菲利普•布吉尼翁曾任地中海俱乐部（Club Med）首席执行官，现任Exclusive Resorts CEO。据他介绍，高端旅游市场正在回暖。人们仍然希望体验奢华旅游但又不愿支付高额的费用，他的公司之所以新开Portico俱乐部，就是看准了这个商机。他在接受《财富》(Fortune)记者的采访时就当前经济环境下的旅游业及游客需求的变化发表了自己的看法。
Luxury travel is going downstream. Exclusive Resorts, a high-end travel company owned by Steve Case, is launching Portico, a new private club that lets members access luxury vacation properties at more moderate prices than they otherwise could.
With Exclusive Resorts' existing service, members pay a one-time membership fee of $170,000, and another $1,045 per day for their travel. Portico, which officially launched to the public today, has a similar concept but it has no set rate per day. Portico members pay an initiation fee of $10,000, plus an annual fee of $2,500. In exchange, they have access to below-market prices for vacation homes around the globe, from Nantucket to Bora Bora. Most properties cost between $500 to $3,000 a night and come with a personalized service like you might find at a five-star hotel.
The luxury travel industry has struggled along with the rest of the U.S. economy during recent years. The average daily room rate at luxury hotels rose to $252.15 in the first eight months of 2011, according to the hospitality research firm STR Global. That's up from $237.06 during the same period in 2010, but down from $285.47 in 2008.
Philippe Bourguignon, CEO of Exclusive Resorts and the former CEO of Club Med, says high-end travel is picking up again. The company launched Portico with the idea that people still want to have a luxurious vacation, but they want to pay less for it. He spoke to Fortune about the travel industry in today's economy and the changing needs of vacationers.
How was the idea for this club created?
When I joined the company six months ago, I obviously assessed everything. I looked to see how after this period of 2008 to 2010 we could grow as a company. The idea for Portico was already there, so I decided the idea was a very good one and the time to launch it was now.
What was it about this concept that you liked?
This is not about growing an existing market -- this is creating a new market. Today, if you want to go on a luxury vacation, you have basically two choices. You can go to a hotel and you know what you will get. Most hotel brands have a wide selection of destinations, but they basically all offer the same service. Your other choice is renting a vacation home, where you obviously have more space for yourself and your family, but you don't have the service that you would find at a hotel. You might have a housekeeper, you might not. It's not predictable and consistent. We strongly believe there is a market in the middle where so many people want to have that consistent and more predictable experience with better service. Portico gives you hotel experience in a big nice luxury villa.