The best hotel freebees it's freebee time!
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The best hotel freebees it's freebee time!

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It is very interesting to see how product and service marketers attract guests and customers especially when the market is down. Hotel industry is no exception, it not only offers best rates but......

It is very interesting to see how product and service marketers attract guests and customers especially when the market is down. Hotel industry is no exception, it not only offers best rates but also loads its offer with attractive and enticing freebees.

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  • 1. The BestHotelFreebies – It’sFreebie TimeBY: RAM GUPTAThe economic slowdown was anightmare for the global businesscommunity and especially the hospitalityindustry, everyone fighting to survive theimpact. Customer retention became the
  • 2. buzz word. However this was in a way abig boom time for the few lucky oneswho could still afford to travel forbusiness and pleasure. As marketdemand shrunk due to tight travelbudgets, hotels crammed to woe thetravelers left, right and center. Thisperiod saw the advent of some veryinnovative and creative marketing offersby hotels across the globe. Whiledifferent hotels adopted differentstrategies to retain guests and business,here are a couple of freebies that thehotels offered to its guests to attractthem.
  • 3. Free Limo Airport Pick-upAs you touch down at your destinationairport, you were greeted in the arrivalhall by the hotel’s representative whohelped you collect your baggage, andescorted you out where the hotel limowaited to take you to the hotel. Therewere even surprises in the limo services.You were offered a cold perfumed wettowel to freshen up, complimentary softdrink or water, shown the stack ofnewspapers and magazines and alsooffered a choice of music CD’s for yourlistening pleasure. Luxury, they say hasno limits.
  • 4. Arrival Welcome DrinkUpon arrival at the hotel, you are againoffered a welcome drink while you arechecking in. This generally included acolorful mock tail, fresh juice or myfavorite, fresh coconut water with a freshred hibiscus flower smiling at you. Verywelcoming!
  • 5. In Room FreebiesMost hotels, including some top brandedhotels offered a number of freebies to itsguests in the room, like-Fresh Fruits and FlowersChoice of Freshly cut fruit platter thatyou could order from room service,compliments of the hotel.Free soft drinks from the mini bar. Nowthis one had a catch. While the soft
  • 6. drinks were free, all alcoholic drinks wascharged. HoweverI must compliment the idea as it madethe guest open the mini bar and get soldto the other chargeable stuff packed in it.Free bottles of mineral water replaceddaily.Free platter of homemade cookies.
  • 7. Free good night chocolate at bed timenicely placed on the pillow of your bed.Free Newspaper which you got withyour early morning tea, if you ordered itor it was left hanging with your doorknob.Free in room tea-coffee maker withdifferent types of tea and coffee sachets,milk powder and sugar.Free Luxury toiletries in the bath roomwhich included soap, shampoo,conditioner, body wash, bubble bath andbody lotion.
  • 8. Complimentary hot breakfast buffet offering ahuge variety of juices, fruits, preserves,breads, cold cuts, salads, dairy products,choice of eggs and a couple of hot localdishes and hot beverages . This freebie Ifeel, is the best part of the offer.Free WiFi offered by many hotels on fullor partial basis. You could use the lap topup to certain MB’s free and beyond thatyou were charged. Alternatively somehotel allowed free use of their businesscenter for 30 minutes a day, enough toscan through your mails.
  • 9. Free Shoe Shine service offered by manyhotels on the guest room floors.A very thoughtful freebie that Iexperienced was when I got the offer offree ironing of a suit on the first day ofarrival in a city hotel. So useful, asgenerally your suit gets crumpled in thesuit case and you have to compromisewearing a crumpled suit on the day ofarrival.Now this one is a real spoiler. I thinkaimed at winning your personal loyalty.
  • 10. The hotel that offered me free ironingservice had a surprise on departure. As Iwas settling my bill, I was approached bythe lobby manager and asked about mystay which is normal in most luxuryhotels. He then moved to the desk andoffered me a gift wrapped plastic lunchbox filled with chocolates and cookiesfor the kids back home. He also asked mewhat I generally preferred to drink athome, “wine” I said and he had anotherbox with one piece of wine glass incrystal. What he told me next was a realstealer, “Sir, next time you stay with usdo not forget to claim your second piece,and well if you stay here regularly, yourbar could have a crystal glass set for
  • 11. wine, on the rocks and long drinks”, thatwas some sales pitch.The list of freebies is never ending. Iremember hotels that offered “free openbar from 6 pm to 8 pm” every evening,not to mention the free give away. I havea pretty good collection of pen sets, keychains; initial embroidered his and hertowels, personalized stationary, tableclocks, think pads, leather wallets andchop sticks and so on. There is always away you can pamper your guests, but thewinner is the one who converts a needinto a freebie, that is something that not
  • 12. only touches you but makes you stick tothe brand and talk about it.If the economic slowdown had a downside, the upside was that it made thehotels think out of the box, come up withgreat guest retention strategies and notonly survive the adverse impact but tocome out as market leaders.Ram Gupta is a professional hotelier with over fourdecades of experience in India, Far East, MiddleEast and Europe. A Member of Institute ofHospitality, U.K., he is also a Certified HotelAdministrator from U.S.A. He has worked for someof the best hotel chains and was associated with overtwo dozen hotel projects in varying capacities. He isnow an independent consultant in the Industry. His
  • 13. web site can be viewed at www.bcgglobal.com andcan be contacted at ramgupta@bcgglobal.com http://www.bcgglobal.com OCTOBER, 2012 © BUSINESS CONSULTING GROUP GLOBAL