Hotels and Resort Fees
Travelers are extremely savvy at shopping for hotel deals. As a result, some hotels advertise their lowest possible rates and charge for added extras — including the mandatory “resort fee”. Typically, this fee averages around $21 per day and covers what are generally considered standard amenities, including in-room Wi-Fi, and access to the hotel gym and pool.
But hotel and resort fees are causing major problems for some hotels. In some cases, a guest may spot the resort fee pop up just before they book online, causing them to abandon their booking because they feel cheated at suddenly being asked to pay extra.
To make matters worse, some guests know nothing about these fees until they get hit with them at checkout. This can leave them feeling deceived. The obvious consequence is they choose never to rebook with the hotel, and potentially vent their frustrations on social media, or post a negative review on TripAdvisor.
Some hotels are even battling lawsuits under accusations that they didn’t clearly notify customers about their resort fees before including them in the final bill. While the outcome of many of these lawsuits is still pending, the negative PR is clearly harmful to the hotel’s reputation.
So how can hotels be more upfront about resort fees, and how can they describe them more positively to help improve guest satisfaction, earn better reviews, and build stronger long-term relationships?
Sell the benefits
While resort fees might not be popular, hotels that charge them need to be completely transparent about what they are. This is where an experienced booking reservation team can prove a huge asset. It allows a hotel to explain, in positive terms, what the resort fee includes.
It’s critical that reservation agents communicate how the resort fee represents meaningful value. Key to this is understanding why a traveler is choosing the hotel.
For instance, if they’re on a business trip and the resort fee includes Wi-Fi, promoting that fact reassures a guest they’ll have a productive and comfortable environment to work in. If they’re traveling for leisure and the resort fee includes private pool access, this becomes a selling point that tells them they won’t be disturbed during a much-needed escape from work.
A great reservation agent knows how to ask the right questions that reveal the preferences and travel motivations of each potential guest. They can align the value of a resort fee to the specific services or amenities that a guest will find most appealing.
It’s also worth remembering that a reservation sales agent is often the first personal touch point a guest has with a hotel. That first conversation reflects the level of service a guest can expect if they book. If they develop an affinity not just for the property, but also for the person they’re speaking with, they’ll be more inclined to book that hotel knowing they’ve made an informed decision.
Unsure how your reservation agents are communicating hotel and resort fees to potential guests?
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