Being part of a hotel consortium can boost your exposure across the world and nationwide, tap into new markets and reach a wiser customer base. Discover which one would work best for you and how can you leverage their key resources to your advantage.
For small, boutique hotels with limited resource, joining a hotel consortium can significantly increase your sales force and open up opportunities within fields that you could not reach alone.
There are a whole host of different options out there, but it’s crucial to remember that you do not just have to put all your consortium eggs in one basket. Different consortiums have different USPs and different target markets, so while paying two annual fees for membership to two brands may seem like a big investment, utilised correctly and you should see it pay off with a rise in custom and exposure.
Here we bring you a round up from three of the best hotel consortiums to help you assess which ones may be right for you and your business.
Pride of Britain Hotels
A marketing consortium for independent luxury and boutique hotels in Britain, established in 1982 and with a reputation for outstanding hospitality.
USP: Pride of Britain is not for profit and is limited to a maximum of 50 hotels, with all marketing resources directed at the UK consumer.
Monthly website visitors: 25,000 to 50,000 with very high levels of referral to member hotels’ own web sites.
Members include: The likes of Bovey Castle; Gilpin Hotel; Glenapp Castle; The Goring; Gravetye Manor; Lucknam Park; Rockliffe Hall; Seaham Hall; South Lodge; Sopwell House and Yorebridge House. All are luxury, independently-owned hotels, with the total number never exceeding 50.
Member benefits: An annual directory, is produced featuring all member hotels, with 50,000 copies distributed each year and found in all 2,000 member hotel bedrooms. Seasonal newsletters are also generated, with 15,000 copies distributed per edition and content comprising interesting stories rather than discounted offers.
E-flyers are sent to large database of subscribers, which now exceeds 180,000 records and is fully GDPR compliant.
PR (including hosted press events) amounted to the equivalent of £900k in advertising spend in the year to June 2018. Website referrals, social media, its online booking engine (heavily subsidised), telephone reservations and promotions in national media are all a major part of what Pride of Britain does.
PoB has an annual marketing budget of £1m and boasts 36,600 fans across all social media platforms with an average 270,000 impressions per month. The consortium has formed partnerships with companies such as Classic FM, Morgan cars and American Express to help promote its members and also attends consumer shows.
Members can also benefit from relationships with a range of commercial partners, which contributed over £180k per year to the PoB marketing fund.
Monthly / annual fee to join: Approximately £15k per annum.
Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 700 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries.
USP: Preferred Hotels & Resorts is committed to championing independent hoteliers and small regional hotel groups that demonstrate an authentic connection to their local surroundings and culture. Preferred Hotels & Resorts also offers the world’s largest points-based loyalty programme for independent hotels – I Prefer.
Key growth figures: In 2017. Preferred Hotels & Resorts generated $1.35 billion in reservations revenue on behalf of its member properties worldwide, a 22% increase over 2016; welcomed 103 new properties; and enriched its points-based I Prefer hotel rewards programme by launching a mobile app and members-only rates.
Monthly website visitors: Figure not disclosed.
Members: Preferred Hotels & Resorts currently represents more than 700 member hotels in 85 countries around the globe, through its five global collections – Legend, L.V.X, Lifestyle, Connect and Preferred Residences. Preferred Hotels & Resorts currently represents around 200 hotels in Europe with 23 of them in the UK.
Member benefits: Preferred Hotels & Resorts offers its independent members a collection of products and services that serve to enhance their sales efforts through multi-channel distribution and connectivity via a central distribution platform. With more than 35 offices worldwide, the company brings strategic advantage to hotel members by providing innovative group, corporate, and leisure sales, integrated marketing solutions, comprehensive revenue management, global connectivity through reservations services, progressive distribution technology, and individualised guest support.
Monthly / annual fee to join: Figure not disclosed.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World
Small Luxury Hotels of the World matches independently minded guests with independently spirited hotels. The diverse portfolio of over 520 hotels in more than 80 countries around the world includes everything from design-led hotels and city centre boutiques to country mansions and remote private islands.
USP: SLH is an authority on small, luxury, characterful hotels which was formed almost 28 years ago. SLH employs a strict application process so that only the best hotels with the highest standards are accepted. To do so, the brand has created a mystery guest inspection programme as a way of regularly monitoring the quality and service of all its member hotels. Inspections are carried out on an annual basis, and if hotels fail an inspection they will be re-inspected within three months. Those that don’t reach the required standards are asked to leave the portfolio.
Monthly website visitors: The website receives around 400,000 visits per month
Members: approx. 520 independent luxury boutique hotels in more than 80 countries
Member benefits: The SLH brand provides a dynamic platform and solution that enables independent hoteliers to compete in a global market against international hotel groups and brands.
- One-stop distribution. SLH’s reservation platform can handle all GDS, voice, website, mobile and third party website distribution. The content, rates and inventory are distributed to the eyes of over a million travel agents worldwide and millions of web users
- Access to luxury travel agencies worldwide. SLH has got a strong sales team, a calendar of sales events, a global database of more than 25,000 luxury agencies and the recognisable “LX” GDS Code.
- Sales, marketing and PR that connects the right hotels and destinations to relevant customers
- Visibility to a loyalty database of over 11 million guests as party of SLH’s INVITED partnership with Hyatt’s World of Hyatt program.
- Outreach via a global PR network that spans 15 countries and 9 social media channels.
- Bookings through SLH.com and multi-lingual SLH Voice Agents.
- A global team of revenue account managers to support members.
Monthly / annual fee to join: Average annual fee is £20,000 (dependent on number of rooms)