The Lux List / Business of Luxury

Small Luxury Hotels see uptick in demand as post-covid travellers choose less crowded stays

In a new trend following rise of private jet travel, many travellers believe that hotels with smaller crowds, pose a lower risk to their health right now, leading to demand for small luxury hotels

Sep 21, 2020 | By Jonathan Ho

At a recent IATA Media Briefing on 01 September 2020, Director-General Alexandre de Juniac raised that while, “many countries have implemented the (global protocols for safely re-starting aviation) guidelines, which is good. But cautioned that, “this produces little result because there is no coordination to manage the re-opening of borders. Quarantine measures, in particular, are keeping aviation, travel and tourism effectively in lockdown”

Indeed, just last quarter, the IATA’s Director-General advised that, “relief measures must extend beyond the initial emergency situation.” But even as borders re-open and the speed, accuracy and scalability of testing is rapidly improving, governments are still mostly acting in isolation. With greater coordinated global leadership to manage the risks of opening borders again but with large bureaucracies and differing national sentiment, hoteliers like Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) are taking matters into their own hands.

Small Luxury Hotels see uptick in demand as post-covid travellers choose less crowded stays

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way millions of travelers view commercial travel. Now more than ever, the thought of crowded airport terminals and cramped aircraft cabins have led leisure travelers to consider flying private for the first time – Eric Grossman, Barrons, Coronavirus fears leads jump in private jets

According to global hospitality analytics firm STR’s May 2020 survey, four in 10 international leisure travelers were anticipating less international leisure travel in the next 12 months compared to the prior 12 month but small hotels were already starting to see positive recovery in hotel demand. Mirroring statistics that reflected growth in the private aviation sector, the demand curve was showing that consumers were willing to spend on travel and stay options that were less crowded than your typical options. Jet charter providers like Massachusetts-based Sentient Jets reports that 50% of its business in June was first-time customers, a 127% growth in new customers over 2019. Air Charter Service, based out of Singapore’s Seletar Airport, reported three times more charters in and out of Singapore, compared with the same period last year.

“Travellers are yearning for a change of scenery and have already begun to cautiously book their next adventure, and with these new measures, SLH can confidently reassure each guest of a worry-free stay.” – CEO Jean-Francois Ferret, Small Luxury Hotels of the World

“Stay Small, Stay Safe”

In this sense, it was timely that Small Luxury Hotels of the World launched ‘Stay Small, Stay Safe’, an initiative offering enhanced health and detailed safety guidelines for all partner hotels. With just 50 rooms on average, SLH properties are able to offer secluded, discrete options that now come with the highest safety standards, providing peace of mind for guests as they prepare to travel the world once again. Working with Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the consultancy has been helping SLH hotels helps respond to, and prepare for biological threats, and biohazard situations like the current coronavirus outbreak.

“The ability to be flexible and adapt is crucial at this time, and our intimate member hotels can do so in a thorough and bespoke way.” – Jean-Francois Ferret

It appears many travellers believe that hotels with smaller crowds, in a similar ratio to newcomers to private jet travel, pose a lower risk to their health right now. That said, not all of SLH’s 230 hotels currently open right now hold the GBAC Star accreditation but SLH is continuing its roll out across the network. SLH has 520 boutique hotels in their community.

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