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Online luxury shoppers help pinpoint expansion opportunities for hotels

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Different use cases for every day search data are getting more interesting and sophisticated as the results of the World Luxury Index Hotels show.

Digital marketing agency Digital Luxury Group is claiming a first with the index which uses online search data from search giants including  Baidu, Bing, Google and Yandex to discover luxury consumers’ hotel shopping habits.

[market share figures in black, red and green percentages represent change]

The index divides the luxury category into three distinct groups – Upper Upscale (Hilton, Sheraton, Westin), Luxury Major (Conrad, Fairmont, InterContinental) and Luxury Exclusive (Four Seasons, Jumeirah, Mandarin Oriental).

The study reveals US consumers with the largest interest in luxury hotel brands globally with 66.3% of the total but demand growing from destinations such as Russia, up 12.8%, the UK, up 8.5% and China, up 3.3%.

Overall the Upper Upscale brands are the most searched for with three-quarters of searches and 38% of the hotels although the category has been stagnating in recent months.

It also highlights intelligence from developing destinations such as China where although Hong Kong and Singapore are the top searched for international destinations for Chinese luxury consumers, the Maldives comes third giving hotel developers insight into potential news destinations for expansion.

Further insights reveal:

Global interest for luxury hotels increased 1.5% in 2012 More than 85% of all luxury hotel searches come from English-speaking countries – USA, UK and Canada New York, Chicago and London are the current top three luxury hotel destinations searched for while Washington, London and Dubai are the fastest growing in terms of searches

David Sadigh, chief executive of Digital Luxury Group says luxury brands have not had access to this level of granularity before, relying instead on disparate data and the results of online surveys and interviews.

“The internet is a fantastic opportunity to understand what these people try to search when they are anonymous behind their computer and gathering all that data gets you an unbiased view.”

He adds that the index also reveals insight into potential areas for product development because it shows if guests are searching for spas in a particular city or Michelin-starred restaurants.

The luxury index, developed in conjunction with the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, takes into account more than 133 million searches over the course of 2012 and 70 hotel brands.

The results were initially released earlier this month at Luxury Hospitality 2013, a think-tank established for professionals in the luxury hotel sector.

Original author: Linda Fox
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