The hotel industry had its worst possible year three years ago in 2009. And while things have been picking up somewhat since then, they aren’t as great as you would think. If you have been licking your chops and thinking you could get them for whatever low price you had in mind, those kinds of hotel deal aren’t available. The hotel corporations are holding the line on the prices they charge. What they do to sweeten the deal is to offer better extras.
No, they aren’t giving you better amenities – to cut back on those too. Instead, they offer you a free extra night, free gift cards, free parking and other such things. This is the last year they’ll do this though. They are really looking forward to how the travel industry will truly recover in 2012.
Know how American has quit nearly every third-party travel website? They did that because for every sale they made through one of these websites, they had to pay a huge commission. An airline can afford to do that because there aren’t that many airlines for you to choose from. Eventually, you will have to come to American for something or the other. When it comes to hotels though, there are thousands of them out there. They can’t really quit Travelocity or Expedia.
Instead, they can offer you incentives to come directly to them to make a booking and not go those websites that they ask for 30% for every booking made through them. When you go to book directly at the hotel websites, not only do they offer to match the best hotel deal you can find on the third-party websites, they even let you get an upgrade for free and they like you change your reservations with no penalty attached. If you have a loyalty card for the hotel, you even get a better upgrade.
Most hotels out there are franchises. Over there, whatever prices are set by the corporate officer set in stone. Individual franchisees don’t have much leeway when it comes to giving you a discount. Go to individual-owned hotels on the other hand, and those hotel deals could really come through.
As usual, they offer these through Facebook or Twitter. You usually get 50% off and so on. They want to see people who are really engaged and into them. You never get a discount like that at a large hotel chain.
For even better deals, look at those add-on fees they charge you and ask for those to be waived. While airlines may pile the fees on with impunity, the hotels can’t do that. If you don’t want to pay horrible charges to use the landline in the room or if you don’t want to pay lots of money to order movie, or if you don’t want to pay their $50 resort fee, just talk to billing about it. They’ll be reasonable.