Hotel discounts to continue in Europe

Referring to the survey of European hoteliers carried out by Hotwire.com, it said 75 per cent of hoteliers indicated that discounting is having a negative impact on their brand.

Five years ago, as the recession hit and consumers began tightening their purse string, hotels have responded with discounts and sales. Consumers have quickly become addicted as shown by the Hotwire 'Britain on Sale' report released earlier this year: more than half of today's consumers never or rarely pay full price when they shop, 57 per cent use discounts and buy items on sale, and 90 per cent say they will continue to look for discounts and sales in the same way even if their economic situation improves.

Consumers have become hooked on sales causing some hotels to worry that maybe they've gone too far. "Hoteliers are concerned that if their brand is seen as 'always on sale', it will be devalued and end up going the way of other companies and industries where consumers are never prepared to pay a premium," said Michelle Rosinsky, senior manager at Hotwire.com commented.

"We're not expecting that hoteliers will suddenly give up on discounting, because it is still an effective way to increase occupancy; however, we believe they'll become more selective about the channels they use, the value of discounts and the timing of their offers. Discounting will become more last-minute and increasingly they will utilise opaque sites and mobile."

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