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Most popular customer incentive from hotels: Discount rates

August 05, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • A guest at the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles relaxes by the pool.
A guest at the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles relaxes by the pool. (Christopher Reynolds /…)

What are the marketing gimmicks most widely used by hotel operators to lure guests?
Room discounts, followed by free Wi-Fi and other amenities.

A survey of more than 25,000 hotel owners and managers in North America by the travel website TripAdvisor found that discounted rooms were offered by 58% of the U.S. hotels surveyed. It was 63% in Mexico and 53% in Canada.

“Regionally, it seems that the industry tends to use some of the same methods of attracting travelers,” said Kevin Carter, a spokesman for TripAdvisor.

The next most popular incentive was “special amenities,” as the survey put it, naming free Wi-Fi as an example. In the U.S., 44% of hotels offered the no-cost amenities to guests. Perhaps the most alluring promotion for travelers is a free night’s stay — only 14% of hotels in the U.S. offered that, though it was 34% in Canada.

Other incentives offered by U.S. hotels included free parking (31%) and free newspapers (20%).

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