Flash sales in hotels: good and bad


5 star hotel for 1 star. Free room nights. Very good and good hotel deals. Flash sales sites are on the rise due to the weakness of the economy around the world and desperate hoteliers are being exploited to dump their inventory. And consumers have invested in these flash sales sites that drain the hotel’s inventory at very deep discounts. Sites like Living Social, Haute Look, Snique Away, Travelzoo and JetSetter. True, consumers have found that they save big savings. But is this model sustainable for the hotel industry? Or do all these growing Flash sites eventually change ADR and consumer trust on the page, just like OTA sites in the past?

Flash sites invest by appearing as unique (email subscription required), as auction sites, or by offering flash-bang promotional deals that are only available for a very limited time. To further complicate the process, websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial are gathering consumers to collect more hotel prices.

Currently, this model is working. Statistics show that consumers are joining these flash sites. And hoteliers are already dumping inventory. Ultimately luxury hotels are on average available for travel as 4 and 5 star resorts offer 40-60% off. And many consumers find that they can not only stay in better hotels in the past, but also be able to stay in these properties. Many deals include free nights in the room, customer stay and price promotions at other hotel amenities. So one way to look at the phenomenon of flash sales sites is to save hotel room costs for the industry while saving hotel rooms for the industry. Winner, right?

The question arises, since these hotels are jumping on the flash sales train, do they support a pattern and make them complain within a few years? Do these hotels lack the creativity and willingness to invest in direct sales (such as flash sites) alone?

Flash sales sites are useful for the retail market, requiring unloaded stock from its shelves as new models come out or launch next season. For these types of products, discounting is a way to get rid of unsold inventory. This is not the case in the hospitality industry. As we have seen with OTA & 39; severe discounts lead to the erosion of value, lack of loyalty and consumer confidence. Hoteliers often use their inventory at this stage, and at a discounted rate, it is impossible to get rates back to where they should be when they arrive. All of these short-term benefits offset long-term growth and sustainability. Even if demand rises with a stronger economy, there is a risk that flash sales sites will set too low a bar for ADR and create an unstable bottom line.

It is time for hoteliers to wake up, learn what they see from these flash sales sites and use them on their websites. With the urgency of the same urgency, exclusivity and loyalty that flash sales sites have, shift the principle from non-compensated URLs to your destination and reservations. When all the benefits of using the Flash site (both from a marketing and consumer perspective) are applied to the hotel’s personal website, a real win-win situation is created. Hoteliers will be able to satisfy their customers by waiting for their interest rates and tend to the best hotel deals, but until that happens, flash sales sites appear to be the short-term answer to the old question. Where can I find the best deal?