Small Luxury Hotels of the World Survey Shows Luxury Guests are Still ‘Travel Ready’ for 2020

Posted in Business, News on 19 August, 2020

Two recent surveys undertaken by Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) show that Travel Ready advocates continue to drive pent up demand for luxury holidays this year despite ongoing uncertainty over international travel restrictions. The surveys, the first of which was undertaken in partnership with Liz Hall Hotel & Travel Consulting at the end of the nationwide lockdown and the second after the removal of key Travel Corridors for British tourists, looked at the sentiment towards travel of over 6,000 and 1,000 members of the luxury brand’s INVITED programme respectively. The results show a desire to travel this year wherever possible, adapting travel plans to changes in governmental advice and a preference for smaller hotels where their experience can be managed and customised.

In the most recent survey 81% of recipients remained Travel Ready, planning to travel between August and December 2020. Of these 63% have not been put off by recent events and will either continue with an existing booking, have changed their trip to another destination or have postponed until Q4. Furthermore, 48% of these travellers are planning to travel on two or more occasions. The remaining 37% have switched to the Travel Reserved group and are now planning trips for 2021.

As part of the original survey SLH focused on more general attitudes to travelling. Looking at international versus domestic travel there was equal demand for both, with 61% of members planning to take a staycation and 54% of members from Europe planning to travel internationally. SLH reservations data for bookings originating from UK guests since 1st August reflects these numbers with 58% of reservations to hotels across mainland Europe in August and September, and 42% choosing UK hotels (a 36:64 split between city centre and country house hotels in the UK). Of those subsequently needing to change their travel plans only 2% had made the decision to switch from an international to a domestic holiday.

In terms of selecting accommodation over 90% of recipients stated that they would feel most comfortable in a small hotel, while private residences were also popular. SLH’s new Exclusive Use reservations option allows guests to turn any one of 250 SLH hotels of anything up to 200 rooms into a fully-serviced private residence, and with more than 36 intimate hotels offering fewer than 12 rooms this becomes a viable option for guests wanting to travel with a small group of family and friends.

As expected location, flexible booking and cleanliness remain the most important considerations. SLH has recently launched a Stay Small, Stay Safe programme ensuring third party accreditation for all member hotels with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC). Hotels offering discounts and offers were of least importance to SLH guests.

Richard Hyde, Managing Director of Small Luxury Hotels of the World says: “Our members have always shown great resilience and an enduring appetite for travel so it’s encouraging to see that they remain Travel Ready, looking at options both close to home and abroad for 2020. Our small hotels are able to offer so many solutions from their location in low-key destinations and neighbourhoods, to their versatility to become essentially a private residence. We have established Stay Small, Stay Safe to ensure that our guests can travel with peace of mind, both for themselves and the destinations they are visiting, and to encourage those who are reserved or reluctant to travel that is it safe when the time is right for them.”

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