With the summer season coming to a close its time to reflect on the summer of 2017 and how the Discerning Collection performed in terms of sales and service.
Overall, we sold as many holidays as we did in 2016 but with less numbers to Turkey and more to our European destinations of Greece, Mallorca and Montenegro. As Turkey is our biggest selling destination this is not necessarily a bad thing given we need to offer a wider breadth of hotels and villas in other destinations. Turkey suffered due to the negative press (the bane of our lives) and the so-called link to terrorism. But our very loyal guests managed to ignore the negativity and thankfully for us went to their favourite resorts of Kalkan, Kas and Selimiye in sufficient numbers.
Despite a downturn of guests, the hotels in Turkey did a splendid job in ensuring that those who came were given the best possible service as a thank you and also to show how great the service in our Turkish hotels can be. Our guests in turn benefited from this extra effort and from a distinct lack of crowding for all the facilities on offer. An extra bonus was the exchange rate which last year was at 3.5 Turkish lira to the pound and this year its running at 4.8, which made for a lot of extra value in resort. The same, I’m afraid, cannot be said for the Euro exchange rate.
Good news for 2018 is that we have seen a tremendous start with bookings up at around 85% better than this time last year. This is down to two main factors. The first is that there have not been any significant negative press stories for over a year (hurrah) and the second is that many of our very loyal guests have decided to book their 2018 holidays early as they seem to have had a fantastic time overseas. We are very lucky with the quality of our product offering and our grateful to our hotel and villa partners for some excellent rates that we can pass onto our guests. And we have also managed to provide a level of service that, in most cases, has exceeded expectations. Our results on Feefo are there for all to see and a simple click on this will show you exactly what our guests are thinking of us, warts and all!
We’ve also tapped into the Yoga market and have had all our groups sell out in 2017 and our offering in May next year has also sold out. Having a dedicated yoga instructor accompany the groups plus the added bonus of 12 sessions in the week plus three suppers with wine included in the price made for an unbeatable offer that our guests couldn’t refuse.
We’re also constantly on the look-out for new hotels and villas and as a result we’ve added some exciting new hotels in Kas like the delightful Alley Prime and we’re about to launch a brand-new boutique hotel in Kalkan and we’ll be announcing more in a month or two.
We’ve also added a host of superb new luxury villas and due to the tremendous demand, we will be launching a dedicated Discerning Collection Villa site shortly. So please watch this space.
So overall not a bad performance given some of the circumstances and thanks to our very loyal guests, without whom we couldn’t exist, we’ve had a hard but still successful 2017. So thank you from all of us at The Discerning Collection.