Industry connections are a vital part of Glion education. Our students interact with and hear from leaders with considerable experience. Recently, Chris Fradin– Vice-President in Partner Sales at Forbes Travel Guide – spoke to our students about his extensive career and assessing global luxury brands. Our Student Ambassador, Marco, fills us in on Chris’ enlightening talk.

Global industry experience

Chris visited our campus to provide valuable insight. It was an honour to have him talk. Chris has over 20 years of experience in the luxury and hospitality industry. His career started with the Financial Times in London, before Chris decided to pursue hospitality. It was a decision that has proven to be crucial.

Since then, Chris has served as the Director of Marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. He then moved to D&D London, a company that operates within luxury restaurants. He joined Forbes Travel Guide in 2015 and is based in London.

Evaluating luxury brands

In the talk, Chris explained what it is Forbes Travel Guide do and how it correlates with luxury hospitality. He defined Forbes Travel Guide as an independent rating system specifically catered towards luxury hotels, restaurants and spas. It has a partnership with Forbes Media and only focuses on the top tiers within the industry.

He then moved on to explain the emphasis on attention to detail. He described it as “the driving force towards a good experience, and what distinguishes a luxury brand from a normal brand.” Chris reiterated to us that “attention to detail” is what they look for in their evaluations. Meanwhile, the most common opportunities for even better performance that come up during their evaluation are “graciousness, thoughtfulness and a sense of personalised service”.

“Learning from Chris was a great opportunity…We learned that the devil is in the detail.

Review factors

Chris detailed how Forbes Travel Guide operates in a very crowded market place, where consumer decisions can include:

  • Ratings
  • Reviews
  • Prices
  • Socials

Chris then explained some of the major difficulties they’re facing when making a decision for a luxury hotel. He elaborated on the fact that there are too many different review channels out there. But these review websites, such as TripAdvisor, can easily give them an idea of a hotel’s consistency. Chris gave an example of an undisclosed hotel on TripAdvisor with different reviews throughout the span of four days. This clearly highlighted the hotel’s inconsistent performance as well as the challenge of individual consumer perception – which is very subjective.

Defining luxury

Chris described Forbes Travel Guide as the most rigorous rating system within the industry, with “75 per cent of their evaluation based on service.” He also highlighted that other luxury sectors are approaching Forbes Travel Guide to ask for their assistance and evaluation, including jet companies and cruises.

“Learning from Chris was a great opportunity,” said Melina, one of our students who attended the talk. “We learned that the devil is in the detail. We were taught about what Forbes Travel Guide wants to offer their clients.” Chris has definitely given our students a greater understanding on how Forbes Travel Guide operate. Most importantly, he has also helped us realise the true definition of luxury.

Interested in working with luxury brands? Want to find out more about this amazing part of the industry? If so, our Luxury Brand Management specialisation gives you the chance to work alongside some of the world’s biggest companies.

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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