Hotels and agents add perks to attract clients

Travel industry prepares for summertime leisure tourism boom

In general, many more consumers than last year are looking forward to a summer vacation. But they’re finding higher prices just about everywhere. Airfares are now about 11% higher than they were in 2010, according to research by Travelocity. Hotel rates are also up. The good deals that are available are in the form of perks and add-ons, for example one accommodation night free if two or seven or 10 are booked. Gift cards, spa credits and free meals or drinks are also being thrown into hotel or package deals. This is a way for hotels to keep hold of higher rates against the competition. Cruises also are enticing passengers by offering free nights or free drinks or excursions.
Some OTAs, such as Sabre-owned Travelocity, have introduced schemes where clients can book a “secret” hotel room by naming the city and the number of stars the room has, but little else. They can then save more than half the price on the rates.
[pictured: complimentary continental breakfast, Staybridge Suites, Orlando South]