November 1, 2012
Hotel chain Ritz-Carlton is enthralling its customers with warm-weather holiday retreats for families through an email that directs recipients to its Web site to explore and book trips.
The email highlights the idea of “Holiday Retreats for the Entire Family” and features a picture of a Christmas tree ornament sitting on the beach. The subject and body of the email entice families to take a vacation to make memories that will last a lifetime.
“It is the perfect time of year for a brand to push its family messaging,” said Taylor Rains, account coordinator at Rawle Murdy Associates, Charleston, SC. “In many instances, the holidays are the only time of the year that these families are able to gather together.
“By pushing a family message, Ritz-Carlton is leveraging the holiday experience and providing families with a second opportunity to come together at one of the brand’s properties,” Mr. Rains said.
Mr. Rains is not affiliated with Ritz-Carlton, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Ritz-Carlton was not available for comment before press deadline.
All in the family
Ritz-Carlton’s holiday getaway campaign has a strong push towards the family, which may be a key area of focus for the brand.
When recipients click on the email, it redirects them to a page on the hotel chain's Web site. The page shows exotic images and the phrase, "Travel far but keep the family close."
Ritz-Carlton Web site
"It is a challenge today to find a vacation destination that fits the whole family," said Tiffany Dowd, luxury hotel inspector and president at Luxe Social Media, Boston. “Families are now living farther apart, so the trend for multi-generational travel to unite the family has become more popular."
But Ritz-Carlton makes sure not to forget its other customers in the process.
“At the same time, the email includes some of the brand’s trademark offerings as a secondary component, ensuring that it is not alienating any of its loyal customers,” Rawle Murdy's Mr. Rains said.
The holiday getaways from Ritz-Carlton are to destinations such as Palm Beach, Orlando, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, Key Biscayne, Amelia Island and Naples.
Each location features different activities for every member of the family such as snorkeling lessons, fly-fishing excursions, golf outings and sailing.
Travel brands that are marketing family-oriented packages and specific destinations such as Cuba, Cambodia and Belize may be catching the eyes of the most affluent travelers, according to the 2012 Virtuoso Luxe Report.
Luxury travel network Virtuoso found that family and multi-generational travel topped the list of the biggest travel trends emerging for 2012, while the top reason for traveling was for an authentic experience in a new destination (see story).
Furthermore, other luxury hotel brands are marketing to families as well.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ Georgetown property in Washington is targeting affluent families with a hotel package that incorporates its partnership with the local Smithsonian museums and galleries and is giving a portion of the proceeds to the institution’s educational mission.
The Smithsonian Experience package caters to families visiting the U.S. capital by encouraging visits to the nearby museums along with on-property benefits (see story).
“There has been a really interesting shift toward family messaging among luxury brands in recent years," Mr. Rains said. "It will be interesting to see if this arose out of the economic situation or if it is indicative of a permanent change."
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York