An artist's impression of Fila House Shanghai

With Australia’s borders open once again, many hotel groups are investing in soft and boutique brands to win business from both domestic and international travellers. Hyatt Hotels Senior Vice President of Development and Owner Relations, Asia Pacific, Leo Yen, shares an insight into the power of soft brands in the business.

For Hyatt, soft brands will continue to be an integral part of our ongoing focus on lifestyle and luxury, alongside our established lifestyle brands like the recently opened Hyatt Centric Caribbean Park in Melbourne, as well as our growing roster of Alila and Andaz properties around the region.

These are attractive to owners as they enable them to go beyond the traditional parameters of a hotel, helping to achieve a higher level of premium through innovative design and lifestyle programming, while also integrating more deeply into the local community.

Hyatt’s global reputation and our focus on luxury have enabled us to build and develop a strong portfolio of soft brands like The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Destination by Hyatt and JdV by Hyatt, which together have continued to grow across Asia over the past few years. Their value to independent hotels has really become apparent during the pandemic, benefiting from endorsement from a strong international brand as well as strong distribution and loyalty support.

Our philosophy is to respect the authenticity of independent brands and focus on helping them access additional sources of customers to grow their business. For example, the highly anticipated Fuji Speedway Hotel, opening next year as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, blends the passion of motorsport with the luxury hotel experience at Japan’s iconic racing circuit. Meanwhile the recently announced Fila House Shanghai, a JdV by Hyatt hotel, draws on the 110-year history of the Italian sports brand to offer a whole new guest experience.  

While these distinctive hotels could certainly succeed on their own, they see the added benefit of gaining strong back-end support as part of our portfolios, as well as tapping new customers. The power of the World of Hyatt program encourages our loyal members to broaden their horizons by exploring new properties, incentivised by promotions and reassured by Hyatt’s endorsement and quality of management.

This article was published in the April 2022 issue of HM Magazine. Read more here.