- Sector: Leisure
- Region: London
The great escape
Secret Escapes is a luxury travel members’ club, which has built up a membership base of some 52 million people around the world. Last year, it recorded total sales of £403m and sold more than eight million room nights, with holidays ranging from boutique weekend breaks in the Cotswolds to long-haul luxury travel in the Indian Ocean.
"Our goal is to inspire the world to escape," explains Alex Saint, CEO and Co-founder of the company. "We do this by offering a highly curated set of incredible deals on luxury hotels and holidays every week to our members."
Like its customers, the company has itself been travelling overseas. Having proven its model in the UK throughout 2011, it took its first steps abroad in 2013 by launching in Germany and Sweden. "With some local tweaks to the model and plenty of hard work, we cracked those markets and have since launched in a further 18 markets, including the US and Asia," says Alex.
The company takes pride in being able to offer hand-picked deals to its members at exclusive prices, which, they believe, are substantially cheaper than elsewhere online. The key is a ruthless focus on product excellence. "When we get it right, our product is impossible to ignore," says Alex.
However, the ever-changing nature of the leisure market means it always has to be ready to adapt. Research suggests that consumers are becoming more interested in purchasing experiences over material goods and this is likely to be a focus for the business in the future.
"We believe that the winners in our space will be the ones who provide maximum inspiration for their audience," says Alex. "Packaging together accommodation, travel and experiences into off-the-shelf short breaks or holidays will be a crucial method of growing travel spend in the next decade. We believe in selling ideas rather than just hotel rooms."