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