Encouraging upgrades: The celebrity status technique

While the world is still recovering from Branjelina’s unexpected split, it seems that Brad has found a project to occupy his time with. It was recently announced that the Hollywood celebrity is planning to build a resort in the small Croatian town of Zablace.

Said to include a luxury hotel, a golf course, villas, shops and a restaurant, and costing circa $1.5 billion (not sure of the exact price, but it will cost a lot) with enough space for 2,500 guests, the eco-friendly resort is already on our bucket-list – and it hasn’t even been built yet!

Yet, the most impressive thing of all is that it will be designed and built by Brad Pitt (or so to speak), which got us thinking; how many other spendthrifters are willing to break the bank to spend the night at Brad’s, and should travel agents use celebrity status to their advantage?

Alas, there’s no way of finding out until it’s built, but Brad isn’t the only celeb-hotelier out there. In fact, a-list celebs opening hotels and resorts has become quite the trend, and using celebrity status to encourage upgrades is a marketing technique that all agents should have under their belts!

Marley Resort and Spa

Marley Resort and Spa is located on Cable Beach in the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau. Owned by Bob and Rita Marley (aka the king of reggae and his widow), the beachfront boutique was used as a family retreat for many years.

Back in 2014, Rita planned to renovate what she called her “home away from home” but reconsidered, deciding that holidaymakers should enjoy the resort in the same way she and her family did.

The intimate resort boasts bohemian interior design, a natural mystic spa, ocean-view dining in a gourmet Caribbean restaurant and an open-air cocktail bar on a white-sand beach. Coupled with its abundant history and musical vibes, there’s no better holiday destination for the millions of reggae and Bob Marley fans across the globe.

Bob Marley sold more than 75 million albums in the last two decades, which means there are at least 75 million Marley junkies who would jump at the chance to visit the resort. Use the celebrity status technique to attract his huge following and generate new customers.

Cromlix Hotel

Olympic and Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray joined the hotel sphere back in 2013 when he purchased a Victorian mansion in Perthshire, just 3 miles away from his hometown of Dunblane.

Built in 1880, the mansion was once owned by the lairds of Cromlix and was even visited by King Edward VII in 1908. Murray has done a great job at preserving its rich history throughout refurbishment. Decorated with Scottish antiques and wood panelling, it is said that the cottage-themed hotel still retains the same rustic design and feel as it used to.

Captivating both Scottish history enthusiasts and fans of the tennis legend himself, the 5-star countryside hotel is a perfect getaway to relax and learn – which are great selling points for travel agents and tour operators who offer trips to the area. To top it off, a full Scottish breakfast is included in the price of booking!

Armani Hotels

Giorgio Armani is an acclaimed Italian fashion designer and one of the most popular names in couture. Best known for elegant and tailored menswear, Armani’s hotelier status is often overlooked.

But the fashion guru actually owns two swanky, marble-floored hotels. Fit for a king, the modern Armani Dubai occupies 11 floors of the iconic Burj Khalifa. Guests can enjoy fine-dining at one of the hotels award-winning restaurants, luxurious spa experiences and shopping trips at neighbouring high-end retailers.

Armani Milano is equally as impressive.  Situated in the fashion capital of the world and just a short walk from Milan Cathedral, the sleek hotel is the perfect travel destination for international fashion fanatics.

Other celeb-hoteliers include Robert De Niro, Leo DiCaprio, Christiano Ronaldo and Olivia Newton-John, to name a few. Each of their hotels offer unique amenities, views and experiences but travel agents must recognise that their celebrity status is a truly unique selling point and grab the opportunity to upsell deals and packages to super fans.

Conducting surveys and speaking to customers is the best way to find out what they are interested in and match them up with the perfect holiday. Likewise, knowing all about the packages you offer and the history of each destination will help you to pair deals with individual customers, creating more targeted marketing, enhancing experiences with your agency and increasing the chances of repeat customers.

How else can travel agents encourage upgrades using the celebrity status technique? Tweet us now @BillianIT or join the conversation using the hashtag #tech4travel.