Orient-Express Hotels reveals new brand name

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Orient-Express Hotels has announced a new brand name for its hotels, trains and river cruises.

Only the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train will retain the famous name of Orient-Express, which has been owned by French transportation company SNCF since 1977, with everything else to come under the name Belmond.

The move follows a decision by Orient-Express Hotels and SNCF to terminate the licence for use of the name for the 45 hotels and other experiences including three river cruises, six luxury trains and a restaurant.

The brand will launch on March 10, as will the company’s new website, with orient-express.com being replaced by belmond.com.

Meanwhile SNCF has announced plans to launch the Orient Express brand in April, starting with a luxury train to run between Paris and Vienna but also to include related products and services.

The Belmond brand is designed, according to John M. Scott, president of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd, to heighten awareness of the company’s hotels and luxury travel experiences among existing and potential new guests.

He added: “Migrating from a licensed brand to one which we fully own and control will, we believe, deliver an additional benefit to the company as it will enable us to invest with confidence in our brand.

“Our new brand strategy is designed to build on our strong legacy and celebrate the individuality and character of our properties, as well as stimulate increased stays across the breadth of our portfolio from our existing client base.

“Strengthening our brand architecture will also make the company attractive to property owners as we advance in our strategy of expanding into the third-party management of assets that complement our existing collection.

“Extending our global brand presence by having a name that will be associated as much with our hotels and river cruises as with our celebrated train experiences is a key step in our focus of generating enhanced revenue,” continued Scott.

An initial investment of $5m will go into the Belmond brand with new website platforms and the company’s first ever large-scale print and online media adverti