GDS bookings grow for SLH

Dormy House will join SLH this year
Dormy House will join SLH this year

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has seen a 9% increase in travel agent bookings through GDS.

The luxury hotel group said agents now make up 52% of its revenue, which totalled US$134 million for 2013.

Its revenue across all channels together was up 12% compared to 2012.

Paul Kerr, CEO of SLH told Travel Daily agent success had come down to its continued work with the trade and the tendency for luxury clients to still book with an agent.

“We continue to support our travel agent community as it remains very important to us and has been so over the past 23 years. We’re happy that travel agents continue to share in our success,” he explained. “It is not true to say that in the luxury hotel market guests are only booking online – they still very much value the care and attention they receive from our travel trade partners.”

Generally the group saw an 8% rise in room nights booked in 2013 year-on-year, registering 369, 152 nights.

Furthermore a Boxing Day flash sale has generated a 37% increase in reservations and 51% revenue boost compared to 2012.

Kerr said the UK has remained as one of its strongest source markets, second only to the USA.

“Outbound sales are very strong as well. Growth from the UK market reflects growth of the brand in general in London and outside as well. We are pleased to have welcomed some fantastic UK hotels to the brand including Cromlix in Scotland, Dormy House in the Cotswolds as well as we welcomed back The Bath Priory hotel , which left to join another consortium for a couple of years, all three of these new hotels strengthen our UK offering,” he added.

SLH is now preparing to relaunch its website this year and will add four members including Andy Murray’s Cromlix with Chez Roux when it opens in April.

New members in 2014 will also include Dormy House in the Cotswolds; Hotel Ella, Austin and Pikaia Lodge in the Galapagos Islands.

“We expect 2014 to be similar to 2013, remembering that we had very modest positive growth. So we are cautiously optimistic. We have a number of great hotels lined up to join in 2014 as well as having welcomed some key destinations  in cities such as New York in 2013,” Kerr told Travel Daily. “As long as our hotels remain competitive and offer value for money , we will continue to move forward in 2014. Certain destinations which now are oversupplied , will continue to find trading difficult.”

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