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Luxury clients snub ‘transactional’ sales says hotel group

Group aims to help independent hotels compete against the ‘big guys’

Pictured: Left to right: ALHI’s Mark Gorgon, Rebecca Duncan of Virgin Atlantic, Chris Parnham of Absolute Corporate Events and ALHI’s Mark Sergot and Peter Groom.

Global brands are becoming too transactional in their approach to satisfy the luxury end of the market says US-based Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). The luxury hotel portfolio has recently embarked on a major expansion programme with London its most recent office opening. The group celebrated this week with a presentation for clients on the rooftop of the five-star The Courthouse hotel in Shoreditch.

ALHI’s chief sales officer Mark Sergot says clients at the luxury end of the market are increasingly demanding a more individual sales service than the big chains can offer. Saying: “We want to help the smaller properties win. Our member hotels want to differentiate themselves from the big brands and deliver personal service. I have only been staying in these hotels for the past four months since I joined and I am amazed by what they deliver. We need to help them compete against the ‘big guys’ as a global sales force of independent hotels.”

ALHI's portfolio is comprised of primarily independent luxury hotels and resorts and emerging luxury brands, offering four and five-star service for meetings and events.

Sergot, who was previously with Fairmont Hotels, added: “The challenge with the big brands is that there is a belief that there will be a surge in value commensurate with scale but will it really happen? For example, St Regis Monarch Beach stepped down from St Regis and is now with ALHI. The question is: can big chains offer the same personal approach with 4000 hotels as we can? I think there is too much of a focus on lead generation without the thoughtfulness that ensures customer satisfaction.”

ALHI is dedicated to the meetings and incentive travel marketplace, selling more than 250 luxury level hotels and resorts, plus an alliance of cruise ships and DMC in destinations worldwide. The London office is the first step outside North America, to be followed shortly by a footprint in France, Germany, Spain, India and China.


  • Anonymous user 17/07/2017

    The chaps were gracious and spoke about ALHI's market position and strategy in the UK market. No slagging off big hotels.

  • Anonymous user 17/07/2017

    The Courthouse Shoreditch Hotel is a gem. Had not made it over before the ALHI event. A super evening of connecting and the weather was gorgeous. Good to see so many friends.

  • Anonymous user 14/07/2017

    Shock horror - ex Fairmont people who got canned by Accor after the merger spend evening slagging off big hotels.

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