Skift Take

Kerzner is expanding, but refuses to lose sight of its relentless pursuit of ultra-luxury standards.

The CEO of Kerzner International said the brand will never introduce a loyalty program. The reason? “Luxury can not be traded for points.”

CEO Philippe Zuber was speaking Thursday at the Skift Global Forum East conference in Dubai and said Kerzner will always focus on its boutique feel, leisure stays, and never shift its attention to mass corporate bookings.

Kerzner operates the Atlantis integrated resorts as well as the ultra-luxurious One&Only brands.

“We only do luxury, that’s our space,” Zuber said. “We are purely leisure. We are not bothered by corporate business or deals. We do not have a loyalty program, we never will. Luxury can not be traded for points. If you want our suite, you pay for it. You shouldn’t be burning points to get that suite.”

“You can’t trade emotion for points,” he added.

The strategy bucks the industry trend of executives touting loyalty member numbers in the hundreds of millions. Even “cool brand” Ennismore has a form of “loyalty” with a subscription model called Dis-Loyalty.

Slow Growth to Maintain Quality

As part of this commitment to staying super luxe, Zuber said he has capped growth to 35 One&Onlys around the world. “Because you cannot compromise the attention of my team,” he said. Right now, the brand has around 15 resorts around the world, still giving it breathing room to double in size.

Earlier in December, Kerzner said it could sign up to 15 more hotels in the coming three years.

The Bahamas-born hotel group was created in 1993 and has focused on slow and steady growth over three decades with One&Only resorts around the world, two Atlantis mega-resorts and a single “Rare Finds” property in the Dubai desert.

Rare Finds was introduced last year as Kerzner’s conversion brand.

“Rare Finds has the mission to unlock destinations,” said Zuber. “If people want to come to Dubai, we want them to ‘need’ to go to our Rare Finds resort Bab Al Shams.”

Earlier at the Skift Global Forum East conference, Atlantis global president Tim Kelly said the mega-resort brand is looking to set up a presence on each continent.

“The form of Atlantis is wanted over many regions now,” Kelly said. “It’s big, it’s big for countries, it’s big for governments. There are a lot of jobs and dollars it brings to a place. For us, our objective is to export Atlantis to every continent.”

“With Atlantis, the scale of projects are so large, that the group is talking directly to countries’ governments about expansion rather than investors. Atlantis The Royal in Dubai cost close to $2 billion to build.”

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Tags: hospitality news, hotel news, kerzner, sgfe2023

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