The announcement today that Orient-Express Hotels will undergo a name change beginning March 10, 2014 was fairly shocking considering the luxury hotel operator has established an impeccable reputation under its current title.
Belmond (Latin meaning beautiful) was selected as the new brand name because, according to the company, it will “increase consumer recognition in the marketplace, thereby attracting new guests and stimulating increased visits across the broad scope of the company’s unique collection of exceptional hotels and travel experiences from its existing customer base. Strengthening our brand architecture will also make the Company more attractive to property owners as we advance in our strategy of expanding into the management of third party assets that are complementary to our existing collection.”
“We are excited that we are entering the next chapter in our journey with a name that celebrates our character, resonates with our guests and encompasses the broad scope of our celebrated collection of hotels, river cruises and trains,” said John M. Scott, president & chief executive officer, Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. “Each of our iconic and one-of-a-kind luxury experiences evokes strong customer loyalty and we are extremely proud of the heritage that makes us unique.”
“The new brand name provides us with a fresh opportunity to tell our story – from romantic journeys across Europe the authentic restored carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, to cruising along the undiscovered rivers of Myanmar on our river cruiser, Orcaella, and sunset cocktails on the terrace of our newest hotel, El Encanto.”
The transition from Orient-Express to Belmond will be backed by a sizable investment of $15 million in enhanced promotional and marketing initiatives, according to Ralph Aruzza, chief sales & marketing officer. “This investment will include new websites, social media and our first ever large-scale advertising campaign.”
Belmond’s new website, Belmond.com, will officially launch on March 10, 2014.