by Michael J. Shapiro | February 26, 2014
Orient-Express, the brand of luxury hotels, trains and river cruises, has announced a name change. As of March 10, the company will be called Belmond. The new name is designed to increase brand recognition, according to the company's statement, and to attract new guests. Orient-Express will invest about $5 million in marketing the new brand during its first year of operation, and an additional $10 million over the subsequent four years. Orient-Express executives also have said the name change will make the company more attractive to property owners, as the company expands its hotel 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," said president and CEO John M. Scott. "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." The license to use the Orient-Express name for the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train will be retained.