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banyantree.com, increasingly drove online bookings and provided vividinformation about the latest offerings of Banyan Tree’s fast growing portfolio.The management of marketing activities was centralized at the Singaporeheadquarters for consistency in brand building. BTHR appointed a few key whole-salers in each targeted market and worked closely with them to promote sales.Rather than selling through wholesale and retail agents that catered to the generalmarket, BTHR chose to work only with agents specializing in exclusive luxury holi-days targeted at wealthy customers. Global exposure was also achieved throughBanyan Tree’s membership in the Small Luxury Hotels and Leading Hotels of theWorld. Targeting high-end consumers, they represent various independent exclusivehotels and have sales offices in major cities around the world.The end of 2007 marked a new stage of Banyan Tree’s global expansion,with the launch of its own GDS code “BY.” GDS is a global distribution systemused by travel providers to process airline, hotel,and car rental reservations across 640,000 termi-nals of travel agents and other distribution part-ners around the world. Prior to BY, Banyan Treewas represented by its marketing partners,Leading Hotels of the World (LW) and SmallLuxury Hotels (LX). Now, Banyan Tree had itsunique identity on the GDS, further strengtheningits brand presence and customer ownership.Banyan Tree now has enough critical mass to en-sure the economic feasibility of a GDS private la-bel. The acquisition of its own GDS code meantthat Banyan Tree was transitioning from a rela-tively small regional player to a global brand inthe eyes of the travel industry.Brand ValuesBanyan Tree embraced certain values, such as ac-tively caring for the natural and human environmentand revitalizing local communities, which in turnEXHIBIT 5:Banyan Tree LogoEXHIBIT 6:Advertisement Showcasing “Spa of the Year” Award fromConde Nast Traveller
458Case 4 • Banyan Tree Hotels & Resortscreated pride and respect among staff. The company hoped to build the brand on val-ues that employees and customers could identify with and support as part of their ownlife values. A dedicated corporate social responsibility committee, headed by Changand featuring general managers and valued associates from each resort, was formed tofocus on these issues simultaneously with both a regional overview and local perspec-tives. Thus, the company worked actively to preserve, protect, and promote the naturaland human environments in which Banyan Tree resorts were located.Preserving the EnvironmentResorts were built using local materials as much as possible and at the same timeminimizing the impact on the environment. At Banyan Tree Bintan, for example, the70 villas located in a rainforest were constructed around existing trees, cutting down asfew trees as possible, to minimize the impact the resort had on the natural environ-ment. The villas were built on stilts and platforms to avoid cutting trees and possiblesoil erosion. At Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru and Banyan Tree Seychelles, fresh