Saturday, 13 May 2017

CHILE: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Goes To Chile

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced that it has signed a management contract to manage, and ultimately brand, a 310-room hotel currently operating in Santiago, Chile.

The group will take over management of the property from August 2017, and rename it Hotel Santiago.

Following an extensive guestroom and public area renovation, the first stage of which is scheduled to complete in August 2018, the hotel will be rebranded Mandarin Oriental, Santiago.

This will be the group’s first property in South America.

Hotel Santiago is located in the heart of the city’s most important commerce and leisure district, known as Las Condes, home to two luxury shopping malls, restaurants, museums and theatres.

It is also close to the exclusive residential neighbourhood of Vitacura.

The property is owned by Hotel Corporation of Chile.

The property comprises 310 guestrooms including 23 suites with commanding views of the city and the Andes.

Its 25,000-square meter grounds contain a large free-form outdoor pool and landscaped gardens which provide a resort environment for guests.

The hotel currently features five restaurants and bars as well as extensive banqueting and meeting space.

Additional facilities include a spa and fitness centre.

Hotel Santiago will continue to operate throughout the first phase of the renovation which will reposition the property as a Mandarin Oriental hotel from August 2018.

The new luxury accommodation, public areas and landscaped gardens will be redesigned to reflect local culture, with features inspired by Mandarin Oriental’s Asian heritage.

The group’s expertise in design, award-winning restaurants and spas will contribute to the overall renovation, which includes a future second phase covering the spa, food and beverage facilities and banqueting space.

This will commence in late 2018.

Exponent Private Equity has acquired three leading sightseeing attraction pass companies: Boston-based Smart Destinations, parent company of Go City Card; UK-based Leisure Pass Group; and The New York Pass.

Ted Stimpson, currently chief executive of Smart Destinations, will take up the role of global chief executive of the newly combined Leisure Pass Group.

The three entities will operate as independent subsidiaries of a newly formed parent company, which will retain the Leisure Pass Group brand name and become the largest tourism attraction pass provider in the world.

The new Leisure Pass Group will operate in more than 30 destinations across the US, Europe, and the Middle East, and is projected to deliver over 12 million attraction visits worldwide.

The sightseeing and attractions industry is big business, with a total global economic impact in excess of $300 billion, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Attraction passes - which allow travellers to access a variety of attractions and tours with a single purchase and at significant savings versus buying tickets individually (as much as 55 per cent depending upon the pass selected) - comprise a growing segment of this industry.

Leisure Pass Group’s attraction passes can be conveniently downloaded to a mobile app, and allows customers to present their passes right on their smart phones for access at each location.

The passes are available for purchase online, through a variety of third-party resellers, and can also be acquired by travel agents with commission from Viator, Hotelbeds, GTA-Travel, and Tourico Holidays.

According to Stimpson: “This merger provides Leisure Pass Group with an amazing opportunity to leverage the collective power of three market leading attraction pass providers and aggressively pursue growth in existing markets as well as many new markets around the world.

“Leisure travel shows no evidence of slowing down, and as long as consumers have the desire to get out there and experience the various theme parks, tours, and attractions, we want to be able to provide them with a cost-effective way to explore and save.”

To demonstrate the continued growth of this market, Stimpson added that LPG in North America has seen eight consecutive quarters of 30 per cent year on year growth and doubled the number of sold passes in the last two years.

Gatwick Airport welcomed 3.8 million passengers in April, up 15 per cent on 2016, and marking 50 months of consecutive growth.

The airport benefitted from the whole of the Easter school holiday falling in April, with an additional 496,200 passengers passing through the airport.

Long-haul routes continue their booming growth at Gatwick, up 23 per cent on April 2016 and driving a 27.2 per cent cargo increase.

North Atlantic routes performed particularly well, up 35.2 per cent, with New York up 70 per cent, Los Angeles up 56 per cent and Fort Lauderdale up 53 per cent.

Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick’s vital role for Britain shines through our latest traffic figures as the airport continues to go from strength to strength as we gear up for our biggest Summer yet.

“Confidence in Gatwick is unrelenting as our existing carriers increase frequencies, Cathay Pacific will be providing a daily connection Gatwick to Hong Kong from June, and new routes are announced.

“We continue our trailblazing low-cost long-haul revolution, bringing more parts of the Globe within reach of more Britons, with the world’s furthest low-cost long-haul connection just announced between Gatwick and Singapore, from Norwegian.”