Subject: Preparing with confidence for the future

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PREPARING WITH CONFIDENCE FOR THE FUTURE
Dear Historic,

Since my last communication in March following the Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony in Vienna HHE has continued to work on a variety of initiatives to help you grow your business. We were then unaware of the enormous impact that the COVID -19 pandemic would have on the tourism and hospitality sectors which reinforces the need for these various initiatives.
There was a very good response from members to the Conference and Awards Event and the follow up survey the results of which may be summarised as follows:

•  Members considered that the Awards were very valuable and the winners gained very positive PR and all are looking forward to winning again at the 2021 event.
•  Members were particularly pleased with the networking opportunities provided at the event.
•  Some members suggested more HHE group ‘marketing’ activity for members
•  All members enjoyed the presentations at the conference and acknowledged that more could be done in the area of environment awareness
•  There were suggestions that the HHE should convey the essence of the member properties to the market (a point made by an Italian member at the conference) particularly as the HHE ‘strap-line’ is A Story to Tell.

The proposed Gift Voucher, Bidroom, Twisper, Green Key and ‘A Story to Tell’ initiatives, referred to below, address points made at the conference and in the survey. In each case Executive Director Claudia Buscher will be in touch with you to work through the details.

1. Historic Hotels of Europe Gift Vouchers

Historic Hotels of Europe has contracted with Enjovia to host a pan-European Gift Voucher programme on its and your behalf. This programme will be available to all members. It is an exciting and cost-effective programme that delivers excellent results for other participating organizations. Putting matters in perspective the top performing participating property, a relatively large hotel, currently generates around €2.65m annually in gift voucher sales, smaller properties with approximately 20 bedrooms regularly generate in excess of €120,000 per annum in gift voucher sales, while in contrast some larger properties with 500 bedrooms generate less than €20,000 annually in Gift Voucher sales. Whilst it is difficult to be more specific on the prospects for individual hotels it is clear from the experience of Enjovia that the level of engagement by the individual hotel has a major impact upon the volume sales of Gift Vouchers generated for it by the programme.

2. Bidroom

Historic Hotels of Europe has entered into a contract with Bidroom, a membership-based community for travellers whose aim is to help hoteliers to take back control and avoid punitive commissions charged by the OTAs (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Agoda etc.). Bidroom is a rapidly growing community of travellers that currently provides direct access to 500,000,000 Visa card holders. This programme will be available to all members who wish to participate. It is another exciting and cost-effective programme that delivers excellent results for other participating organizations.

3. Green Key

Prior to the emergence of COVID – 19 travellers had already become more discerning regarding the impact of travel on the environment.

Historic Hotels of Europe has entered into an agreement with Green Key, to offer membership of Green Key to members of Historic Hotels of Europe as a group. Green Key is a not for profit organisation that assesses and helps hotels and other organizations to achieve their climate change goals. Green Key provides an accreditation service that is recognized world-wide and each member hotel will be invited to engage with Green Key.

As we are all aware the new breed of traveller is very conscious of climate change and historic properties are uniquely suited to green tourism as the properties are generally long-established and are effectively recycled. Green Key will provide the accreditation and they together with Historic Hotels of Europe and each individual hotel will spread the message that as members we are strong supporters of the climate change movement. This will help to present a key a differentiator in a very busy and crowded marketplace.

4. Twisper

Historic Hotels of Europe has agreed to partner with Twisper, a social travel network for positive recommendations only for hotels, restaurants and bars around the world. It is a community platform whose sole aim is to share only positive recommendations and to eliminate fake reviews. Twisper is in a rapid growth phase that currently gives participants exposure to approximately 750,000 users. This exciting new travel platform has plans and ambitions to reach 15,000,000 users within two years.

5. Wedding Website

The majority of Historic Hotels of Europe members offer Wedding Facilities. As this is clearly an important business segment for members it has been decided to create a dedicated wedding website to present members properties to prospective couples and wedding agencies.

6. Database Travel and MICE Operators

Historic Hotels of Europe is continuously increasing its database of International Travel and MICE Operators. The aim is to introduce your property and put you in direct contact with the agencies. You will receive quarterly reports with information on travel and MICE operators contacted. The first report will be issued to you at the beginning of October.

7. Travel Magazine

The next edition of the Historic Hotels of Europe Travel Magazine will be issued in September. This digital magazine will be published twice a year and will include a collection of the most interesting blog articles, news from the HHE, competitions and other items of interest to travellers.

8. Renewal of Membership

Because of the impact of COVID -19 on the members no renewal notices or invoices have yet been issued for 2020/21. Invoicing will commence in September and will provide for a special discount for all members. This decision was taken to support all members at this very difficult time.

9. ‘A Story to Tell’

This is the strap line of Historic Hotels of Europe and the story should be told. Regarding telling the stories, it is planned to feature the ‘Stories’ of each property in future newsletters. ‘Stories’ will be short and cover the history of the property, its unique features, famous guests, famous previous owners and interesting events that occurred at or near the property. As each member property is more than 100 years old it is anticipated that more than one story will be told about each property. As the title of the organization is Historic Hotels of Europe we need to be more proactive in telling the travelling public ‘our stories’ in a clever way that is picked up by social media.

While there are some ‘stories ready to be told’ members are invited to suggest their own stories for publication.

10. HHE Branding and Network

A condition of membership of Historic Hotels of Europe is that each member displays the Historic Hotels of Europe plaque at the entrance to their hotel and includes the logo on their website and a link to the Historic Hotels of Europe website. Some members have yet to include the logo on their website. The HHE logo is a way to distinguish your hotel to future guests and at the same time the logo represents the network of the HHE. We want guests to travel within the HHE network and in this way to drive busines to you. I therefore appeal to you to embrace your membership and be proud to display the HHE logo.

11. LUX Life

We are delighted to announce that Historic Hotels of Europe has been nominated by LUX Life for their ‘Resort and Retreat Awards 2020. For your information the link is:
https://www.lux-review.com/lux_awards/resorts-and-retreats-awards/


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuing support and look forward to working with you in the years ahead.

With best wishes for the balance of 2020 and for 2021.

Yours sincerely

Kenneth Healy
Chairman


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HISTORIC HOTELS OF EUROPE ®

"An exclusive collection of unique independent Hotels, Castles, Palaces, Country Houses and other properties of historic importance in Europe."

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