By Gwen O’Toole
A new website that allows consumers to make bids on vacant rooms is being touted as a way for hotels to bolster revenue in tough economic times.
ubid4rooms.com is a new online tool that helps hoteliers
fill vacant rooms in tough economic times
Created by hotel veteran Gary Berman, www.ubid4rooms.com allows consumers to make offers for rooms at more than 350 hotels across Australia and New Zealand up to 14 days in advance at rates better than those advertised and often better than any other offerings online.
“A vacant room is revenue lost forever,” Berman said. “It makes a lot more sense to sell a vacant room at a controlled discount, especially in times like these, than leaving it empty.
“The beauty of the system we have engineered is that all transactions made on our site are confidential, one-off offers between the hotel and consumer, thus protecting the integrity of the hotel’s official tariffs.”
Bidders on ubid4rooms.com don’t compete against other bidders and confirmation is provided within three hours. And hotels are not charged to list their properties online
Berman said a rise in vacant rooms and worrying surveys showing three quarters of consumers have either downgraded, ruled out or cancelled holiday plans, mean hotels must ditch rigid rate policies and adopt more innovative methods of getting more ‘bums in beds’.
He said that while hotels listed on Ubid4rooms.com offered very competitive rates, many found that any reduction in rate was offset by guest expenditure on the hotel’s bars, restaurants, spas and other services.
“We have also found that be being more flexible with rates, hotels are winning new clients who might not have tried them before,” he said.
“Consumers have now become very aggressive bargain hunters so to put more bums in beds, hotels need to be more flexible on rates and realise that profits can still be achieved through controlled discounting.
If you want a different result, you need to try something different. And the challenging times we’re now facing require a different approach to maximising revenue.”