As daily deals and coupon sites like Scoopon, Stardeals, Cudo and Wotif flood the market with cheap offers, one five-star hotelier is turning up her nose at the patronage the companies attract.
Speaking at the Web in Travel conference in Sydney today, Christine Whyte, director of revenue management for the Observatory Hotel, said the release of coupon and a cheap deal attracted customers that tarnish the hotel's upmarket brand image.
"These guests dined in rooms, but not through room service. Instead they relied on the six to eight bread rolls with butter that lined their pockets having shared one breakfast plate in the restaurant. They departed the hotel with bulging backpacks filled to overflowing, but with miniature bottles of shampoos and conditioners.
"And will they be back? No. They're waiting for the next great deal to score as many room amenities as can fill their discount shopping bags," Whyte said.
Cheapening the hotel's brand to get these customers through the door wasn't worth what the company paid in a loss of reputation, she said.
"My Observatory Hotel brand is all about who I am and what I want to be seen as, not as cheap and cheerful ... but rather, as Australia's most awarded five-star hotel. My product is not a commodity purely to be chosen on the basis of price or getting something for free," Whyte said.