Eric Horodas, Greystone; Stan Jones, AAA;
Efrem Harkham, Luxe Worldwide Hotels
at the Luxe Hotel Sunset
To be successful in any business, you have to know your consumer. President and CEO of Luxe Worldwide Hotels, Efrem Harkham, embodies that remark — literally. A hotel owner for more than 25 years, Harkham created a hotel marketing and representation company to fill a particular niche.
“Mr. Harkham created his own brand out of frustration because no management company that he brought in met his needs as an hotelier,” said Roselyn M. Cosentino, chief marketing officer for the brand. “He is able to utilize his expertise as a hotel owner to fix problems for other hotel owners and make them an enormous amount of money at the same time.”
Ellen and Stuart Markus,
New Act Travel;
Roselyn M. Cosentino,
Luxe Worldwide Hotels
at an agent reception
Hoteliers have the reassurance that they can pick up the phone and speak to Harkham directly about property-specific problems thanks to the CEO’s open-door policy. Additionally, Luxe Worldwide Hotels provides personalized sales, reservations and marketing assistance, as well as revenue management direction to more than 200 properties in three categories.
The most basic of the categories, the Signature Collection, is comprised of resorts, hotels and inns that offer an excellent value, while the Elite Collection primarily features independent hotels set in popular international destinations near preferred attractions. World-renowned hotels and resorts are found in the Legends Collection, such as Arizona’s Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Ireland’s Waterford Castle and The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe in California.
It’s no secret that one of the major ways Luxe generates revenue and creates recognition for its hotels is by maintaining a commitment to the travel agent community. Luxe’s sales team, sometimes joined by Harkham, is out in full force throughout the year, calling on travel agencies to ensure they have the tools and information needed to book Luxe hotels and offer the best value to their clients.
“For the past several years, Luxe Worldwide Hotel members have focused their booking and revenue success on the travel agent community because that has proven to be the most profitable revenue stream for the company and ranks highest of all third party revenue channels,” said Harkam.
The company also hosts a number of agent receptions across the globe to bring an international roster of Luxe member hotel representatives face-to-face with agents and travel agencies. One of the most popular agent receptions takes place every August at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas (Palms Place Hotel Condo Spa is part of The Luxe Legends Collection), just prior to the Virtuoso TravelMart in Las Vegas.
“Truly, I’ve never seen someone care about agents more than Mr. Harkham,” said vice president of communications, Barbara Shore, who was the executive director of SoCal ASTA for 33 years.
LuxeHotels.com, the company’s recently revamped Web site, features a special travel agent page (LuxeHotels.com/Agents) where agents can register to become part of the Luxe Travel Agent Network. Registered agents receive information about higher commission promotions, hotel openings and the latest news.
“Agents can also book via our Web site and plug in their IATA number, so they can be sure to get their commission on the booking, and it enables them to make a booking 24/7. We also offer travel-agent-only sweepstakes and gift certificate promotions, so it really pays for a travel agent to be registered as part of our Luxe Travel Agent Network,” said Harkham.
And it’s quite likely that agents in the West will hear more from Luxe in the coming year. At present, the representation company is looking to jointly promote its hotels in the Western U.S., targeting business, leisure and group travel.
“We will be doing a variety of activities including sales calls, online marketing, public relations, etc. to create a greater awareness for the hotels and help them get an even bigger market share,” said Harkham.