News | 28th January 2020

Luxury Branding Joins The Journey

Today marks a significant milestone in the continued growth of Journey Hospitality

Today marks a significant milestone in the continued growth of Journey Hospitality, the world’s leading advisory, marketing and technology company dedicated to serving leading brands in the hospitality and global travel sectors.

Journey Hospitality is pleased to announce the acquisition of Luxury Branding, the renowned boutique consultancy founded by Piers Schmidt, one of the world’s leading hospitality consultants. Since 2002, Luxury Branding has developed a series of inspirational and effective brands for luxury hospitality, travel and lifestyle companies.

Recognising the firm’s stellar reputation in the service and experience sectors of the luxury industry, Luxury Branding will continue to operate as a separate business division and brand within Journey Hospitality. Following the deal, Luxury Branding’s full team remains with the business, and it will also maintain its offices in London and Cape Town.

Additionally, Piers Schmidt will lead a new Consultancy division for Journey Hospitality while partnering with Simon Bullingham, the Group’s Founder and CEO, to deepen its influence and activity in the hospitality industry and beyond. Commenting on the acquisition, Simon Bullingham said “Combining the unrivalled client portfolio of Luxury Branding and Piers’ unmatched industry knowledge with the intelligent marketing and digital solutions of our Agency and Technology divisions is an enormous boost to our ambitious growth strategy. This alliance will transform how we enable leading brands in the hospitality and global travel sectors not only to define and express their distinctive identities but how they engage profitably with their existing and future guests. Journey Hospitality now offers a fully integrated solution from strategy to execution.”

“We are thrilled to be joining Journey Hospitality and to take Luxury Branding to the next level under this exciting new umbrella,” said Piers Schmidt. “Having partnered successfully with Journey on several joint client projects, we have come to appreciate the unique capabilities that have been developed by Simon and his colleagues, and we believe that no other group can imagine and deliver the suite of disciplines and resources now offered by Journey Hospitality.”

Having purchased and integrated VIP Worldwide, the leading luxury hospitality video and VR360 production agency in July 2019, Luxury Branding is the second acquisition made by Journey Hospitality in recent months. The latest investment consolidates the company’s considered acquisition strategy, which includes global expansion and its commitment to integration across all travel marketing channels.

Journey Hospitality

Journey Hospitality is the world’s leading advisory, marketing and technology company dedicated exclusively to serving leading brands in luxury hospitality and global travel. Through its Consultancy, Agency and Technology divisions, the single-minded focus of Journey Hospitality is to design and deliver high-value customer journeys; to create transformational experiences that advance the growth of its clients.

Expert and experienced, innovative and collaborative, the member companies of Journey Hospitality combine creative strategy with leading-edge technology to offer a unique suite of end to end solutions. Employing more than 90 hotel experts in six offices and operating on four continents, Journey Hospitality serves more than 500 hotels located in 22 countries. Leading clients include Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Soneva, Claridge’s, Sandy Lane, Chewton Glen, Jumeirah, Four Seasons, L’Oscar and Oberoi Hotels & Resorts.

Simon Bullingham

Simon Bullingham is a hospitality entrepreneur partnering with some of the most iconic luxury hospitality brands in the world. As the founder and CEO of Journey Hospitality, the world’s leading advisory, marketing and technology company dedicated exclusively to serving leading brands in luxury hospitality and global travel, Simon is the Group’s visionary leader. He has been instrumental in disrupting the hospitality industry through pioneering service, product and technological developments to design and deliver high-value customer journeys. Simon is passionate about helping luxury hospitality brands to grow and is continually searching for ways to improve, manage, and maximise the potential of technology within the industry.


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Luxury Branding

Luxury Branding is a team of 10 permanent consultants, creatives and senior associates. Headquartered in London with a design studio in Cape Town, the firm has defined and helped to operationalise mould-breaking brand strategies for some of the world’s most distinctive hospitality companies. Notable clients include Kerzner International, One & Only Resorts, Dorchester Collection, Armani Hotels & Resorts, LUX* Resorts & Hotels, Paramount Hotels & Resorts, Belmond, Dream Hotel Group, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, Mike Adenuga Group and Taj Hotels Resorts Palaces and Safaris.Recent and current relationships include AB Hotels, for whom Luxury Branding developed the innovative Cottonmill private members’ spa concept launched in September 2019 at Sopwell House (UK); Constance Hotels & Resorts (Mauritius), for whom it created C Resorts; Annassurra (Denmark), a new ultra-luxury hospitality brand from the founders of jewellery manufacturer and retailer Pandora; Lionstone Development (USA) with whom it is working on a major new luxury resort development in Italy; and Villa Hotels & Resorts (Maldives), for whom it is currently masterminding an inside out brand-led transformation.

Piers Schmidt

Piers Schmidt is a renowned luxury brand expert whom Management Today described as “one of the consultancy world’s thinkers.” A graduate of Cambridge University, Piers began his career at Charles Barker before joining Interbrand Newell and Sorrell where he led major branding programs for British Airways, Barclays and Selfridges. In 1998, he co-founded The Fourth Room, the UK’s first pure-play brand consulting firm, which attracted clients including Coca-Cola, Citigroup, Barclays and Quintessentially who introduced him to Sol and Butch Kerzner. Having sold The Fourth Room to NASDAQ-quoted US Interactive in 2002, Piers formed Luxury Branding, which led the successful conceptualisation and roll-out of One & Only Resorts. Since then, Piers has consolidated his focus on developing pioneering luxury brands in the hospitality and travel industry. Piers is a respected commentator in leading media, a regular presence at global conferences and is a visiting professor at the prestigious Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL).


For more information

For more information and to arrange interviews or further comment please contact:
Kirsty Beasley, Group Marketing Director
Mobile: 07530 852171