Hilton capitalises on Vietnam’s luxury travel market

November 19, 2022 | 14:56
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As the demand for luxury travel continues to grow in the region, Hilton is ramping up its activities in this segment. Alexandra Murray, area vice president and head of Southeast Asia at Hilton, shared with VIR's Hanh Van the company's strategy to tap into the opportunities in Vietnam's luxury travel market.

As one of the largest global hospitality companies, how do you position Vietnam in the luxury tourism map of Southeast Asia and the world?

Hilton capitalises on Vietnam’s luxury travel market
Alexandra Murray, Area Vice President, Head of South East Asia, Hilton

Vietnam is considered one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, well-loved for its scenic places, rich culture, and friendly people. Recently, the country has risen as one of the world’s top travel spots, receiving numerous international accolades, earning recognition as Asia’s Leading Destination for four consecutive years and Asia’s Leading Nature Destination for the first time this year.

As Vietnam’s travel sector continues to evolve, we are confident it will become a tourism epicentre, with a diversity of offerings that increases Vietnam’s appeal as a travel destination for luxury travellers as they seek unique experiences to immerse in.

With new luxury hotels, world-class golf courses, and international entertainment complexes opening across the country, luxury is a fast-growing segment in Vietnam.

As we continue the entry of the Waldorf Astoria brand into the world’s most sought-after destinations, we are thrilled to debut our iconic luxury brand in Vietnam.

When the Waldorf Astoria Hanoi opens in 2025, it will elevate the city’s luxury hospitality, bolstering the appeal and growth of the luxury tourism sector in this wonderful destination.

For a long time, Hilton has been only well-known with the two brands of Hilton Hanoi Opera and Hilton Garden Inn. Do you think Hilton missed many expansion opportunities to occupy the market share and compete with other international names as IHG or AccorHotel?

As part of our growth strategy, we are always on the lookout for the right opportunity to expand our brands with the right partners. We are thrilled to build on our long-standing partnership with BRG Group to enhance Vietnam’s luxury travel offerings to capture a rapidly growing segment of discerning travellers.

Asia-Pacific is strategically important for Hilton and offers immense opportunities for luxury travel. About 40 per cent of our luxury portfolio is in Asia-Pacific, and a quarter of those hotels are in Southeast Asia. We are set to grow our luxury brand presence – Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, and LXR Hotels & Resorts – by more than 50 per cent in Asia-Pacific over the coming years.

Scheduled to open in 2025, Waldorf Astoria Hanoi will join our pipeline of nine other hotels and resorts that will open in Vietnam in the coming years. We are confident of the tremendous growth opportunities in Vietnam as one of the world’s fastest-growing travel destinations with a thriving luxury segment as travel recovers.

Why did you wait until now to launch the award-winning iconic luxury brand of Waldorf Astoria for the first time in Vietnam, and why choose to rename the Hilton Hanoi Opera, which has been considered a symbol of Hanoi?

Hilton is always seeking opportunities with the right partners to deploy the right brands to the appropriate locations. Amid the resurgence of travel across Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s tourism sector is showing impressive growth, and it is projected to continue growing for the next five years.

Hilton Hanoi Opera is an iconic landmark, and its rebranding into Waldorf Astoria Hanoi will enable us to unlock the full potential of its enviable location, taking the property to a whole new level, bringing forth a new legacy of luxury to the city with fully-reimagined accommodations.

Each Waldorf Astoria hotel is a beacon of luxury in an iconic, landmark destination. When Waldorf Astoria Hanoi opens in 2025 in the vibrant French Quarter, it will elevate the city's luxury hospitality and deliver the timeless yet timely experiences that luxury travellers have come to love and anticipate at each of our Waldorf Astoria hotels around the world.

According to a report, the 10-year growth rate of luxury travel is projected at 6.2 per cent, higher than the projected growth rate for overall travel (4.8 per cent). Closer to home, 42 per cent of APAC consumers are seeking luxury travel experiences. Through our partnership with BRG Group, we are confident that Waldorf Astoria Hanoi will play a major part in bolstering Vietnam’s luxury tourism sector and increasing its appeal to luxury travelers.

What unique and special features will the new brand bring to Hanoi and travellers in general?

Staying true to Waldorf Astoria’s legacy of delivering unforgettable stays in iconic landmark properties around the world, guests can expect True Waldorf Service and Culinary Excellence at Waldorf Astoria Hanoi.

Situated in the heart of Hanoi next to the iconic Hanoi Opera House, Waldorf Astoria Hanoi will feature the brand’s distinct luxurious accommodations across each of its 187 rooms and suites.

The luxury hotel will also feature four world-class dining concepts, including Waldorf Astoria’s world-famous lounge and bar, Peacock Alley. Guests can also look forward to lavish, holistic therapies at the award-winning Waldorf Astoria spa.

It is our unwavering attention to detail that creates a truly unforgettable stay and gives even the most discerning guest a sense that Waldorf Astoria is their home away from home.

As Hilton has strategic expansion to capture the demand for luxury in the region’s most sought-after destinations, such as Vietnam, can you share more details on the strategy?

As tourism continues to recover strongly in Southeast Asia, Hilton is focused on its expansion in key destinations in the region’s primary and secondary gateway cities, with 53 hotels trading currently and 44 in the pipeline.

This includes the opening of marquee hotels like Hilton Singapore Orchard and Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa, in addition to the recent signings of Conrad Singapore Orchard and Waldorf Astoria Hanoi, which are significant additions to our portfolio.

Luxury is a key driver for Hilton, and as the demand for luxury travel continues to grow in the region, we will be introducing our luxury brands in new destinations, to provide guests with exceptional, intuitive service and meaningful travel experiences.

Asia-Pacific is strategically important for Hilton, with 40 per cent of our luxury portfolio in Asia-Pacific and a quarter of those hotels in Southeast Asia.

The strength of our world-leading brands and our industry-leading capabilities also position us well to capture conversion opportunities in Southeast Asia with property owners who count on our track record and ability to manage successful hotels worldwide.

With diversified offerings across our portfolio of brands, we are continuing to explore opportunities to work with the right partners by offering the right brands in the right locations.

Opening more hotels across our award-winning brands in the region will also enable us to provide more meaningful growth and career opportunities for the nearly 10,000 team members in Southeast Asia and 46,000 in Asia-Pacific.

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By Hanh Van

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