Business & Finance

Kiwi Collection Welcomes Erik Wachtmeister to Advisory Board

JANUARY 18, 2008. The newest addition to the esteemed Kiwi Collection Advisory Board is Erik Wachtmeister, Chairman and Founder of aSmallWorld.net - the increasingly popular private online community that allows members to network more effectively with like-minded individuals. Wachtmeister joins the ranks of other prominent Kiwi Collection Advisory Board members, including Gamal Aziz (MGM Grand Hospitality), Sonu Shivdasani (Six Senses Group) and Matthew Upchurch (Virtuoso) to name a few. Kiwi Collection, a Web-based luxury travel resource (www.kiwicollection.com), is where discerning travelers go to find the world's best accommodations and insider travel advice.

"The Kiwi Collection welcomes Erik Wachtmeister to our Advisory Board with open arms," said Philippe Kjellgren, President of Kiwi Collection, Inc. and Mary Gostelow, Editor-in-Chief of WOW Travel. "His networking vision has garnered an impressive community of individuals who are keyed in to the best in world travel and who have their finger on the pulse of the next best destinations. We look forward to gaining insight with their membership base - and Erik's own travel expertise."

An invitation-only online community, aSmallWorld.net was created in 2004 by Wachtmeister and his wife Louise in order to establish a forum for wealthy individuals to share trusted opinions and information. Frequently described as "myspace for millionaires," the site offers travel suggestions, feedback, lively forum discussions, listings of events around the world, a personal messaging service, suggestions and user ratings for travel and restaurants, and city-based resources. Prior to establishing aSmallWorld, Wachtmeister founded Viking Internet, a UK-listed investment vehicle and served as the Web site's CEO after holding senior corporate finance positions with Ladenburg, Thalmann in New York and Los Angeles, Rothschild in New York, and Lehman Brothers in London and New York. He received his MBA from INSEAD in 1983, and his BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1977.

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Hotel Sales & Marketing: The Shift to Digital is Leading the Way
Hotel Sales & Marketing departments have been dramatically transformed in recent years. Advances in technology have prompted changes in consumer buying habits, and these professionals have had to adapt to keep up. Like so many other facets in the industry, the shift to digital is leading the way. An established online presence provides marketing professionals with more direct interaction with their guests; the capacity to collect more detailed information about them; and an increased ability to share their brand stories. These endeavors can be accomplished through website usage but increasingly, social media is assuming a larger role in the digital mix. Social media has moved marketing into a new era. Hotels that offer a good product, at a good value, and consistently deliver that product and price, will benefit from thousands of people who view positive comments on travel review sites. Online reviews continue to be a popular way for users to determine which companies they can trust. And though online marketing may have changed how professionals connect with and convert customers, they still need to focus on traditional marketing channels as well - ones that are cost-effective; protect price integrity; and which generate the most bookings. Some of the larger chains are employing efforts that feature both a top down (global) and bottom up (local) approach to ensure that new business is generated from the greatest number of sources. These include the use of loyalty programs, monthly e-mail newsletters, brand identity tools, advertising campaigns tailored to specific regions, regional marketing co-op programs, and business-to-business marketing campaigns. The November Hotel Business Review will examine some of these critical issues and explore what some sales and marketing professionals are doing to address them.