Friday, December 17, 2010

Falling for the Island of Love: Top 2010 Honeymoon Destination

Although traditional hotspots such as Venice and Paris are expected to be the top honeymoon destinations, as they have been in the past, there has been a stark contrast in honeymoon destinations of late. Following the announcement of the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, there was a new survey whose intent was to find out the top honeymoon spots for 2010. Surprisingly, the results were that Cyprus holds the number one spot. Originally known as the ‘Island of Love’ as the mythical home of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, Cyprus is living up to its name in for a different reason; being a great honeymoon destination. Another surprising find arose with the Dominican Republic sliding in as the second most popular, and Cape Verde in Africa taking the three spot. While it may not be shocking that people are moving to cheaper destinations, it is extremely strange that the traditional spots are being abandoned altogether. Of the 1,078 couples polled, only two traveled to Venice and none indicated Paris. With a shift in spending from previous years, it seems that people are much more intent on saving money while finding smaller, more intimate locations when selecting a honeymoon destination. (Although the amount of time that these destinations will stay inexpensive and intimate is up for debate.) But for the moment, many smaller locations are enjoying an influx of attention. It is certainly something to look out for in the future, as this could be the beginning of a paradigm shift, in which people start to favor more obscure locations for their events.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Virgin Enters the Business

Virgin Group has earmarked $500 million for their newly announced property venture. A world recognized mega brand, the Group is already comprised of some 300 branded companies and more than 50,000 employees across the globe. The London-based Group recently announced the official launch of Virgin Hotels- and though entering “virgin territory,” they have no doubt about their ability to take on the industry and succeed as they have done in numerous other ventures.

Unlike other start-ups, Virgin can draw on their existing brand recognition. But Executive Director of Virgin’s Leisure and Hospitality segment, Anthony Marino, knows, “it’s one thing to be known, it’s another to be liked.” The London-based company is already well-known AND liked for their ‘cultural service’ with a reputation for innovation and lifestyle trendsetting.

“We don’t come at it as hotel experts, (but as a company) that understands its consumers,” Marino said, noting their experience in the leisure and lifestyle industries, particularly airlines and gyms. Virgin has its sights set on “a hotel experience that is more than just boutique,” according to Raul Leal, President and COO.

The hotels will provide a sensory experience using functional design that always considers the consumer. Virgin understands better than anyone, that today the experience is centered on technology. Although specifics have yet to be mentioned, Leal hinted at a few “tech surprises” that look at what technology could be in the next three to five years.

In the next seven years, the group will look to open 25 new hotels, with the first property to open in the next 12 to 18 months. The projected 4-star hotels are targeting gateway cities in the U.S. including Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Miami. Marino also noted a London property would be a natural fit.

Virgin Group will be announcing new hires in the near future as Anthony Marino works to assemble the management infrastructure.

Nessler, D. (2010, October 21). Virgin territory: mega-brand enters hospitality business with launch of four-star lifestyle concept. Hotel Business. 18(19), 30-32.

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