Hermes luxury group moving into high class holidays

PARIS - Grab your Birkin bag and don a silk scarf designed for adventure: French luxury goods company Hermes appears to be getting into the travel industry.

Hermes International revealed the creation of a new "Hermes Voyageur" subsidiary inside a half-year business report published on the company's Website on Thursday.

The company would not immediately comment on the creation of the travel unit, whose business was described as "the organization of high-class voyages both in France and abroad which reflect the values of the Hermes group."

The unit is 100 per cent owned by Hermes International, the report said.

Luxury groups are generally wary about extending their brands to new sectors, but links with tourism are not unknown.

Italian jeweler Bulgari has launched a chain of hotels in cooperation with US lodgings group Marriott International and Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani has lent his name to a chain of hotels being developed by Emaar Properties.

Hermes is best known for its trademark silk scarves and leather handbags but also makes luggage, like the 3,500 euros (NZ$6540) "Faubourg Express" suitcase.

The luxury industry also depends on travel retail or duty free sales for a large chunk of its revenues.

- REUTERS

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