NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 12, 2012) - U.S. hotel operators prove popular among wealthy travelers in Asia's two biggest markets, according to two new Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) surveys of affluent Chinese and Japanese by the independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute. Japanese travelers earning at least 15 million yen per year ($190,000) evaluated 20 luxury hotel brands, and Chinese consumers with minimum annual income of one million yuan ($157,000) considered 26 luxury-lodging names.

Wealthy respondents rated hotels 1-10 on criteria including quality of accommodations, exclusivity, degree of status enhancement and ability to deliver special guest experiences. They also indicated which hotel brands they planned to stay with this year, and whether they're willing to pay premium prices or to recommend a brand to people close to them.

In China, St. Regis (8.41) earns the highest LBSI score, but the JW Marriott (36%) and Grand Hyatt (34%) were most frequently visited in the past year by wealthy Chinese travelers and are the two hotels where they plan to stay next. Along with InterContinental, Marriott and Hyatt are also the two most likely brands to receive favorable recommendations from wealthy Chinese travelers.

In Japan, Ritz-Carlton ranks at the top for both popularity and prestige. Ritz earns the second-highest (7.62) LBSI score, just behind Peninsula Hotels (7.66), but it is deemed the hotel most worthy of a price premium. Ritz-Carlton is also the most popular choice for the next hotel visit.

"Luxury hotels don't achieve consistently superior ratings by accident," says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. "Standards, systems and training underpin excellence in any service business, especially luxury."

About the Luxury Institute (
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

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