Venetian plans to tap international market

Feb 12, 2002 5:50 AM

In light of the post-September 11th downturn in European and Asian travel, The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino has formed an international, strategic marketing alliance with London-based Le Meridien, a global hotel group with a portfolio of more than 144 luxury and upscale hotels in 57 countries worldwide.

The alliance with Le Meridien provides The Venetian with the ability to tap into a network of 1,000 international sales people and the brand’s loyal international clientele. It is a part of The Venetian’s on-going strategy to revitalize the European and Asian tourism business in Las Vegas post September 11th.

For Le Meridien customers who have long felt the void for a resort/casino in Las Vegas, this partnership promises access to a world-class, luxury venue synonymous with the quality to which they are accustomed. Some of the company’s landmark properties include Le Meridien Grosvernor House in London, the Ritz in Madrid, the Eden in Rome, Le Meridien Grand Pacific in Tokyo and Le Royal Meridien, Bangkok. Le Meridien’s strategic alliance with JAL-owned Nikko Hotels adds an additional upscale clientele to the relationship.

“This international alliance will help Las Vegas to recapture the worldwide travel market that has been impacted by the September 11th terrorist attacks,” said Rob Goldstein, president of The Venetian. “We look forward to bringing European and Asian travelers to Las Vegas during low demand American traveler time periods. With a demographic profile very similar to ours, we are especially delighted to have formed this partnership with a company as highly regarded as Le Meridien.”

For its part Le Meridien is the biggest originating market for tourists in Europe, and it hopes “cross-selling” will be an incentive for thousands of travel agents.

“The Internet may be the wave of the future, but I’m betting now on the travel agents of the world,” said Juergen Bartels, chief executive officer of London-based Le Meridien. “In the first month, they generated 1.7 million pounds in essentially found money.”

Bartels said he hopes tapping the Las Vegas market will help Le Meridien reach its goal of being the Number 1 operator by the year 2004.

“On behalf of our customers, we have been charged with finding the right strategic partner in Las Vegas,” Bartels said. “This alliance is the ideal fit for our clientele and will bring The Venetian international marketing strength to drive business into the resort and into the city of Las Vegas.”

The Venetian offers guests 3,036 hotel suites (each standard suite measures approximately 700 square feet), 120,000 square feet of gaming floor, 500,000 square feet of retail space at The Grand Canal Shoppes, the luxurious 65,000 square-foot Canyon Ranch SpaClub, 500,000 square feet of meeting space at The Venetian Congress Center and a direct link to the 1.2 million square foot Sands Expo and Convention Center.

In October 2001, The Venetian also became home to two world-class museums: the 63,700 square-foot Guggenheim Las Vegas featuring “The Art of the Motorcycle” installation and the 7,760 square-foot Guggenheim Hermitage Museum featuring Masterpieces and Master Collectors.

Le Meridien is a global hotel group with a portfolio of 144 luxury and upscale hotels (38,631 rooms) in 57 countries. The majority of its properties are located in the world’s top cities and resorts throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East.

The company also enjoys a strategic alliance with JAL-owned Nikko Hotels, providing guests access to an additional 40 properties around the world. Headquartered in London, Le Meridien was purchased by Nomura International plc’s Principal Finance Group in July 2001 and merged with Principal Hotels, acquired by Nomura in February 2001. The entire deal was reportedly worth $4.01 billion.