Digital media on a larger scale: Four Seasons invests $18m in a web platform

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Unveils New $18m Website

Part of an effort to improve online revenue, luxury hotel chain Four Seasons has unveiled a new website that cost $18m to develop. The new web platform will give travellers more digital tools to manage their bookings., the result of the investment, offers a user-friendly experience, combined with global content, impactful design and social media integration The site is also optimised for mobile.

“Four Seasons has always provided an unparalleled hotel experience, and this level of service and engagement extends into our online presence,” says Susan Helstab, Executive Vice President Marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “The new website anchors our already strong digital presence online, in social media and with the various communities we facilitate.”

As the first luxury hotel brand to fully embrace social media, Four Seasons moved digital to the forefront early on with Four Seasons magazine online, the introduction of blogs such as Have Family Will Travel, and a strong presence on social networking sites to suit the ways guests and travel partners communicate. The new Four Seasons website was thoughtfully designed in the same vein, to deliver an immersive and effortless experience tailored to every user. The brand’s signature service, locations and experiences are showcased through photo-rich, informative property and destination pages, says the press release.

The 2012 Four Seasons Luxury Trends Report from Four Seasons reveals that 71% of its customers bring a smartphone with them on their travels and 61% bring a tablet device. The luxury hotel company experienced a 200% increase in bookings completed on a tablet device in 2011.


The 2012 Four Seasons Luxury Trend Report affirms that luxury consumers are not only embracing, but engaging with new technologies in ways that are changing the face of travel. Some of the insights from the Four Seasons report include:

* Luxury is back. 2011 was the year of luxury’s rebound. Almost all regions saw at least six percent year-over-year growth in the luxury travel sector – a key indicator of luxury in general. This surge is projected to continue; industry experts project 10 percent growth in luxury overall in 2013. At Four Seasons, revenues are projected to grow 9.2 percent in 2012.

* Branding moves to the social sphere. Seventy-eight percent of the affluent participate in social networking sites, with more than half using social media to connect with a brand. Four Seasons brings digital media to the forefront of marketing efforts to suit the ways guests communicate.

* E-commerce is king. The luxury consumer is increasingly going online to research and make purchases. Four Seasons online bookings rose 10 percent from 2010 to 2011.

* The rise of the iPad. One-third of wealthy consumers own a tablet or e-Reader. Four Seasons revenue generated from the iPad and other tablets has grown 200 percent from 2010 to 2011. This number is predicted to grow significantly in 2012.

“As luxury consumers embrace digital media on a larger scale, luxury brands that do not commit to a holistic digital media strategy will not survive; it is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential pillar of branding and marketing,” concludes Susan Helstab.