Orient-Express Hotels Ltd will operate its hotel and travel portfolio under the new brand name, Belmond, as of March 10, 2014.
The group and French transportation company SNCF, which owns the Orient-Express trademark, have agreed to terminate the existing Orient-Express license for hotel use, but the long-term license agreement for the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train will be retained.
Orient Express Hotels Ltd president and CEO John M. Scott said the introduction of the new brand would increase the appeal of the group among property owners, as it looks to establish an operating arm to “complement” its existing collection which is owned and managed by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.
“Migrating from a licensed brand to one which we fully own and control will, we believe, deliver an additional benefit to the Company as it will enable us to invest with confidence in our brand,” Scott added.
Chief sales and marketing officer Ralph Aruzza said the group would invest $5m in promotional and marketing activities in the first year, with a further $10m poured into the brand over the following four years.
“This investment will include new website platforms, re-engineered customer relationship management tools, and the company’s first ever large-scale print and online media advertising campaign,” added Aruzza.
Orient Express Hotels Ltd’s portfolio includes 45 hotel, rail and river cruise experiences around the world, including Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons hotel in Oxford.