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Quintessentially branching

CONCIERGE service Quintessentially Lifestyle (Thailand), a franchisee of UK-based Quintessentially Lifestyle, plans to launch its latest service - events and weddings - in October. The company has decided to take this step after concierge-service demand grew by 10 per cent in the first half of the year despite the country's political turmoil, managing director Ob-oom Chutrakul said yesterday.

The events and wedding service will cover all aspects of an event process, including the key elements of theme and location.

The management-service cost for organising a wedding starts from Bt3 million, while it is Bt1 million and upward for other types of event, she said.

"We will have two or three weddings in the final quarter of the year after soft-launching our new business in October," she said.

Ob-oom added that demand for personal concierge services was growing strongly, as more Thais travel and the comfortably-off require special services to support their lifestyle.

Since the company was established in 2006, it has built up an individual membership of some 1,000 people via 13 corporate-member companies. These people either work for or are customers of the 13 companies.

The company also has 42 personal members, who applied for membership on their own.

Individual members pay an annual fee of Bt200,000 per year, while couples pay a total of Bt300,000 annually.

Meanwhile, the annual fee for corporate members depends on the deal and the number of customers a company refers for Quintessentially services.

Ob-oom said that 39 per cent of the company's business is from travel bookings, 24 per cent from hotel reservations, 18 per cent from restaurant bookings, 12 per cent from shopping privileges, and 7 per cent from ticket reservations for concerts, plays and shows.

The most popular travel destinations for its customers are Japan, the United Kingdom, France and Italy.

"Since the country's political turmoil began, and at least until the coup, demand for [overseas] travel [bookings] rose and our number of customers also increased," she said.

The company hopes to add two new corporate members in the second half of the year, which will push its individual membership via the corporate channel above the 1,000 mark, she added.

At present, the UK parent has franchise operations in 64 countries around the world.

It plans to open a new franchisee in Vietnam, which will also cover the markets of Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. This will further boost the overseas-travel service available to customers, Ob-oom said.


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