What hotel operators can learn from Taylor Swift

Leisure travelers tend to spend more on local activities and events during their trips than they do on accommodation. Furthermore, the bleisure trend means that business travelers are increasingly interested in leisure pursuits and trip extensions.

There are ways that hotels can capitalize on the total spend of their guests even when that spend is outside the property. Hotels can earn commission from selling third-party activities and take a more active role in shaping their guests’ itinerary.

IHG Hotels & Resorts collaborates with iSeatz, a provider of digital commerce and loyalty solutions, and Viator, an aggregator of 300,000 travel activities and experiences. From the IHG website customers can discover local activities, tours and attractions near their hotel or their home and earn loyalty points when they book directly.

A search for things to do in London brings up 292 options. Top of the list are day trips to Stonehenge, Bath, Windsor Castle, and Warner Bros. Studio.  Hotels selling activities in this way earn on average 10 per cent commission. The attraction is obvious. Once set up, the hotel group is getting passive income.

So, hotels are well-positioned to financially benefit from the activities and tours market. Accommodation is often the first thing travelers book when planning a trip and independent hoteliers usually have far more local knowledge and expertise than an algorithm, but the booking process needs to be carefully designed so as not to confuse or over-burden the user.

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