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Onsite: Ryokan Collection Ups Presence

January 24, 2007 By: David Eisen Travel Agent

NEW YORK—The Ryokan Collection, an assemblage of 32 small luxury inns spread throughout Japan, will be ramping up its marketing and sales efforts throughout the U.S. and Europe, targeting luxury travelers with a yen to experience traditional Japanese culture, company executives said at an event in New York on Wednesday. The collection, whose clientele is already 69 percent American, touts its fine cuisine (traditional Japanese breakfasts and dinners are served in the rooms) and its hot spring communal baths, which are situated outside the inns (many rooms also include private baths) as its biggest selling points. Also, unlike bigger luxury hotels, the inns are small and have a quiet tranquil atmosphere. "We are trying to make the inns more accessible and inviting for customers," said Cecelia Tee, executive director of the Ryokan Collection. The collection is marketed under three groupings: Luxury Ryokan Collection (line consists of the most famous luxury inns), Superior Ryokan Collection (inns targeted for their value) and Small Luxury Japanese Hotels, a line of boutique-style properties. Also announced was a new partnership with RPI Concierge, an outfit that deals in tailor-made, high-end guest itineraries. Tee says the Ryokan Collection is the only company to have this type of partnership. Ryokan Collection president, Hiroki Fukunaga, said that the average price at one of the inns is about $420 per guest. For more information on the collection, visit [].

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