RELAIS & Châteaux wants to tap the "great potential" of the Asia-Pacific market and is strengthening its regional presence to do so.
Jaume Tapies, chairman of the board, Relais & Châteaux, said that the hotel and restaurant association had earmarked Asia-Pacific as a key source of revenue for 2014 and beyond, due to the growing affluence of Asian and Australian travellers.
Seven per cent of the 58.1 million euros (US$75.3 million) in reservations for the period July 2012 to June 2013 came from Asia-Pacific, a 36 per cent year-on-year increase, he said.
“We recognise the great potential that the Asia-Pacific traveller has for the future of our 520 hotels and restaurants around the world and we have acted on that by investing significantly in the region,” commented Tapies, who added that the association had established a four-person team and set up a central reservations office in Singapore over the last one-and-a-half years.
While Japan and Australia constituted Relais & Châteaux’s top markets in Asia-Pacific, Tapies cited Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan as smaller markets with a “significant” number of high net worth individuals and more mature travelling populations.
To strengthen its presence in the region, Relais & Châteaux has increased its budget for travel trade and public relations efforts and for expanding its network of hotels and restaurants.
Last month, the association hosted a series of travel trade and media events in Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Taipei, and has entered South Korea for the first time this year.
Furthermore, Relais & Châteaux has appointed Sebastian Sun, hotel owner of Le Sun Chine, Shanghai, as a delegate spokesperson for Asian member properties, excluding Japan.
The association has also recently launched a simplified Chinese version of its international guide and Route du Bonheur itineraries, and is due to roll out a revamped global website, along with simplified Chinese and Japanese language versions.