The Go-Ahead-and-Ask Economy, Continued

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By Robert Farmer

I was speaking to a Bay Area hotelier recently who was decrying his abundance of inventory. That is to say, he's got a bunch of empty rooms that, when they sit empty, cost him money--sometimes lots of money. What, I asked, is he doing about it? More to the point, what can he do about it? You'd think the obvious answer would be to reduce the room rates into an "offer you can't refuse" category. But, for several reasons that we won't get into here, that's not the obvious answer. So the question became, What is he willing to concede in exchange for putting people in his rooms.

That answer, in a headline of good news for travelers, is just about anything else. Like my hotelier friend, many general managers are offering up amenities, services, and other perks at their hotels for simply being a customer. Guests are now being treated like Special Guests and getting freebies in the restaurant, at the bar, in the spa. In some cases, attractions, shows, or events taking place in the area might be part of the deal. Need tickets? Just ask. So, I asked, what's the one thing a traveler should ask for these days if it's not already being offered. His answer? Upgrades. Go ahead and book that standard double, and when you arrive, ask for the suite. Might not happen every time, but who knows, you might be enjoying your next getaway from the luxurious expanses of the corner suite. There are worse things that could happen in this economy...


Click here to view The Go-Ahead-and-Ask Economy, Part 1

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