It is nice to see the gradual return of travel after an extended hiatus. With people impacted financially by the global pandemic, it is understandable travellers will be looking for the best deals. We have put together some suggestions to help save on your hotel booking.
There have been campaigns over the years encouraging travellers to book direct. Some of the many reasons why hoteliers would prefer you to book direct is to build a relationship with their customers directly, easier to receive guest feedback which is invaluable, it also eliminates 3rd party commissions which can be anywhere between 10-25% of the room rate.
For those that do book direct, they will often benefit from discounts such as car parking, or receive complementary value ads like a late check-out.
There are an awful lot of hotels around the globe and new brands popping up all the time. Many of these brands will be apart of a global chain, such as Accor, IHG and Marriott. The one thing they all have in common is loyalty rewards programs. You will even find some of the independent boutique hotels will have their own member subscription, so make sure you take the time to ask the hotel or view their website to subscribe.
Many of these loyalty rewards or member subscription programs will come with discounts and value ads that are exclusive to the membership. The more you book the more you can receive and it may even be a program where you increase in status.
The type of complimentary offers you may receive are upgrades, parking, mini bar items, late checkout or early check-in, or perhaps an arrival drink or welcome gift in your room.
The benefits will vary from hotel to hotel.
Book In Advance
Hotels love to see their occupancy pick up 28+ nights in advance. This is very reassuring to any hotelier that there is continued business filtering in and not just living from day to day waiting for last-minute reservations. Could you imagine the stress!
Because of the importance of the advanced purchase, many hoteliers will provide a discounted rate should you be booking within a particular window of time. These sorts of offers may be extended for those booking 7+ or 14+ days prior to their check-in date.
When you are looking at availability and rates on a hotel website you will be looking for something that says Advanced Purchase, Pre-Paid, or Early Bird for example.
The biggest thing to watch will be the terms and conditions. More often than not, these discounted rates will require pre-payment and will be non-refundable. If this is not a concern to you then we recommend taking advantage of these types of offers.
Specials & Promotions
You can bet your bottom dollar hoteliers will run promotions during their need periods.
For capital cities in Australia, believe it or not, it is usually during the holiday periods such as Easter, school holidays and Christmas. The reason is that most of us tend to holiday in coastal towns or beach locations and our capital cities are crying out for business.
For regional locations, they will do the opposite. In non-peak holiday periods, or low and shoulder season is when you will see promotions to drive business where occupancy is low.
The types of promotions you may see are: Stay pay deals where you might stay for 3 nights and only pay for 2. This is a common promotion however, the night the discount is awarded may be different from hotel to hotel. You can enquire with the hotel to ask this question.
Another promotion might be a bed and breakfast offering that includes a daily buffet or ala carte breakfast.
It could be as simple as a percentage off sale, which always means more money back in your pocket to spend on other things like dining, retail, or experiences.
It also might be an exclusive promotion that is via the loyalty program which we discussed under member benefits. Often you will receive direct offers to your email for subscribing to their program.
Hoteliers do price match however, there are guidelines around this and we strongly suggest not throwing your toys in the sandpit should you not get your way. This is not a good look and will get you nowhere fast.
Should you find yourself shopping online for hotels and stumble across a discounted rate for a hotel there are some things you need to note before asking a hotel to price match.
You have to be comparing apples with apples. For example, if you are looking at a rate for the 1st May in a hotel room that is a pre-paid rate, do not phone a hotel and ask them to price match for the 10th of May in a suite with a flexible cancellation policy. The answer will be no because the date, room type, and conditions attached to the booking are all different.
It is also important to note that hotels do not have to price match (unless that is their policy) and if you are asking them to price match another hotel’s rates they may not always say yes. It will largely depend on whether the hotel is considered to be comparable. For example, you can’t be price matching 3-star hotels with a 5 star, or a hotel room against an apartment or suite.
You also need to be mindful that the rate to be matched must still be available. You will not be able to screenshot something you saw an hour ago and send that as proof. The hotel will simply log onto the site you are seeking to price match and if that rate is no longer displaying, they will not honour it. Hotel rates are dynamic which means they change based on bookings received and occupancy. You must be quick.
Travel Industry Rates
Should you be an employee of the travel industry then you may be in the position to receive an industry rate.
Industry rates are an exclusive offering set by the hotel with its own terms and conditions and are not publically advertised.
Who the industry rates are extended to will also be determined by the hotel. Generally speaking, they will be given to travel agents, airline staff, car hire and hoteliers. Hotels will also often ask for proof of employment which can be via a corporate email with an email signature, letter or employment, IATA card, etc.
Discounts can often range from 10% – 50% off however, the higher the discount often comes with fewer entitlements such as no complimentary upgrades, early check-in or out requests, etc.
For more tips and education on the travel industry, please visit our blogs page or subscribe to our newsletters (coming soon).