IHG LAUNCHES ‘3D CONNECTED TRAVELLER’ SERIES, EXPLORING HOW GLOBAL BRANDS SHOULD RESPOND TO THE CHANGING NEEDS OF 21ST CENTURY TRAVELLERS

447InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) has launched its ‘3D Connected Traveller Series’: three dynamic events designed to bring to life the themes of IHG’s latest trends report, The key to building successful brand relationships in the Kinship Economy, and deliver insights into the 21st century traveller.

IHG’s 2014 trends report, found that to win guest loyalty in the future, hotels need to deliver a global, local and personalised experience. The collision of these three dimensions, accelerated by the rapid rise of technology-enabled personalisation in recent years, is changing the experience guests expect when they travel. Hotel brands that are able to become truly “3D” – by delivering localised and personalised experiences through trusted global brands - will build the trust that is needed to sustain lasting relationships with guests and outperform in the future.

The ‘3D Connected Traveller Series’ will delve deeper into the idea of ‘3D brands’ and deliver insights into the 21st century traveller with interactive events taking place in New York, Dubai, and in China.

New York City: ‘Travel Well’ Delivering wellness to the 21st century traveller (June 4th, 2014)

The ‘Travel Well’ event introduces IHG’s revolutionary EVEN™ Hotels, a new hotel brand created with wellness at its core to meet the large and growing demand for a hotel brand to help wellness-minded travellers keep their balance on the road. The wellness-themed event will be introduced by IHG VP Americas Corporate Communications Francie Schulwolf and will bring together key lifestyle and wellness experts as well as other IHG executives following the 2014 NYU Hospitality Conference. They will explore the concept of personalisation, consumer expectations and how this concept has informed the development of the EVEN Hotels brand. Panellists will feature wellness expert David Kirsch, personal technology expert Becky Worley, work and travel expert Stowe Boyd, Editor in Chief of Women’s Health magazine, Michele Promaulayko, as well as, Jim Anhut, Senior Vice President, Americas Design & Quality, IHG. Journalist Barbara DeLollis will moderate the event.

Dubai: ‘Global Appetite, Local Taste’ Delivering local authenticity while maintaining the comfort of global consistency (June 16th, 2014)

‘Global Appetite, Local Taste,’ will be held at Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire, the restaurant of three Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire, at InterContinental® Dubai - Festival City. The event will explore the consumer demand for authentic local customisation of foods and how to deliver this on a global scale. Insights and expertise will be provided by travel and food industry leaders including Phil Broad, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Asia, Middle East and Africa, IHG; world-renowned chef Pierre Gagnaire; and Andrew Day, CEO, Emirates Leisure Retail alongside renowned Emirati social television entrepreneurs Mohamed and Peyman Al Awadhi.

China: ‘The Customised Future’ Delivering insight into the 21st century Chinese Traveller (Late 2014)

Later in the year, a panel event in China will consider the ‘customised future’ and draw on the insight and experience that IHG has gained through thirty years of operating in the region. The event will focus on bringing to life the four priorities of the modern Chinese traveller - Tradition, Rejuvenation, Status Recognition and Enabling Space.

Karin Sheppard, Chief Commercial Officer, Asia, Middle East and Africa, IHG says: “This series of innovative events will explore a key truth about global travellers today: that most want authentic and exciting experiences as well as the comforts of home, wherever in the world they are. They expect global brands to be able to deliver this with consistency. IHG is pleased to bring together innovators and captains of industry in each of these three international destinations to explore how global brands can best cater to tomorrow’s travellers.”

The ‘Creating Moments of Trust’ report shows that travellers are now looking for hotels to not only deliver consistently good service and to reflect local trends and customs, but to also tailor their stays to meet their personal preferences:

· Today’s travellers feel that global brands and local cultures do fit together – 60% of UAE travellers and 58% of Chinese travellers disagree that “A global brand can never be a good fit with local culture”.

· Today’s travellers believe the Global can be Personal – and many expect it: 56% of travellers surveyed said they expect a hotel to tailor the experience they have to their personal needs.

· 62% of Millennials claim that being able to access personal content – such as movies or music – would motivate them to return to a hotel, compared to 55% of travellers of all ages.

· And most feel optimistic about global hotel’s ability to deliver personalisation: 63% feel that ‘even a global hotel brand can deliver an experience that feels personalised’

IHG is focused on building and developing new brands to meet changing consumer behaviours and sustain its industry-leading position. Last year, IHG published: ‘The New Kinship Economy’, highlighting a transition from brand experiences to brand relationships in the hospitality sector. This year’s report builds on this work to help IHG gain a deeper understanding of what it is that travellers around the world are likely to want from their relationships with hotel brands.




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