Hoteliers Unconvinced By Group Discount Sites

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Posted on Apr 10th 2012

The results of a new survey suggest European hoteliers remain dubious of the value of discount websites such as Groupon and Living Social when it comes to driving room bookings. 

Just 27% of the properties that responded to the TravelClick survey saw flash sales websites as a sales tactic they would repeatedly use, while 33% said they would not try these sites at all. As many as 17% said they had used group discount sites in the past but would never try them again. 

The survey, which included nearly 400 hotels from the UK and Europe, revealed 5 key reasons why flash sales sitimes had failed to win hoteliers’ trust:

  • Not enough profit per room
  • The discount site took too much revenue
  • The offer wasn’t as successful as hoped
  • Did not win any repeat business
  • Attracted the wrong kind of customer

Hoteliers revealed that off-season occupancy (70%) and publicity (60%) were the two main factors that drove them to try flash sale sites. 35% reported they were keen to reach a new demographic, while nearly a quarter (24%) said keeping up with the competition was a driving factor. 

Groupon emerged as the most used flash sale site with 60% of the hoteliers questioned choosing it over 28% who opted for Living Social and just 15% who tried JetSetter. Travelclick’s president Jan Tissera commented on the survey noting that despite the rapid success of Groupon and Living Social, there is a growing awareness of the limitations of these sites within the travel sector. She also pointed out that hoteliers have noticed that these sites tend to attract customers who have stayed with them before, making ‘up-selling’ more difficult.

 Have you ever tried group discount sites to drive room bookings?

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