PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Albion, Queensland, Australia, 2007/06/18 - OzoneCard Australia provides innovative way for hotel and other accommodation providers to trade their excess capacity for media placement and advertising.
Every night over 40% of all hotel rooms sit empty, yet the fixed costs of running a hotel stay the same.
Short term solutions such as offering last-minute discounts may be quick revenue earners but the hotel risks customers getting used to lower prices and becoming resistant to rates increases.
The choice is often a difficult one. Either you sell the room at near cost, risk the anger of organized customers and give the market the idea that your hotel rooms are cheap; or leave the room empty.
One way to vanquish these problems is to use barter.
Rather than risk spending cash on advertising to get more customers a barter exchange gives a hotel owner the opportunity to effectively swap unsold rooms for media placement.
"Barter provides an excellent value proposition for the accommodation industry," says Miriam Worsnop, director of OzoneCard Australia, a company that arranges barter exchange deals between hotels and media outlets. "A hotel can sell its last-minute unsold rooms for full retail value which can then be put towards a media campaign"
There are many important business reasons to work with barter as part of a hotels overall marketing strategy.
• Barter ensures excess capacity is sold "off-market"
• Rooms are not sold at a discount ¡V thereby ensuring pricing integrity
• The hotel can choose to sell their empty rooms online only ¡V ensuring that only their last minute inventory is sold
• The hotel can "trade" unsold rooms for things that they need to acquire new cash customers
OzoneCard Australia is a relatively new barter exchange company and specialises in last-minute deals. Because the company sees that hotels are key to the barter industry it charges no cash fees.
The company also offers a fully-automated e-commerce platform which lets hotels place their empty rooms for sale to other barter exchange users. It also provides hotel owners 24 hour telephone-based customer service, phone banking as well as email and mobile phone alerts to let them know when one of their rooms has been sold online.
"You can never make up the revenue of an unsold room. Once the date has past you lost any opportunity to make money on it, so why not sell it on barter and get something useful instead" says Mrs Worsnop.
The company also suggests that hotels can use barter dollars to buy restaurant or shopping vouchers which could be on-sold or given away to its cash-paying customers.
Other ideas include giving frequent cash-paying guests free airport pickup, newspapers or "welcome back" gift baskets ¡V all of which can be purchased on barter.
OzoneCard (ozonecard.com) offers media placement opportunities in Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and the USA.
Mrs Worsnop says that even selling 10% of unsold hotel rooms in a year can provide a hotelier with access to advertising worth $250,000 or more.