Philip Ho, Leading Hotels of the World’s Senior Vice President of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, has been a monumental force in shaping the standards of what is arguably the world’s leading collection of independent hotels.
A Singapore native, Philip is particularly expert at understanding the rapidly changing demands of consumers across the Asia pacific region. Here’s what Philip had to say when we caught up with him this week…
“Travel helps people broaden their horizons by discovering new aspects of the world and different cultures. I value the opportunity to be a part of a traveller’s journey to deliver remarkable uncommon experiences, both at our properties and the destinations which they are found. Our collection of independent luxury hotels is rooted in their locales, offering guests the opportunity to be true travellers rather than just tourists. Being a part of a traveller’s journey is a privilege that The Leading Hotels of the World has enjoyed for nearly 90 years.
The demand for collecting experiences rather than material goods is an ongoing desire. Curious travellers want to take part in activities deeply rooted in a destination and experiences that they wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. It can be as simple as experiencing a very local neighbourhood in a city where a traveller has historically stuck to the touristy path. At Leading Hotels, we recently developed a series of Destination Experience guides that uncover uncommon ways for guests to immerse themselves in well-known locations through our hoteliers’ deep, personal connections to their destinations.
From a jogging tour through the streets of Barcelona arranged by the Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona, to a private tour to meet with local artists at Dublin’s Design Tower curated by The Marker hotel, these guides offer a variety of experiential travel activities crafted by our knowledgeable hoteliers and recommendations from local artisans.
Sustainability is also fast becoming a critical component of all travel and there is certainly an opportunity to bring experiential and sustainable travel elements together. Many travellers appreciate knowing that they won’t be the last to see an untouched piece of nature, a relatively secluded town or remote island. At Leading Hotels, many of our properties combine both elements seamlessly, such as Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort in Costa Rica, Thanda Island in Tanzania, CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla, Hotel La Perla in Italy and Sonnenalp Hotel in Colorado.
What’s more, back in 2015, Leading Hotels welcomed Nihiwatu Resort to its collection. Located on the island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia, Nihiwatu was developed with the intent to protect and preserve the unique culture of the island and to enable local residents to support themselves and their families. Through The Sumba Foundation, all profits from the resort are fed into various community-based projects, including access to clean water, four malaria clinics and malnutrition and school lunch programmes. The resort also employs ninety percent of its staff from the nearby villages.
I personally keep the world moving by doing what I love: discovering remarkably uncommon experiences at each of 375 Leading Hotels so that we can share them with our curious travellers and travel partners.
My top tip for a successful ILTM is listening. Listen to the needs of the travel advisors’ customers and then craft a remarkably uncommon travel experience that meets those needs.”
Find out why Leading Hotels of the World are joining us at ILTM Asia Pacific next year.