Whether you are a specialist tour operator or a generic one, you know very well that your hotels choice will strongly impact your product.
Hotels have a double role in your tour: economic and emotional.
Hotels as a main cost in tour operating
Operational costs of a tour include many voices but certainly Hotels are one of the heaviest.
Our Clients say that the cost of hotels is between 30 and 44% of their expenses. This including both the Bill itself and the preliminary phase of hotels scouting.
The rates accorded are the result of an efficient negotiation – we will talk about this in another dedicated post. Negotiation starts with an online search and comparison of rates, preferrably on its website. Online portals cannot allow an apple-to-apple evaluation, but can be a reference during contracting.
As we know well, in a successful negotiation both parts want to be satisfied.
The negotiation process involves economical and psychological aspects. We think that having always impeccable kindness and good manners is an essential attitude of our contractors. This of course regardless of firmness.
The scouting of a hotel is often part of a more general scouting of the itinerary, for obvious costs reasons.
But often people that scout hotels are guides or even employees of the tour operator. They have a long list of aspects of the overall tour to check. To minimize the expenses of flights, room & board and other logistical costs for their stay in the Country, they are often surcharged and not totally focused on the hotel.
We have an experience of hotels inspections of many years and we can rely on a hotels database that covers Italy and a large part of Europe too. We have a spin-off activity that we developed thanks to some tour operators that offer various European itineraries over Italy. Our filter can allow tour organizer to by-pass this part of the scouting with confidence.
Hotels impact on your Guests emotions
The hotel is the place where your Guests rest after a day of exploring and experiencing. They close the door, find a little bit of privacy and look back on their day.
The wrong hotel can ruin their experience: they will never forgive you for a bad hotel choice. Nowadays individuals have a lot of tools to evaluate you and your products. Basically, they will never recommend you and this is critical because returning guests are even the 70% of our Clients travelers, according to our Surveys.
Probably your Guests will take a lot of photos of their hotels rooms and will post them immediately on social media with many comments. Emotions are king!
This happens both if you are offering luxury tours or budget ones. Budget tours are even more difficult for a tour programmer. It’s harder to guarantee maximum order, cleaning and quality that in a 5 star resort (http://homesuitehomeblog.org/the-role-of-housekeeping-in-hotels-reputation/)
Some bad habits in tour operating
Finally, we can say that it’s strategical to choose the right hotel in each destination and to rely on specialists to optimize the choice and the negotiation. Furthermore, being the same person doing this strengthens the hotels specialist position towards hotel management.
Finally, some unprofessional behaviors can be adopted thinking of saving time and, apparently, money:
- Choosing hotels using online reputation engines as Booking or Tripadvisor, also because they are not targeted for groups (even small ones). You need to build a relationship with the hotel’s management to both concur to a success for your mutual Clients’ stay. Only a personal approach can allow you to obtain this.
- Very few, luckily, take the risk of choosing the hotel remotely and trying it via their Clients first stay – using them as Guinea Pigs.
Home Suite Home as a guarantee in hotels choice and negotiation
As consultants for different niche tour operators we know various product targets and we learnt to match hotels with Clients Personas.
It’s all about defining together your ideal Guest and to identify hotels that he can expect and the ones that can surprise him.