EXCLUSIVE: Website visits to Sawday’s hit 2.5m mark as brand remains focused on pushing direct bookings


Hotel consortium Sawday’s is remaining committed to driving the direct relationship between hotelier and guest, a year after the brand switched to a majority-owned company.

Sawday’s, which is 25 years old this year, comprises 450 hotels, plus B&Bs, self-catering places, pubs and inns, charges members an annual fee to be part of the collection and this year its website welcomed over 2.5m visitors.

The brand also boasts a newsletter database and social media following of over 200k.

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Despite a new website soon to go live with booking availability, managing director Mike Bevens stresses that it’s not the plan to switch to a commission-based model.

Speaking to BH, he says: “We recognise that owners want to have that direct relationship, it’s not just about data, and being able to market to those guests in the future, but also being able to then provide that more personalised service.”

In late 2017 founder Alistair Sawday stepped down from the company and handed over control to the staff.

Now the business is majority employee owned; 52% is employee-owned, 24% is owned by Sawday’s Charitable Trust and 24% is owned by the Sawday’s family.

Sawdays brings added value to members in a number of ways, from marketing to insight into trends, research and support across all streams of their business.

Beven explains: “One things that Sawday’s has done for many years is ensuring that hoteliers have that direct communication with guests, so they always booked direct with a hotelier or an owner.

 “We are always told by hoteliers that our guests are different to other guests that come through other booking sites – they tend to stay longer, spend more, use the facilities more and respect what an owner has created.

“The easy thing would be to take in more and make more money,” he adds, “but we stand rigid to our values and it’s so important to our guests to know that when we take on a new place it meets their expectations.”

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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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