I stayed in New York two weeks ago, and my rate was $345 per night for a room in a two-and-a-half star hotel that offered a beautiful view of the brick-walled building next to my window. Not exactly cheap or luxurious.
Soon enough, though, I’ll be able to go back and pay $100 for a nicer hotel in a nicer neighborhood. The reason? Timing is everything.
Meeting professionals are very familiar with the ebb and flow of hotel rates, and it’s no secret that January is a down time for the hotel industry. To combat low occupancy rates, nearly 30 properties in New York have joined together for “Hotel Week NYC.” From January 3 - 12, tourists can take advantage of $100, $200 and $300 rates at hotels like the trendy Thompson LES or the Dewey Decimal-inspired Library Hotel in Midtown (seriously, each floor honors of the categories of the classification system).
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While discounting in the early part of the year is nothing new, those offers are usually confined to individual properties. Hotel Week is a strong example of members of the hotel industry working together - instead of competing - to spur business in a usually depressed time period. This is the third annual Hotel Week, and the campaign has paid off well in the past.
“”With nearly 900 room nights sold last year, Hotel Week NYC has been a boon for visitors desiring to experience a true Manhattan experience while seeking savings after the holidays and the hotels that have unsold inventory,” Nancy J. Friedman, founder of Hotel Week NYC and founder of Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations, says.
When the campaign first launched in 2012, some individual properties noticed a big difference. The Gansevoort Park Avenue saw a 31 percent increase in January occupancy between 2011 and 2012. All the properties have gained plenty of media exposure, too. Last year, Hotel Week collected more than 80 million positive impressions in outlets such as The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post.
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More Than Numbers
Outside of the obvious benefit of increased bookings, this seems to be a unique opportunity to begin building a sense of loyalty with some guests that ordinarily might make them return even when prices are lower? More and more budget-conscious and brand-indifferent travelers are turning to the name-your-own price games of Priceline, Hotwire and other online travel booking sites. With that in mind, the hotel industry will need to explore additional ways of attracting new guests that will book directly through their websites or reservation desks.
Want to kick off 2014 in New York with an attractive discount? Click here for a full list of properties offering Hotel Week discounts and how to receive the discounts.