The Package Trend

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Trend – People want more perceived value/more for the money

─ There is a big trend to offering more packages.
─ People definitely want more when it comes to the dollar-to-value ratio.
─ We’re giving people as much value for their dollar as possible. Sometimes, just calling it a package helps, even if they’re really paying for everything.
─ Guests are looking for accommodation/service packages.
─ More package planning and concierge involvement is needed. This will involve more networking with other businesses, like rafting and horseback riding, on bookings. It will mean more linking of like businesses.

 

JB - Re Packages could it be, just bear with me for a moment, could it be NOT the perceived value added in a package, or the all-in-one convenience of a package, but could it be innmates that you are sharing with them something special, you are marketing it and it looks so dang good that they want it?  

I ask this as I mentioned the other day we always went to B&B's on special ocassions and we always bought a package. WHY? Because we saw it advertised, or it made me want to stay there. That to me, is the beauty of a package...now I need to get my thinking cap back on and get some packages together for Spring!

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Proud Texan's picture
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 I learned something this week:  be flexible with your packages.     We have a "Stay and Play"  golf package with a local golf course that was designed to increase weekday traffic for both of us.  Both the room and golf fees are discounted.

I have a repeat guest coming that wanted the package, but failed to notice that it was for weekdays only.   She called me when ReservationKey kicked her reservation back because of that provision.   I was able to call the golf course and they gave her a discount for a weekend tee-time.   In exchange,  we are going to discount any referrals that the golf course sends our way.  It's a win win.  We get a satisfied customer and the potential for additional referrals.

We had an all encompassing Romance package, but had few takers.  Once we broke it down to a "basic" package with different add-ons,  we've had more takers.  The nice part of the basic package is that it costs us about $20 to put together and we charge $60.   The add-ons are floral arrangements and/or an in-room massage for which we charge the actual costs plus a service charge.

Joey Camb's picture
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wondered about ways to advertise golf packages wondered about facebook groups? could be a good free way to do it? or twitter.

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Proud Texan wrote:

 I learned something this week:  be flexible with your packages.     We have a "Stay and Play"  golf package with a local golf course that was designed to increase weekday traffic for both of us.  Both the room and golf fees are discounted.

I have a repeat guest coming that wanted the package, but failed to notice that it was for weekdays only.   She called me when ReservationKey kicked her reservation back because of that provision.   I was able to call the golf course and they gave her a discount for a weekend tee-time.   In exchange,  we are going to discount any referrals that the golf course sends our way.  It's a win win.  We get a satisfied customer and the potential for additional referrals.

We had an all encompassing Romance package, but had few takers.  Once we broke it down to a "basic" package with different add-ons,  we've had more takers.  The nice part of the basic package is that it costs us about $20 to put together and we charge $60.   The add-ons are floral arrangements and/or an in-room massage for which we charge the actual costs plus a service charge.

I had an inquiry yesterday from the UK for a golf package. Our courses here which used to be all private are now open due to the economy. Unfortunately, they have really nice lodges lakefront that are really reasonable right now, so they can stay there AND golf vs stay here.

Anyway, I replied and gave them the list of top golf courses, and one that is in the top 10 in the country (and pricey but worth it for a splurge) then the 3 night booking popped in rezkey. I love that.  So that worked out well. But as I was replying I was considering a golf package.

We had guests from Canada who were on a total golfing vacation. I asked them about this course here at our lake and they said the first 9 are great, the last looked like they were tossed together.  They said they would never golf there again...and yet we have famous golfers there, celebrities who live there and golf there. I know nothing about golf, so hard for me to grasp it.

Madeleine's picture
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Many of the golf courses around here offer a 10% discount to our guests. We rarely get golfers here, but that doesn't mean a golf pkg isn't something to think about!

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Madeleine wrote:

Many of the golf courses around here offer a 10% discount to our guests. We rarely get golfers here, but that doesn't mean a golf pkg isn't something to think about!

Are you close enough to get the skiers?

 

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Penelope wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Many of the golf courses around here offer a 10% discount to our guests. We rarely get golfers here, but that doesn't mean a golf pkg isn't something to think about!

Are you close enough to get the skiers?

 

Nope.

Joey Camb's picture
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I am trying to make more golfing connections for 3 reasons

1- golf packages we have 6 golf courses within 6 miles and Bill Clinton plays at one of them.

2- We have a big conference for green keepers in Janaury

3- Big conference for the stock of golf shops in October

So I have found a web site with every golf course in the UK starting with the North East ie my region ie comming to Bigga? Comming to Foremost? etc see how it goes

gillumhouse's picture
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I would go for the $299. I have some 2-night packages for $395 and they sell. But you are asking price and I think the $299 - especially if it says in BOLD - ALL TAX INCLUDED

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Package Pricing

Feedback needed

What price point would you recommend, the dinner cruise getaway package costs $298 per couple, should I round it up to $299 or go over the $300 price point? This is only the roomw/tax, and adds ons including the dinner cruise. I am not showing an increase for booking it all etc.

What figure would be most attractive? The price includes all tax (as it is prepaid to ensure a place on the dinner cruise)

Here let me share it all so you can have a better picture:

 

Price is $299 which includes all taxes. Add on an additional night at regular room rate to make it a weekend getaway package!

 

  1. Friday or Saturday Night stay for two (your choice of any room)
  2. Sparkling Cider for Two
  3. Fresh Fragrant Flowers in your room upon arrival
  4. Dinner Sunset Sail for 2 aboard a side-wheel Paddle Cruise Boat (2 hour cruise - no narration)
  5. Inn-credible Breakfast in the Morning
  • Hawaiian Theme Night Dinner Menu includes:  Ceasar Salad, Sliced Roast Pork in a Pineapple Glaze, Roasted Mandarin Chicken, Coconut Fried Rice, Grilled Vegetable Medley, bread/butter, dessert, coffee/tea.
  • Sample Dinner Menu includes:  Caesar Salad, Herb Roasted Pork Loin with a Maple Apple Glaze, Roasted Chicken in a Marsala Crème Sauce, Vegetable, Garlic Smashed Red Potatoes, bread/butter, dessert, coffee/tea.

 

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This isn't meant to be harsh at all, JB but this doesn't entice me so much & I've been looking at a lot of weekend packages lately.   Sparkling cider...meh.  And you already have that your rooms have flowers and we know from the pictures on your site that breakfast is great!  So, where is the added value?  Yes, I realize that you book the cruise for me, but don't you really want to make it more about your place?

I like the idea of the boat cruise, but why aren't you enticing me to stay the second night by throwing in a small discount on night #2? 

Or offer this in your rooms only that you do in-room breakfast and throw that in the package for "free" for added romance.  (We know that room service doesn't really cost us that much.)

If you tell me it's a $299 (or $295 or whatever) package, valued at __________, that is more interesting.

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Madeleine's picture
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Let me understand...the package costs $298 (room, tax, all the goodies + cruise) and you charge $299 meaning your 'extra' on this is a buck? And it's one night?

In your area are your stays usually 1 or 2 nights? I think the idea with a pkg is to get 2 nights (that's what I try anyway). If I have an add-on option where I don't really care then that's what it is, an add-on, not a package. So, you could position this as an 'add-on romance package' and charge accordingly. Do you make the cruise reservations for the guests?

My take on the package is I would be more likely to buy it for 2 nights than 1 night because all I see when I look at it is that I'm paying $299 for one night and a dinner cruise. To me that means dinner and a boat ride is costing me way over $100. I'm not seeing the stuff in the room because it's not anything I care about. I guess what I'm saying is it is too easy to figure out how much everything costs and to decide I could do better if I arranged it on my own without the extra stuff I don't want.

And, unless you've been asked, I wouldn't post the menu. None of that appeals to me at all so I'd be likely to skip the package altogether. If I found out when I boarded, then I'd just eat whatever it was.

Can you make money on it by charging $429 for 2 nights? And position it as a 'Mountain Lake getaway with romantic sunset cruise'.

And if this wasn't what you were asking, ignore me. If it's one night only I'd stick with the under $300 price point.

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Madeleine wrote:

Let me understand...the package costs $298 (room, tax, all the goodies + cruise) and you charge $299 meaning your 'extra' on this is a buck? And it's one night?

In your area are your stays usually 1 or 2 nights? I think the idea with a pkg is to get 2 nights (that's what I try anyway). If I have an add-on option where I don't really care then that's what it is, an add-on, not a package. So, you could position this as an 'add-on romance package' and charge accordingly. Do you make the cruise reservations for the guests?

My take on the package is I would be more likely to buy it for 2 nights than 1 night because all I see when I look at it is that I'm paying $299 for one night and a dinner cruise. To me that means dinner and a boat ride is costing me way over $100. I'm not seeing the stuff in the room because it's not anything I care about. I guess what I'm saying is it is too easy to figure out how much everything costs and to decide I could do better if I arranged it on my own without the extra stuff I don't want.

And, unless you've been asked, I wouldn't post the menu. None of that appeals to me at all so I'd be likely to skip the package altogether. If I found out when I boarded, then I'd just eat whatever it was.

Can you make money on it by charging $429 for 2 nights? And position it as a 'Mountain Lake getaway with romantic sunset cruise'.

And if this wasn't what you were asking, ignore me. If it's one night only I'd stick with the under $300 price point.

If I make it two nights the price point is way way too high and no one books it. That is why I note on the packages page they can add on a second night. Seriousely, when I did this year before last it was ONLY one nighters...special ocassion, bought the package only.  I don't need a title or any of that, I am not sharing all of that here, in fact I don't want links to the boat or people will book it themselves.

The menu IS asked for every time.  See how it is. YOU AND I versus the guests that book it. I am not sharing the page here, I just shared parts of it for you to have a better picture, capiche.  THis is NOT the page here, just a cut n paste of some info. Not asking how to market it, just asking about price.

Okay let me start over, I am asking for help on the pricing, not reconfig the package. The point is not to add on a night and have them stay longer, see that is not HERE.  It is to have them book period. I wish that were the issue. 

Ignore the $299, I JUST PUT THAT THERE TO SHOW YOU WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE. I NEED A PRICE POINT DANG IT! haha stop, stop the circles.  It is like trying to catch my dog when she is all wound up and running in circles around the yard! haha

YES it is $50 per person or might be even $55-58 this year (whenever they get back to me) for this dinner and cruise. 

BUT what price point sounds better, $299 or $305 or $312? price point, that is what I want, gimmee gimmee!  

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I am going to kick in my 2 cents (no pun intended). 

Years ago it was discovered (by who I forgot) that in marketing if you put it a penny lower more people will buy it.

Say an item is $3.00 or $2.99.  People feel that one silly penny off is a better bargain and go for the $2.99.

It's all in the mind.

Stick with the $299.

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Madeleine's picture
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Here, let me wind you up some more...why not try a 3 or 5 night package this year? (I always go odd numbers on these things.)

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

BUT what price point sounds better, $299 or $305 or $312? price point, that is what I want, gimmee gimmee!  

Why don't you just ask that in the first place and don't give any other info?

$299. Anything between $295 and $299. $297 sounds like you really thought about it. 

Hillbilly's picture
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Let me rake a stab at this. Your not really trying to make money off of your package right? You jus want something for a guest to think they are getting a really god deal and your money made here is your room rental. If this is the case. I would for sure go with the $299.00. If someone looks at a pkg that is over $300.00. I feel you will diminish the among of people that book it. I would stay in $299.00 range.

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Bob wrote:
Let me rake a stab at this. Your not really trying to make money off of your package right? You jus want something for a guest to think they are getting a really god deal and your money made here is your room rental. If this is the case. I would for sure go with the $299.00. If someone looks at a pkg that is over $300.00. I feel you will diminish the among of people that book it. I would stay in $299.00 range.

You got it! When our state tourism dept asks for packages in this season or that I have THIS one to post. They may even use it as a feature for something, eNews etc.

It is not a money maker on the package, it is a draw. I hope people will stay longer, but those who book this (in the past) never have. When I had it as a two night package I had zero interest, none. So I have to keep it as low as possible. I can select the dates I want to offer it (if they ever give them to me from their sailing schedule).

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Bob wrote:
Let me rake a stab at this. Your not really trying to make money off of your package right? You jus want something for a guest to think they are getting a really god deal and your money made here is your room rental. If this is the case. I would for sure go with the $299.00. If someone looks at a pkg that is over $300.00. I feel you will diminish the among of people that book it. I would stay in $299.00 range.

You got it! When our state tourism dept asks for packages in this season or that I have THIS one to post. They may even use it as a feature for something, eNews etc.

It is not a money maker on the package, it is a draw. I hope people will stay longer, but those who book this (in the past) never have. When I had it as a two night package I had zero interest, none. So I have to keep it as low as possible. I can select the dates I want to offer it (if they ever give them to me from their sailing schedule).

I may not have an inn yet but I do have many - way too many years of marketing.  If the "package" is the draw then this is your lost leader.  You want them to book, and then hope (and if you are good at it, up sell them) another night.

Marketing data says prices ending in 5 are percieved as a better deal than prices ending in 9.  9 means to a customer it is the most you can charge without going to the next level.

If you can price your package so you are discounting your room rate by $10 - $15 per person, or effectively making the second cruise guest half off then you will have perceived value.  Maybe not on the front end but certainly on the back end.  You know they will check the prices and when they see what a deal you got them, they will book or refer for future.

Heads in beds, butts in seats, dollars in drawers.  It is all the same, get them in once and sell them on YOU they will come back.  So price it at $295, or if you can $275 or $285.  Making less on one room is better than making nothing.  JMHO, but I will say this, I worked up a "package" every month in my previous business, and it always brought them in, I kept them coming back.  You can also add value with the "special offer $275 valued at $325" or whatever it prices out to be.

 

 

 

Madeleine's picture
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I think a lot of it depends on the area. Thanks for the '5' vs '9' info, my prices just went to '9's', dang. Mostly because I don't think the market will support a full $10 and I wanted to test the '0' vs '9' theory. I don't like the 9 because I end up with odd bits of change that the 5's did not give me. $356.04 with the tax. Ugh.

For my pkgs I do not discount anything. I tack an additional $5 on to each element that I have to go out of my way to add. Dinner? $5 for getting the GC. Cruise? $5 for making the reservations. If, when I do the numbers, the pkg comes out to $501, I will round it back to $499 if it's not keeping at least a $20 difference between the next level of room.

Weaver's picture
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I should point out that the 5 vs 9 deal mostly works on the buying public when you are dealing with 3 digit numbers.

When dealing with two or four digit numbers the 9 is better perceived value.  Don't ask me why, just is the way this goofy country's shoppers think. And I have seen it in action, btw it doesn't matter if it is a service or a tangible item.

$29.99 sounds better than $25.99.  But $295 feels better than $299.  Go figure.

 

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Weaver wrote:

I should point out that the 5 vs 9 deal mostly works on the buying public when you are dealing with 3 digit numbers.

Wow, interesting.  I tried it on myself, and yeah, the price did seem more attractive to me. Thanks for sharing

Madeleine's picture
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Lots of times I have packages that do nothing but generate traffic for room sales. ie- they don't take the pkg, but they do stay anyway.

Interesting thing happened a few weeks ago...I got an email from a guy who owns an outfitter. He saw my blog and wanted to let me know that he also offers the same instruction and rentals as a place that is 35 minutes from here that was the place I posted on my blog.

I told him I would add his name to my blog. I did and he emailed back today offering my guests 15% off any rentals at his place. I asked him to put put together a package (instruction + rental + guided tour) and get back with me. Told him it was easier for me if he did that so I didn't mess up the pricing. I'll see what happens.

Would any of my guests go for this? No idea, but it sounds like a fun package.

I just uploaded 7 packages to various websites. Got 3 online bookings for 2 different ones.

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