SOURCE: Luxury Institute

January 22, 2007 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: High Net Worth Consumers Rank Luxury Hotel Web Sites, Waldorf Astoria Collection, Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton Top the List

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 22, 2007 -- Wealthy consumers have named Waldorf Astoria Collection's website the top luxury hotel site in the Luxury Institute's 2007 Luxury Website Effectiveness Index survey of Luxury Hotels. The Four Seasons' website ranks a close second and Ritz-Carlton's website ranks third overall among the 13 luxury hotel websites surveyed. Wealthy consumers rated the luxury hotels on usefulness of content, ease of navigation, look and feel, and privacy and security.

"Luxury hotel brands are leaders in developing consumer-friendly web sites so this is a very competitive category," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "Still, we found several luxury hotel brand websites that were rated at, or near, the bottom of the list by high net worth consumers. Since the wealthy are likely to be the best customers in terms of dollars spent annually, and the website is the most critical channel for most wealthy travelers, it pays to listen to the objective and independent voice of high net worth consumers. A growing number of luxury CEOs use these studies to benchmark the competition, and particularly appreciate candid consumer comments and suggestions on how to improve their websites."

Brands rated, in alphabetical order, include: Fairmont, Four Seasons, InterContinental, Le Meridien, Leading Hotels of the World, Loews, Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, St. Regis, W Hotels, and Waldorf Astoria Collection.

The proprietary Luxury Website Effectiveness Index survey is the only measure available of the effectiveness of leading luxury brand websites to wealthy Americans. A national sample of wealthy American consumers with a minimum household income of $150,000, were surveyed online. Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from The Federal Reserve.

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. Publications include the monthly Wealth Report, the Luxury Brand Status Index surveys, the Luxury Best Practices surveys, the Luxury Consumer Experience Index surveys and the Luxury Website Effectiveness Index surveys.

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