OperationsThe Right Mix of Room Types for Leisure Travelers

The Right Mix of Room Types for Leisure Travelers

With multiple reports that travel this summer will exceed that of previous years by more than 30 percent, it is important to reconsider your hotel’s room type configuration. As a matter of affordability, organized tour groups, as well as families that travel for leisure or school or youth-related events, often seek out accommodations that offer more than one bed per guestroom. Hotels whose room mix is dominated by single king-bedded rooms and that typically market their properties to weekday business travelers will undoubtedly find themselves facing guest satisfaction challenges from such leisure travelers. Here are some aspects to consider:

The Booking Process

Unlike many loyal business travelers who tend to book directly with hotels through their brand websites, leisure guests and traveling families are more inclined to use online travel agencies (OTAs) to seek out deals. Many OTAs guarantee that the hotel will deliver the room type and bed configuration requested in the reservation, even if the hotel’s policy does not guarantee this. This can lead to guests becoming upset and OTAs demanding that a hotel provide such accommodations, if expectations are not fulfilled upon check in. Given that many tour groups and leisure travelers arrive later in the evening when guestroom supply, room types, and bed configurations are limited, it is imperative to manage the room rack inventory in advance to avoid confrontations. Remember, today’s leisure guests are focused on packing as much leisure and tourism in during the day and not worrying about ensuring that their reservation expectations will be fulfilled upon arrival. Once they check in late in the evening, they will be tired, less flexible, and insistent on having their expectations met. This can lead to negative encounters that your limited staff are ill-equipped to address at that hour. Additionally, negative reviews left through the OTA websites will compromise your property’s ability to attract future bookings.

Potential Alternatives

If converting more single-bedded rooms to double-bedded rooms is not feasible, consider offering rollaways or replacing guestroom sofas with pullout sofa beds. Of course, this will necessitate having housekeepers prepare these beds prior to departing for the day. Be sure to invest in and launder additional bed and bath linens to accommodate these temporary beds and the anticipated increased number of guests per room. Placing an extra pillow, blanket, and set of bed and bath linens in a sealed plastic bag on the shelf in the guestroom closet can also help alleviate late-night requests for these items.

William D. Frye
William D. Frye
Dr. William D. Frye is a hospitality educator, researcher, consultant, and former hotel general manager. He is the co-author of AHLEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.

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