Saturday, October 10, 2009

The trend in travel: value-08 October, 2009

here’s a new norm in travel pricing: rock bottom, travel experts say.

“The rock-bottom room rates of the past year are expected to continue until hotels see a solid pickup in demand next year. Even then, prices won't skyrocket overnight because they were slashed so deeply, and no one knows what the new norm is going to be for travelers,” says The Arizona Republic.

"For the consumer, a buyer's market will persist into 2011," said Mark Woodworth, president of PKF Hospitality Research.

That's why there are summer-like prices and perks extended into the normally busier fall season in popular tourist areas such as Las Vegas.

Buy-a- night-or- two-and-get-one-free offers are abounding around the country, with discounts for dining, the spa and even the gift shop.

"We're at the mercy of the consumer right now," Roger Bloss, president and CEO of Vantage Hospitality Group. “Today, value is trendy.”

Some hotels have even added pick-up-your room service where guests order items but pick them up to save on tipping. Free poolside activities are also popular. And luxury hotels are expanding their menus in their casual eateries.

"The discounting is going to (continue to) be an issue," said David Kong, president and CEO of Phoenix-based Best Western International.

By David Wilkening
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