DAY-USE HOTEL ROOM BOOKING OPTIONS – AN UPDATE
In the Summer 2016 issue of Hospitality Upgrade I wrote about the opportunity and roadblocks to the reservation of day-use rooms. Day-use rooms – guestrooms rented for several hours or a half day during daytime hours – are not new. For some hotels (and I think it could be many more) it is low profile but steady business that generates significant incremental revenue.
Over the past nine months the visibility of the day-use room booking opportunity has grown considerably. A major hotel operator – Hilton Hotels & Resorts – now offers day-use book ability on its website. No longer the exclusive domain of day-use specific websites, travelers may now go to Hilton.com to view day-use room rates and reserve their lodging.
But it requires some out-of-the-box thinking, since the day-use booking option is not readily apparent. To access the day-use availability one must enter a hotel location (Miami for example) and a check-in date. The website will auto-suggest the following day as the checkout date. By manually changing the checkout date to the same date as the check-in date and clicking “go,” day-use hotel and rate options are displayed.
The day-use specialist websites are showing continued strength. While the majority of the operators are based in Europe, their hotel inventories are increasingly multi-continent, even global. In November Dayuse.com, a Paris-based global market leader, appointed Marion Roger as its general manager North America, tasked with building North American hotel participation (principally through enhanced electronic connectivity) and increasing service use. In doing so Dayuse.com takes on the Americas market leader, HotelsByDay.
The decision of hotels to participate in online day-use accommodation reservation channels and travelers to book on them, is increasingly apparent.
A trend paralleling their collective booking volume growth is the diversification in offered products on these websites. Add-ons of spa services or fitness facility access are now the norm. Frequent too is the opportunity to reserve meeting rooms or guest suites. Common as well is the availability of special occasion packages, recognizing birthdays, anniversaries, events such as Valentines, and the like.