Exploring Africa’s Diverse Charms: Insights on Travel, Sustainability, and Future Trends! TSHS-0075

Exploring Africa’s Diverse Charms: Insights on Travel, Sustainability, and Future Trends!

In a comprehensive dialogue,  Pirkka Tapiola, Ambassador of Finland to Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea, Seychelles, and Uganda,  delves into the interplay between Africa and Europe, framing it as a pivotal element in the travel experiences of European tourists. Throughout the discussion, he underscores Africa’s multifaceted nature, debunking the notion of it being a homogeneous entity. Notably, he explores the vibrant tapestry of African culture, emphasizing its richness and diversity. From the culinary delights of East Africa to the burgeoning fashion and arts scene in Nairobi, Ambassador Tapiola paints a vivid picture of the continent’s allure.

Central to his discourse is the imperative of sustainability in tourism, advocating for the preservation of Africa’s awe-inspiring natural landscapes and invaluable cultural heritage. Moreover, he provides invaluable insights into ensuring the safety of travelers amidst their explorations. Looking ahead, Ambassador Tapiola offers astute observations on the evolving landscape of the hospitality industry in Africa, identifying key future trends that are poised to shape the traveler experience in the region.

The Intangible Luxury: Evolving Landscapes of the Hotel Industry. TSHS- 0074


In this episode, Sam Erik Ruttmann interviews Piers Schmidt, the founder of luxury branding consultancy firm Luxury Branding. They discuss the challenges faced by luxury hotel brands in gaining global recognition and value compared to luxury goods brands. They explore the pricing premium discrepancy between luxury hotels and luxury goods, as well as the visibility and marketing challenges faced by hotel brands. They also discuss the distinction between ultra luxury and luxury hotel brands and the limitations on the growth of ultra luxury brands. Finally, they delve into the mindset of revenue generation and the rise of experiential luxury in the hospitality industry. The conversation covers topics such as loyalty programs and ultra luxury brands, building true affinity with guests, the Red Sea Global development in Saudi Arabia, and the future of niche brands.


  • Luxury hotel brands face challenges in gaining global recognition and value compared to luxury goods brands.
  • There is a pricing premium discrepancy between luxury hotels and luxury goods, with hotels commanding a lower premium.
  • Visibility and marketing are key challenges for luxury hotel brands, with a need for more innovative and impactful strategies.
  • Ultra luxury hotel brands are limited in their growth due to the high costs of development and the scarcity of suitable real estate.
  • Revenue generation in the hospitality industry should focus on creating unique and exceptional experiences for guests.
  • The rise of experiential luxury has led to increased demand for one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences in the hospitality sector. Loyalty programs are often used as addiction programs rather than creating true loyalty.
  • Ultra luxury brands should focus on building true affinity with guests rather than relying on loyalty programs.
  • The Red Sea Global development in Saudi Arabia is a unique and sustainable project that aims to attract talent and change the tourism map.
  • Niche brands that focus on a specific theme or passion have the potential to succeed by connecting with their target audience.


00:00 Introduction to Luxury Branding and Hospitality

02:04 The Lack of Recognition for Luxury Hotel Brands

04:31 Pricing Premium Discrepancy

07:47 Visibility and Marketing Challenges

14:47 Differentiating Ultra Luxury and Luxury Hotel Brands

24:11 Revenue Generation and Differentiation

27:06 The Rise of Experiential Luxury

31:55 Loyalty Programs and Ultra Luxury Brands

36:04 Building True Affinity with Guests

40:27 Red Sea Global Development in Saudi Arabia

51:24 The Future of Niche Brands

Selection of brands mentioned in the Podcast

Zannier https://www.zannierhotels.com

Habitas https://www.ourhabitas.com

My Guest

Piers Schmidt, Founder

Luxury Branding

Email contact: piers.s@luxury-branding.com

Luxury Branding: https://www.luxury-branding.com/