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How Banyan Tree used strategic campaigns to keep its brand top of mind despite the pandemic

How Banyan Tree used strategic campaigns to keep its brand top of mind despite the pandemic

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Providing profoundly unforgettable hotel stays while catering to the most discerning and tasteful luxury travellers is no mean feat, yet, Banyan Tree continues to do so seamlessly throughout the years. 

The Singaporean brand, that was birthed in 1994, was inspired by the sacred concept of a banyan tree which is often the centre of many Asian villages. Utilising this essence, emerged a conviction amongst its founders to build a sanctuary in which many could seek shelter and do so comfortably.

Don't miss: Banyan Tree: Bringing back magic to the 'rudely interrupted' hospitality industry

In 2020, the hospitality industry faced one of its biggest challenges when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. Sparked by see-sawing surges of Covid-19 infections over a period of two years, various businesses were forced into closure and travel ceased, shuttering hotels and grounding airlines globally. 

To better understand how the iconic group managed to stay afloat through the global pandemic, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke to Banyan Tree Group’s (BTG) head of brand communications, Adhiyanto Goen, to find out more. 

Goen noted that he noticed a significant change in the travel landscape as the world found its footing after the pandemic. Undoubtedly, needs and preferences evolved which caused BTG to have to adapt its marketing strategies to align with those changing demands. He said:

We shifted our focus to promoting more secluded and nature-centric destinations, as travellers are now seeking open spaces and immersive experiences.

Bucolic destinations aside, BTG has also made alterations to how it actualised its marketing efforts. One such alteration is the focus on holistic development and care for its guests.

The launch of Beyond

“As we navigated the pandemic, we recognised the importance of going above traditional hospitality offerings and supporting our guests’ overall well-being. That’s how Beyond was born,” he said. A digital well-being companion, Beyond is a feature designed to provide support for guests’ well-being journey, with access to holistic interactive activities and guided journeys that cater to their needs.

“During the pandemic, when physical travel was restricted, we integrated virtual experiences and digital content through Beyond. Guests were able to engage in activities, access mindful practices, and embark on transformative journeys, all from the comfort of their own homes. It became a vital tool for staying connected and nurturing well-being during challenging times,” Goen explained.

Emerging from the pandemic also included a greater adoption of hospitality, from which the ‘Stay for Good’ campaign was born. An integral part of BTG’s commitment to ‘embracing the environment and empowering people’, it launched this campaign to make a positive impact on society and the environment.

This is fed into BTG's ideology that travel should be about more than just a vacation but rather, an opportunity to explore new perspectives and for travellers to gain fresh inspiration and immerse themselves in the culture and heritage of the places they visit. 

With this being their take on the concept of regenerative tourism, Goen explained that BTG's sustainability-related activities have the potential to make a positive impact on communities and the travellers who visit as well as the environment they operate in.

“By engaging our guests in sustainable and community impact initiatives, the campaign reflects our dedication to minimising our ecological footprint, preserving cultural heritage, and supporting local communities. It serves as a platform to inspire responsible tourism and encourage guests to join us in making a difference,” he said. 

Creating a sense of wunderlust

Moving forward, BTG has its sights set on luring more travellers to explore its hotels which aim to restore natural beauty, cultural heritage and immersive experiences. “Our marketing efforts focus on creating a sense of wanderlust and inspiring travellers to explore these destinations. We have also collaborated with local communities and partners to develop joint campaigns that promote destinations holistically,” Goen explained.

Particularly with the many boons of destination marketing that has been flourishing as of late, BTG also aims to align its strategies with destination marketing. “With it, we are hoping to contribute to the growth and development of the communities we operate in while attracting more visitors to these remarkable places,” he concluded.

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