Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has seen strong positive growth throughout 2011, the company. In the wake of positive success stories from other luxury brands this week including Rolls Royce and Bentley, SLH has announced that Year End (December 2011) reservations revenue has increased by 23% to US$96.3 million when compared with the same period in 2010.
In its 21st year of business, the brand currently enjoys a presence in more than 70 countries and comprises over 520 of the finest, small independent hotels. Further indicators of growth in 2011 include a 71% increase in bookings on slh.com, with online bookings now forming 20% of SLH’s business. Membership of The Club, SLH’s guest loyalty programme, is up 144% with 140,000 Club Members.
“We are extremely proud to report such positive trading figures for 2011, a year in which headlines around the world seemed to be dominated by the global economic crisis” says Paul Kerr, Chief Executive Officer of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. “Over the last 20 years, SLH has been transformed from a Club of hotels to a Club of customers - customers who are loyal to the brand.
The luxury hotel market has been fairly resilient in the uncertain times that we have all experienced over the years, and as with other high end brands we are being helped by strengthening emerging markets around the globe as well as established ones. We do however need to be prepared as markets shift further in order to respond to the ever changing patterns of customer behaviour. 2012 will see SLH champion both small, luxury, independent hoteliers and independently minded customers across the globe in order to maintain our presence as one of the foremost luxury travel companies in the world”.
SLH Enjoys Online Success
As the luxury online market continues to expand, with increasing numbers of high-end web-based retailers entering the market, SLH has seen unprecedented growth in this area. Reservations revenue from slh.com has increased by 71% for the Year End 2011 and there has been a 24% increase in site visitor numbers to an average of 8,500 per day. In November 2011, SLH.com became the first hotel website to complete an ABC audit to independently verify its website traffic figures to industry agreed standards, as set by JICWEBS, the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards.
Mobile Technology Initiatives
To complement the success of slh.com, the brand recently refreshed their iPhone App to be even more user-friendly and faster. Over 55,000 people downloaded the new app in the first two weeks of its launch. Slh.com is also soon to be launched in a dedicated iPad friendly format and the presence and impact of SLH on Facebook and Twitter is continuing to grow at a rapid pace, with the number of Twitter followers recently hitting 10,000.
Having grown from 70 hotels in 12 countries to 523 hotels in over 70 countries, SLH is now a truly global hotel portfolio, attracting a worldwide, well-travelled customer base. The company’s top 5 customer source markets in 2011 were the US, UK, Germany, Australia and Canada, with Brazil and Singapore forming the strongest growing areas. In terms of new hotels joining the brand, SLH has seen particularly buoyant growth in China, Latin America and Scandinavia over the past 12 months. Looking at the destinations most searched for on slh.com, Italy and France were consistently the most popular countries amongst slh.com browsers in 2011.