One lousy night and you want discount?

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Highlands John's picture
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Had an email from a lady in the US this morning wanting to book a room. She was asking about single supplement as the booking is for 1, she wants one night in June (peak season) and then asks if there is a discount because she's a travel agent.

What !!!!!

Firstly we don't take bookings for 1 night between May and September, secondly she wants the weekend of a huge music festival in the village so we're already booked.

But what is this thing with travel agents wanting discount!!  Had a few people stay who claim to be travel agents and I've never, to my knowledge, had a single booking out of any of them.

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 I've never had a travel agent ask for a discount, normally I don't know they are one until they stay and hand me a card on their departure.  Then of course they ask if I pay commissions.  I would if they book a group, not worth it otherwise. 

They are having a harder time now with all the eaze in booking these days and think their future is bleak except with overseas travel and group tours. 

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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We're taking single nights, even in peak season (August - October), but not for the cottage cuz it's too much work to turn it for just one night. That said, if I have one night to fill here and there, I'll do it, but only if someone calls and it's last-minute.I figure that if my competition is requiring two-night stays, then someone has to service the 'one night' market. Yes, it's more work, but the one-nighter's $$ goes into the bank just like those staying multiple nights and in this economy, I cannot afford to be that picky.

Discounts and travel agents...why do they ask? I'll tell you. They expect a discount because they believe that their stay will be good marketing for you and you'll be willing to 'pay' for it. After they stay and experience your place first-hand, they will be able to recommend you to the vast pool of travelers that they have access to. Is it right? You have to decide for yourself.

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Joey Camb's picture
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We use booking.com and in their contract it says that for every 1000 nights booked they get a free nights stay which I don't think is too strenious. However our area rep rang to say could she come and stay (mid week and not very busy) so I figured she was using the free night and for me it was a good time as not blocking paying bookings. So She said what is the cost as we have tight limits on how much we can pay - so I said confused arnt' you using your free night? and told her about it. She (who works for the company) had never heard of it! she said they arn't allowed to accept free gifts as it might be seen as a bribe for say her rankings and paid in full. I was quite pleased but it was all a bit odd. Why put it in the contract if you can never use it?

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Arks's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
...she said they arn't allowed to accept free gifts as it might be seen as a bribe for say her rankings and paid in full. I was quite pleased but it was all a bit odd. Why put it in the contract if you can never use it?

Yes, very odd. It wouldn't be a bribe if it's in the contract. I guess you should just keep quiet about what else is in that contract. Maybe they haven't read it!

And, saying they have tight limits on what they can spend and asking what you will charge is sort of asking for a low rate, possibly in return for a good report. Isn't that an opportunity for a bribe too?

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Joey Camb's picture
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Nope cos they claim that back on expenses so it would make no difference. However it shows how few people read the small print even people who work for the company! I figured a free night off peak for 1000 nights sold was a pretty good deal!

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That's like the calls I get for "Government rates" for the weekend. I don't have government rates, they already get a discount, it's called my taxes! I don't do discounts for agents. But if you are going to do it, ask them to fax you a copy of the IATA or IATAN ID card. That will separate the wheat from the chaff.

 

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Madeleine's picture
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We've done travel agent discounts in the past. Mostly Euros wanting someone else to do the planning. We don't have a single rate. And, no, one night in prime season is not really worth discounting.

For us, if we didn't do single nights in peak season we'd be empty most of the time. There's 'nothing' here that makes guests need to stay more than one night other than they are just having a getaway. (No events, big plays, wine festivals, nothing like that.)

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Madeleine wrote:

For us, if we didn't do single nights in peak season we'd be empty most of the time. There's 'nothing' here that makes guests need to stay more than one night other than they are just having a getaway. (No events, big plays, wine festivals, nothing like that.)

But I know you have other things around to possibly encourage a 2 night stay in prime.  Have you thought of added a few 2 day agendas to your site?  Our local tourist office has added that to their site recently and I plan on doing somenting like that as well. 

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copperhead wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

For us, if we didn't do single nights in peak season we'd be empty most of the time. There's 'nothing' here that makes guests need to stay more than one night other than they are just having a getaway. (No events, big plays, wine festivals, nothing like that.)

But I know you have other things around to possibly encourage a 2 night stay in prime.  Have you thought of added a few 2 day agendas to your site?  Our local tourist office has added that to their site recently and I plan on doing somenting like that as well. 

We have that. I need to make it clearer. Cut out the verbiage. Use bullet points. And we do get a lot of 3-4 nighters, so it's not awfully bad. Just some days.

Highlands John's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

For us, if we didn't do single nights in peak season we'd be empty most of the time. There's 'nothing' here that makes guests need to stay more than one night other than they are just having a getaway. (No events, big plays, wine festivals, nothing like that.)

Wow. I think I'd be up for manslaughter before the end of July if that where the case here. Lots of 1 nighters makes a lot of extra work. I guess we're lucky in that respect, I can refuse 1 nighters this time of year becuase I know I'll fill the rooms. I will take them later to fill in the gaps in the diary and if people are booking 1 or 2 weeks in advance so I'm not sure if I'll fill the rooms. But I'm not taking 1 night bookings for June in January.

Madeleine's picture
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Highlands John wrote:

Wow. I think I'd be up for manslaughter before the end of July if that where the case here.

I usually last until August, but at least you know now how I feel and why I was wondering how to keep the momentum going once that hits!

Highlands John's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Highlands John wrote:

Wow. I think I'd be up for manslaughter before the end of July if that where the case here.

I usually last until August, but at least you know now how I feel and why I was wondering how to keep the momentum going once that hits!

Totally. Several years ago we had 3 weeks in August fully booked but most were 1nighters. It was after that we stopped accepting advanced 1 night bookings in the summer and so for it has worked/we've got away with it.

Generic's picture
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Wow.. that's hard to handle. What happens if you increase your daily rate and lower the rate for the second day? Does that get you more stay overs?

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Wow.. that's hard to handle. What happens if you increase your daily rate and lower the rate for the second day? Does that get you more stay overs?

No one reads. In order to make it understandable guests would actually have to look at the reservation info. All they will see is a higher price, not see the discount and move on.

We are running a winter special right now. How many guests are surprised when I mention the discount? All of them. (Which makes me think I could be charging higher rates right now and be getting that amount!)

We do not have ALL one night stays in season. We get a fair number of week-long stays and 3-4 nighters. It's just that we do get a lot of one-nighters. And a lot of last minute walk-ins. The worst is when we do get all one-nighters for a couple of days in a row. That's tough.

I won't take one nighters right now for popular weekends in season. Especially the ones who call and want 3 rooms for one night on a Saturday on a peak weekend!

Generic's picture
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All summer long we hold to the two night minimums for the most part. I manually change days when they abutt other reservations or they are orphans. When it is under two weeks, we open single nights. The problem is... those single nights can be keeping multiple nights from booking.

egoodell's picture
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 Tell the travel agent that you will refund a commission her when she sends you bookings. Ha

Riki

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gillumhouse's picture
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Travel agents, hmmmmm. I had a group book for a package and the woman booking it tells me she is a travel agent, implies she will be sending more bookings, and asks for commission for booking 3 packages. Bring new, we said OK. THEN we find out SHE is one of the people booked in. This _____ used that to cut HER costs for traveling. That was the end of any dealings with travel agents. Never heard from her again either.

Back in the old days when people still used travel agents, they expected 50% discounts on hotels, etc that were travel related.

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