alila in Bali; and a breathing, posture and meditation class at Park Hyatt Kyoto.

Switzerland Tourism

ILTM Asia Pacific_Hyatt
Batiste Pilet, Switzerland Tourism.
  • Switzerland Tourism launched its new brand in Southeast  Asia. “It’s a new brand for the tourism industry. We had the edelweiss for 30 years – it was time to make a change,” said Pilet. 
  • Its booth at ILTM Asia Pacific booth is the first to reflect the new corporate identity
  • They are looking at tackling overcrowding with steering travellers through geographical and seasonal considerations
  • “Currently in Switzerland, you will hear a lot of overbookings or bookings during the peak seasons. Rather than just create visitor numbers, we want to steer guests to have the best time and experiences. We want clients to be the right guest, at the right time and in the right place,” said Pilet
  • They want to encourage travellers to see the hidden gems in addition to well-known destinations
  • Hotel occupancy is just about 50 per cent over the whole year. Summer is the current peak (June, July and August). Switzerland Tourism wants to make sure they have all-season business. 
  • Southeast Asia is strategically important to Switzerland. New flights to Seoul were launched in May ‘24 and there are now direct flights to Tokyo and Hong Kong too
  • Train travel is growing, and they want to encourage all travellers to use public transport and Switzerland’s trains and rail network to explore the country. “Our public transport is good enough for even the most picky luxury clients,” said Pilet.

Tourism Australia

Sarah Mackenney, Global Partnerships and Distribution, Tourism Australia.
  • Mackenney began with an Acknowledgement of Country
  • This is Tourism Australia’s first presence at ILTM Asia Pacific. They will also be attending ILTM Cannes
  • Mackenney shared what ‘luxury’ means in Australia, with a focus on landscapes, barefoot and soft adventure luxury, and the local characters that really bring Australia to life 
  • “When we talk about luxury in Australia, we start with the Signature Experiences Program that includes seven collectives covering more than 170 businesses,” said Mackenney
  • There are now 49 members of the Discover Aboriginal Experiences collective. New experiences include the Wintijiri Wiru drone show, Uluru; Jarramali Rock Art Tours, Queensland; and Bullo to Bungles air safari, Kimberley Western Australia, run in conjunction with Bullo River Station
  • There are 17 members of Cultural Attractions of Australia. Coming soon is the ‘Chefs of the House’ experience where four in-house chefs from the Sydney Opera House will each host two intimate dinners in an exclusive space within the Opera House
  • Australia has seen 236 new hotels open since 2020 with many of these being luxury properties
  • Upcoming openings include: Oscar Seppeltsfied, a 6-star property in South Australia to open in 2026; Rumi on Louth, on Louth Island, South Australia (100 per cent solar powered, off-the-grid luxury accommodation); 1 Hotel Melbourne, opening in 2025
  • Waldorf Astoria will open in Sydney in 2026 in Circular Quay, marking the first Waldorf Astoria property in Australia; and Six Senses Dandenong Ranges in Victoria will open in 2025
  • There are now 19 properties in Luxury Lodges of Australia, all naturally isolated and each a unique representation of its region
  • Tourism Australia says the big trend is ‘villas within luxury lodges’ that are being booked out quite far in advance.
L-R: Jeffrey Van Vorsselen, Lawrence Ng, Shelley Tso, Edith Li and Victoria Peterson, Langham Hospitality Group.

In the afternoon, Karryon Luxury headed over to the Langham Hospitality Group cocktail party, hosted by senior executives at KOMA restaurant in Marina Bay Sands. 

Addressing the group was Shelley Tso, Vice President Marketing and Communications; Jeffrey Van Vorsselen, Managing Director Regional Vice President, Operations, The Langham Hotels and Resorts, Pacific (based in Melbourne); and Lawrence Ng, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing. 

There are now 33 hotels within Langham’s portfolio. The group recently launched its ‘Brilliant by Langham’ experience platform. Jeffrey Van Vorsselen, who has been with the group for 21 years, revealed they are in discussions with developers in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji – and said they believe they have space for another property in Sydney.

Dining at Nobu Singapore, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.

Karryon Luxury’s day ended at a dinner for media and trade hosted by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts at Nobu Singapore restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore. 

Rami Sayess, President of Hotel Operations APAC shared with the group that Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts now has 130 properties globally. Upcoming openings include Four Seasons Osaka on 1 August; and Four Seasons Hotel Rabat at Kasir Al Bar will open in Morocco’s capital Rabat in late 2024. 

There are now more than eight itineraries for Four Seasons Private Jet journeys and, after taking on feedback from guests and trade, the private jets are now available for charter. 

Members of the A&K Travel Group at ILTM Asia Pacific 2024.

To view more of our social shots from ILTM, visit here.

ILTM Asia Pacific 2024 will conclude on 4 July.

Read all about the Day 3 updates and announcements here.

*Credit for all images: Katrina Holden.