Travel’s best days are ahead, says Four Sea­sons’ founder

Business Traveller (Middle East) - - Upfront -

THE TRAVEL IN­DUS­TRY is “on the thresh­old of what it will be­come,” ac­cord­ing to Four Sea­sons’ founder and chair­man Isadore Sharp.

Speak­ing ex­clu­sively to Busi­ness Trav­eller Mid­dle East at the of­fi­cial open­ing of its Kuwait ho­tel (tried & tested re­view on page 19), Sharp said: “Just do the math – years back the ma­jor in­dus­try was North Amer­ica and Europe, to­day it’s a global in­dus­try. There are 7.6 bil­lion peo­ple on the planet and about 4.5 bil­lion will­ing to travel and they’re all wired with smart­phones.”

Airbnb’s growth may be eat­ing into the hos­pi­tal­ity mar­ket but it does not cause him sleep­less nights.“You can get lo­ca­tion Above: and a nice prod­uct on Airbnb, but you can’t get ser­vice and recog­ni­tion and these are key to the high-end trav­eller,” he said.

While ac­knowl­edg­ing the in­dus­try is con­sol­i­dat­ing, he said there is “more room for us to grow than we will need.” The Mid­dle East, Asia and Africa are likely to drive its fu­ture pipe­line and this month Four Sea­sons opens a new ho­tel in Tunis.

“This ques­tion is of­ten asked – do you lose it when you keep grow­ing? As we’ve got­ten big­ger, we’ve got­ten bet­ter. So the best is yet to come.”

Four Sea­sons’ Pri­vate Jet 2019 itin­er­ar­ies in­clude a new 16-day Latin Es­cape and the re­turn of Time­less En­coun­ters (in­cludes Dubai stop) and In­ter­na­tional In­trigue.

Isadore Sharp, Four Sea­sons’ Founder

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