In today's Wall Street Journal there is a large article called
'The Subprime Summer Vacation'. The article's title
made me say OUCH.
A few of their observances do not reflect what we see with our
hotel clients but many are reflective of what we are seeing.
-The Journal - "Close-to-home destinations like suburban water
parks and regional resort towns say they're bracing for a spike
in business as Americans look for fun things to do that don't
require much travel"
- AI - We see a more ominous trend. Americans maybe going to water
parks but we see a significant trend of day trips and shorter
stays. They maybe going to close to home destinations but they are
holding onto their money when it comes to hotel rooms.
- The Journal - 17% of respondents said they would stay closer to
home. This summer, resorts that are selling well are all
inclusives. The advance booking window has dropped in half.
- AI - We are seeing a significant decrease in how far in advance
people are booking. We saw the same trends after 9/11. We feel it
is an uncertainty that often shortens this window. This coupled
with the fact that people are looking for last minute deals.
What can you as a hotelier do?
Make sure you are in regular contact with you prior guests. Email
newsletters are a great way to announce last minute specials. If
that is what the American public is looking for, make sure those
that have stayed with you previously will come back
Give them a reason to stay longer. Work with local attractions.
Offer an 'Add a Day' special at time of check in. Offer
length of stay discounts.
Most of you are seasoned pros. You know what to do. Now is the time
to implement all the rate strategy that you have come to hate. I
know your competition is.