Deals sites attract cheap guests: hotelier

Deals sites attract cheap guests: hotelier

Summary: 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.

TOPICS: Travel Tech

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.


(Box o' coupons image by sdc2027,
CC BY-SA 2.0)

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.

Topic: Travel Tech

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

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  • Last hotel I went to made me wait in the foyer while they went to my room to see what was had been used, they then charged me for it!
  • A truly exceptional job by "Christine Whyte, director of revenue management" to alienate any potential customers who aspire to stay in the obviously upmarket elitist Observatory Hotel - who have now been effectively named as tigharses and (almost) thieves.
    If this is not the target audience why not simply say "coupon and daily deals sites are not a marketing source we wish to pursue" instead of bagging out the people who seem to use them?
    Given the cheapest I could find a room for on their corporate website was some $315 a night - I'll be taking my business elsewhere, where my dollar goes further - and I won't be made to feel like some kind of criminal while paying for the privilege!
  • My wife and I recently stayed at the observatory for our anivesary. We are middle income people from penrith in western sydney and we often splurge on nice hotels and restaurants for special occaisions.

    When we stayed at the observatory we paid $500 for a one night with dinner and breakfast deal and we thought it was great. We did take the soap that we had been using but only because it was so awesome! But we also paid for everything and treated the hotel with respect and these cooments will not stop us from doing what we are legally entitled to do. Stay anywhere we damwell want in this free country and if it is a problem that we are not uber rich then that problem is yours and not ours because your boring insecure and dumb comments will not affect us westies from doing what we want. You see we are too intellegent to be affected by comments like these and we have the right to stay whereever we want! Next time i might walk in wearing thongs and a singlet!