Hilton boosts luxury offering in Malaysia with Canopy brand

Hilton Malaysia has plans to expand its luxury offerings, with the opening of Canopy by Hilton scheduled for 2021. This move signifies its commitment to develop a "solid network" of hotels in Malaysia that is able to serve guests from all walks of life.

The scheduled launch of Canopy comes after Hilton recently debuted Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

In a statement to A+M, Jamie Mead, regional GM, Hilton Malaysia said the promotion of the Canopy brand will focus on its vision to redefine the luxury category with the introduction of an accessible lifestyle brand.

Canopy's brand DNA revolves around being local through design, food and beverage, art and local know-how. As such, its marketing plans will focus on four essential elements that define a Canopy hotel - great neighbourhoods, comfort and design, more included value and a "positively yours" service culture.

To drive brand awareness of the Canopy brand, its marketing strategies will revolve around PR, digital marketing, social media amplification, paid media campaigns, opening activations, as well as partnerships and promotions.

He added that opening activations will be supported in conjunction with the property to create large-impact events targeting local awareness, as well as media coverage tied to the opening of landmark properties. Also, the guest promotions will also be driven by global media campaigns and CRM efforts, while Canopy's strategic partnership team will collaborate with financial, airline and lifestyle brands to grow awareness, drive revenue and offer brand appropriate experiences.

Mead said Hilton's national marketing department, which currently comprises 10 team members and is expected to grow, will be responsible for spearheading Canopy's marketing strategies. Led by Eugene Oelofse, national marketing director and communications director, the department will track and deliver commercial targets and budgets with inter and intra-department collaborations, such as sales and business developments.

The team, which is made up of digital and social media specialists, graphic designers and experienced F&B professionals, will also work closely with regional marketing teams on Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia programmes or promotions, as well as the local activation of global brands.

It also oversees the development of cluster marketing and communication strategies to meet national objectives for all Hilton brand hotels, including Hilton Hotel & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn in Malaysia.

According to Mead, there is no better time to boost Hilton's luxury offerings than now, especially with Malaysia targeting 33.1 million visitors in 2018, up from 25.9 million in 2017. According to Mead, the rising urbanisation across Southeast Asia, as well as the growing number of middle-class Asians who are keen to travel, has led to an emerging hospitality market in the region.

As such, he described the opportunities presented to Hilton as "abundant", adding that there is huge potential for the growth of its properties in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. "Our focus is to fill gaps with the right brand, in the right location, at the right time," Mead said.

He added that Hilton will be launching more properties in Kuala Lumpur, Puchong, Johor Bahru and Shah Alam.

Hilton currently operates 220 hotels across 21 countries in Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Its rewards programme, Hilton Honors, added nearly three million new members in Asia Pacific last year, bringing the total to eight million in the region. Hilton Honors members contribute 40% occupancy in Asia Pacific.