Elite Resorts of Asia Pacific, the online marketing cooperative for luxury resort and travel experiences, is celebrating a strong first year of operations.
In just over 12 months, Elite has grown to represent around 60 luxury resorts and experiences – including luxury trains and crusies – in 13 countries. The company’s portfolio now includes offerings in a range of destinations from Australia, Brunei and China to Fiji, Japan, Bali, The Cook Islands, The Maldives, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand. Luxury brands represented include Mandarin Oriental, Banyan Tree, Capella and Silversea Cruises.
The Elite portal acts as a website showcase, with online links enabling direct bookings at the selected resorts showcased.
Mark Greedy, Elite Resorts’ co-founder who formerly headed The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) in Asia Pacific, said the concept had clearly “rung a big bell”.
“Our non-transactional, intelligent and creative marketing alliance of luxury resorts has rung a big bell for those who understand and appreciate quality marketing,” said Greedy.
At the last count, Elite’s site experienced a significant and growing volume of unique page views by luxury travel consultants, consumers and the world’s media, for a total of 8,500 hours. There were also 2,760 ‘BOOK NOW’s passed on to the reservation links.
The portal also incorporates ‘Elite Experiences’ for the various destinations. These range from night diving near the Great Barrier Reef and horseback riding in Tibet to elephant polo and sunrise at the Taj Mahal in India, lunch on a ‘disappearing island’ in Thailand, Harley Davidson touring in Bali and flying by helicopter to the rim of a volcano in New Zealand.
Greedy explained; “These memories encourage potential guests to think: ‘Wow, I must go there!'”
Elite’s co-founder Jim Smith, said that the company was tapping into the market for a new breed of luxury traveller.
“Travellers have become a bit cynical in that they no longer just want to hear about the pool, spa or iPod docking stations – they just assume those are there, “said Smith, a former VP American Express International Asia. “They want to know about ‘memories creation’ – what type of magical experience will leave me a lasting memory far beyond the trip home. In short, the customer is much more focused on ‘talk value’ than ever before.”
In its second year, Elite aims to expand and diversify the luxury resort alliance.
“There are 27 countries in APAC and in almost all of these there are resort jewels that deserve to be introduced in a creative and quality way to the global audience,” explained Greedy. “We will continue to be provocative in helping people think about experiences and locations they haven’t thought of before.”