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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Far East Hospitality to bring Australian hospitality brands to SG

Singapore – Hotel operator Far East Hospitality has announced their shift to the Australian market by bringing its Australian hospitality brands to Singapore. They will be materialised through two Far East brands namely Vibe Hotels and Adina.

The shift aims to achieve Far East Hospitality’s target of 25,000 rooms by 2025 globally. In addition, the operator will be leveraging its long-standing collaboration with joint venture partner TFE Hotels (Toga Far East Hotels). Both parties will tap on mutual strengths, networks and platforms to grow the business, intensify knowledge sharing, and scale up staff training.

In the coming months, Far East Hospitality will be bringing the brands – Vibe Hotels and Adina – to Singapore through the rebranding of existing properties The Elizabeth Hotel and the Regency House serviced residence respectively.

Arthur Kiong, chief executive officer of Far East Hospitality said, “As international borders reopen, Australia is a natural key target market given that it was amongst Singapore’s top five inbound markets before the pandemic. The return of the Kangaroo route, which refers to the flight paths between Australia and the United Kingdom with stopovers in Singapore, also offers us an opportunity to not only encourage more stopovers, but to attempt to lengthen their stay with new experiences.”

He also added, “Traveller expectations have also evolved, with many looking for unique and meaningful experiences. The two new brands that we are bringing into Singapore will provide an Australian twist to what Singapore, as a destination, has to offer.”

Meanwhile, Antony Ritch, chief executive officer at TFE Hotels, commented, “With the launch of Quincy Hotel Melbourne last year, TFE has succeeded in bringing the sights and sounds of Southeast Asia to Melbourne and now looked forward to bringing a touch of contemporary Australian hospitality to Singapore across both Adina and Vibe Hotels.”

He added, “Vibe Singapore is the first of the brand outside of Australia. And with Australian-inspired dining concepts, a mini bar and amenities to set the tone and our relaxed and casual style of Australian hospitality, I believe it’s the start of a new chapter for Vibe Hotels.”

Both Far East Hospitality and TFE Hotels will also continue to collaborate in the areas of sales and marketing through cross-selling of properties on respective brand websites and cross-promotion of sales campaigns.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Millennium Hotels and Resorts jumps into the metaverse with help of MullenLowe SG

Singapore — Another virtual edifice has sprung up in the metaverse virtual destination Decentraland this month. Millennium Hotels and Resorts has approached ad agency MullenLowe Singapore to help launch M Social Decentraland; the virtual hotel modelled on different M Social properties around the world. The new hotel encapsulates M Social’s brand essence of being a trendsetting lifestyle and aims to be a place for all to gather in the virtual world.

Located near Genesis Plaza, at the heart of Decentraland, M Social Decentraland sits on prime digital land. Similar to its brick-and-mortar sister hotels, it is positioned as a hub for explorers keen to discover new experiences and connect with like-minded individuals. The team at MullenLowe Singapore helped create the virtual hotel which flaunts a giant ‘M’ on each of its four sides, with glass exteriors and neon pink accents creating a sleek interior look.

Guests who step inside M Social Decentraland can interact with an avatar that welcomes everyone in the lobby. The avatar guides guests on a journey of discovery through the hotel. Those who reach the top of Decentraland, and share a screenshot of their avatar with #MSocialDecentraland on their social channels, stand a chance to win real world hotel surprises.

Commenting on the project, Abhishek Goyal, head of digital of MullenLowe Singapore, said, “With an explosion of interest and audience engagement in the Metaverse, we’ve embraced the challenge to capitalise on opportunities this new virtual world offers a hospitality brand like Millennium Hotels and Resorts.”

Goyal continued by saying, “We believe being the first hotel to operate in the metaverse means they’re at the forefront of tapping those opportunities. We’re sure that this will be the first of many initiatives designed to bring virtual and real world solutions closer together for M Social and its guests.”

Meanwhile, Saurabh Prakash, group senior VP of commercial for Millennium Hotels and Resorts, shared, “We are embracing different technologies to engage customers and enhance guest experiences. The metaverse is one such avenue that presents a myriad of opportunities for us to create unique social connections with our guests. M Social Decentraland will enable us to reach out to new and existing customers in both the physical and virtual world with online connection to offline engagement.”

Guests can also look forward to treasures and surprises when they visit M Social Decentraland. Future integration for the hotel will include linkage to the M Social website and special events to mark upcoming special occasions.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Marriott Bonvoy, Bali.com team up for one-stop platform for Bali travel arrangements

Bali, Indonesia – As the Indonesian province of Bali gears up for reopening to tourists this year, Marriott International’s loyalty program Marriott Bonvoy and tourism gateway Bali.com have teamed up for a one-stop platform where travellers can book a travel arrangement to Bali under one platform.

Through the partnership, selected Marriott Bonvoy resorts in Bali and Bali.com will be offering a one-stop booking journey that includes a vacation accommodation and express travel visa on Marriott.com, or the destination platform. The express travel visa application process will be facilitated by Bali.com.

In addition, Marriott Bonvoy Members will enjoy 10% off the express travel visa application fee should they wish to make their own visa arrangements with Bali.com.

Ramesh Jackson, area vice president for Indonesia at Marriott International, said that they have always been a firm believer in the advancement of travel recovery, and with the re-opening of Bali to international guests, they are excited to work with Bali.com.

“We can identify that travel in this day and age is no longer what it used to be. With so many options on information channels and sources, it can be confusing and time consuming for travellers to navigate through reliable information. That is why we felt it was important to provide guests with a one click travel solution. This alliance is designed to provide guests with a worry-free seamless booking journey for their mandated quarantine stay with the option of a travel visa packaged together under Marriott’s integrated platform,” Jackson said.

Meanwhile, Michael Strobel, founder at Bali.com, commented that travellers are craving well-researched and reliable information and travel partners, hence they are extremely happy to be part of this campaign and to cooperate with Marriott Bonvoy resorts in Indonesia, in providing travellers with a transparent quarantine package and a booking experience that includes the e-visa.

“Bali.com is determined to play a supporting role in facilitating the return of tourists to Bali and Indonesia overall. We had a few million visitors on Bali.com during the pandemic who were looking for information about travel and visa regulations since Indonesia closed its borders in March 2020,” Strobel said.

He added, “The interest in Bali is still strong and people want to come back. We understand the importance during these uncertain times, to provide absolutely reliable information and guide and assist our visitors to take informed choices so they can enjoy a great holiday the moment the opportunity arises to visit Bali again.”

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Platforms Featured Global

Agoda forays into wholesale distribution with launch of ‘Beds Network’

Singapore – With travel slowly resuming across the world, digital travel platform Agoda has expanded its service to now include wholesale distribution through the new platform ‘Beds Network’. Said platform launch aims to help properties around the world distribute their wholesale rates more efficiently and effectively.

‘Beds Network’ leverages Booking Holdings’ connection to over 10,000 affiliate partners network across various markets and verticals such as airline partners, offline travel agencies, credit card companies and more. In addition, Beds Network’s partners will also access Agoda’s distribution technology to increase productivity of their inventory. 

‘Beds Network’ has been launched into 20 markets across Asia, Europe and Middle East, including: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Portugal, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, with the view to expand globally in 2022. 

Speaking about the ‘Beds Network’ launch, Liyana Jamil, associate vice president of Beds Network, said that they saw an opportunity to innovate and enter a new sector in the middle of the need of hotel partners for a more flexible solution to revenue planning and inventory distribution. In addition, she remarked that with them having a strong B2B network in the industry and partners, they can deliver results for their booking customers and believes that ‘Beds Network’ will effectively aid hotels to profitably recapture travel demand.

“With the launch of our Beds Network team, we have found a solid solution that allows hotel partners to spend less time on negotiating contracts and bureaucracy, and more driving strategy to improve their inventory productivity,” Jami stated.

She added, “Our B2B partners, whether its airlines, banks or offline travel agents, will also benefit from the increased access to [a] wider range of properties and their rates through our platform, creating a win-win situation within the travel industry. We aim to make things as simple as possible for our partners and we are growing our team to sustain the demand generated since our soft launch in multiple markets including Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan.”

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Marketing Featured APAC

Hilton’s new campaign encourages travelers to seek international experiences—closer to home

Singapore – Global hospitality campaign Hilton has launched its newest campaign, ‘Travel The World’, which aims to inspire consumers to explore the wonders of their home countries, and discover local alternatives that match the experiences at some of their favorite international destinations.

The campaign reflects the hotel chain’s understanding of sentiment among consumers who are eager to explore something new, yet feel more comfortable traveling closer to home. In addition, the new campaign aims to showcase how domestic travel offers a wealth of similarly wonderful experiences that are a lot more accessible.

“[The] ‘Travel the World’ [campaign] highlights the endless options for international-inspired travel accessible from many Hilton hotels in Australia, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia. There is no shortage of culture, nature, adventure, and food and wine in these countries and the campaign celebrates them all, highlighting the best travel experiences across the region,” Hilton said in a press statement.

Hilton features a lot of destinations and experiences in this campaign, ranging from experiencing the wine bordeaux region in Australia, exploring water canals in Bangkok, Thailand, or snacking on ‘takoyaki’ on the streets of Osaka, Japan.

Speaking about the campaign, Ben George, senior vice president and commercial director for Asia-Pacific at Hilton stated that they understand that there is a significant pent-up demand to travel or reconnect with loved ones, adding that they continue to adapt to meet the evolving needs of their guests.

“With 500 hotels across Asia Pacific, Hilton has the breadth and depth of properties across 11 trusted brands for travelers to connect with these local experiences, all of which deliver the exceptional hospitality that we are known for. Our latest marketing campaign, ‘Travel the World,’ inspires and connects consumers in large domestic travel markets Japan, Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand to experiences they can have in their home countries that satisfy their international travel ambitions,” George stated.

He also cited an internal study they have made on proprietary consumer research in Asia-Pacific, and found that on average, 34% of families are now more actively looking to book domestic travel versus pre-pandemic.

Live now until 31 January 2022, ‘Travel the World’ is a predominately digital campaign running across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, leveraging a number of digital advertising partners. The campaign includes use of hyper-personalized videos delivered to dozens of unique audiences in real-time through the power of Google’s digital marketing engine. 

In addition, the campaign features both social and digital content including videos, social media, and display advertising with the creative concept and key assets developed by regional advertising agency KVUR, which is based in Singapore.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Former Marriott Int’l brand strategist joins Hong Kong Jockey Club’s exec team

Hong Kong – The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has announced that Anthony Ingham joins the Club as the Executive Director for Membership, Strategic Marketing, and Branding (EDMSMB), where he is set to assume the role at the beginning of 2021. 

The HKJC is a local-based racing club which includes entertainment horse-racing, lottery, sports waging and community-based charity drives.

For the new role,  Ingham will be responsible for creating unique membership experiences, leading its future strategic marketing plans, communicating with key stakeholders, and articulating the Club’s brand. He is also tasked to further strengthen the communication of the Club’s unique integrated business model and its significant contribution to the community.

Prior to this position, he had served as the brand strategist for Marriott International. He was appointed the global head of the hotel chain W Brand in 2015, and served as a brand strategist also for The Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts in 2018.

He had also worked with the InterContinental Hotels Group, where he served as director for sales and later on as a global director for guest experience.

Ingham will report directly to the Club’s Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.