Mason Rose is a leading luxury hotels Sales, PR and Marketing Representation company headquartered in London. Mason Rose work with some of the most sought after properties globally. Maria Pajares, the Managing Director explains to us why representation channels for hotels are now needed more than ever.
What brought you to Mason Rose and the world of luxury travel?
I was brought up in hotels – literally! My whole family work or have worked in the hotel industry and whilst I tried my hardest to break the mould this industry is far too compelling and exciting to avoid if you’re fortunate enough to have a taste for it and an opportunity to be involved.
What is the luxury traveler looking for in 2015?
There’s so much choice when it comes to luxury hotels – just look at London and all the new openings with yet more to come. Most luxury hotels offer a very similar product offering now (which hotel doesn’t have the latest spa treatments, best beds and most up to date technology?) So how does a luxury traveller make their choice now? It’s based on emotions and nuances, lots of small differences in terms of service and opportunities (experiences inside and outside the hotel). Hard to define and even harder for a hotel to deliver this and then to communicate it to the luxury traveller.
Why is it important for hotels to have a sales representation channel in different countries?
It’s an extremely competitive environment. Independent hotels or smaller groups don’t have the budgets to spend on marketing that the chain hotels do – yet in many destinations they are competing with these properties. So they invest in specialist representation (Sales or PR or both) which offers them the opportunity to have a highly professional team in a given marketplace drive their marketing cost effectively across all segments – in a way that one employee could never do.
Which destinations have you enjoyed traveling to the most?
Recently I was fortunate enough to visit several Peninsula hotels in Asia, as we have just started working with them on the PR front. The hotels and destinations were fascinating – I was particularly taken with Shanghai as a city. It surprised me with its eclectic mix of old and new. I’m hoping to visit Chicago soon as I haven’t been for years and I’ve heard great things about its fashionable vibe, in particular the food scene. And I never tire of New York!
How important do you feel Sales and Marketing (online and offline) is for a successful luxury hotel?
For the same reasons described before – there’s so much competition, not just between hotels, but between destinations and even differing lodging options, thinking of the rise of Airbnb and similar. Hotels that don’t invest constantly in their sales, marketing and PR will undoubtedly lose market share.