Relais & Châteaux, the luxury hotel consortium, has reported a sales growth across its 480 global properties of 29%, totalling £59m. The figure includes sales of central reservations, gift certificates and gift boxes.
Bed nights booked through Relais & Châteaux's central reservations increased by 38% (more than 200,000), with an average rate of £701 being achieved per reservation for an average stay of 2.3 nights, according to the consortium's annual figures.
The success is said to be particularly due to a team of multi-lingual reservation agents available to help guests who appreciate their expert knowledge. Commission fees of around 6.5%, which are believed to be among the most competitive in the market, also help.
"At the close of a record year of commercial success, we are pleased to witness the undeniable attachment of our clients to the Relais & Châteaux brand," said Jacques-Olivier Chauvin, chief executive of Relais & Châteaux.
"A recent study by Barcelona consulting firm THR confirmed that we have one of the highest customer loyalty rates in our sector.
"Additionally, for our member properties, the benefits of belonging to our association were particularly efficient with an unprecedented return on investment valued at 25 euros for every euro invested."
Lime Wood country house hotel in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, is the latest UK property to join the consortium, alongside 27 existing members nationwide.
By Janet Harmer
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