More tourists opting for package deals – Expedia

There is an increase in the number of tourists using package deals when travelling to the Caribbean, and one of the worlds most recognized travel companies wants the hotel industry to take advantage of this trend.

Expedia said not only were people less likely to cancel a package booking compared to hotel-only bookings, but the length of stay was usually longer.

A package refers to a combination of hotel, airfare and/or car bookings.

Senior Director of Resorts Lodging Partner Services Rafael del Castillo said during the 12-month period ending March 31, 2017, there was a 15 per cent increase in travellers booking packages to the Caribbean, when compared to the previous year.

While Barbados was not featured as one of the top destinations of choice for such bookings, del Castillo said the region was in a position to capitalize on the trend.

“In total, the top six package destination in the Caribbean were Punta Cana, San Juan, Montego Bay, Aruba, Ocho Rios and Paradise Island,” del Castillo said.

The top source markets for package demand to the Caribbean were the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands, with the biggest share coming from the US.

Pointing out that packages were a great way to maximize revenue, secure longer booking windows and minimize cancellations, del Castillo said both luxury and budget travellers were seeking package bookings since they found it “cost efficient” and “time efficient”.

“With the continued growth of this category, hoteliers can leverage travel data and relationships to enhance their offerings and make package demand a key component of their success,” he said.

He said based on Expedia’s research, average daily rates (ADR), a common performance metric for hotels, for package stays were nearly one-and-a-half times higher compared to standalone stays.

“This shows a substantial rate boost for hotels and an incentive to include their hotels in package offerings,” he said, pointing out that ADRs were highest in Turks and Caicos, St John, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Nassau and the Out Islands of the Bahamas.

“Package bookings typically have twice the length of stay than a standalone hotel booking, making them an attractive source of incremental demand for hotel partners. The average length of stay for package bookings was nearly two days longer than standalone bookings during the 12 months ending the first quarter of 2017, when compared to the same time frame the year before,” del Castillo said.

He also pointed out that the booking window for packages were about two times longer than the time it took travellers to book only a hotel.

“For package demand, since the hotel stay is commonly linked to a non-refundable flight, packages have half the cancellation rate of a hotel-only booking,” he added.

The travel official said in order for hoteliers to be “smarter about their package offerings” and take advantage of the development, they should understand and embrace air connections, know the demands of their source markets, be more familiar with the packages consumers are seeking and differentiate their properties.

He said hoteliers could input package options that deliver compelling offerings that meet the specific market needs of their travellers.

“There are numerous ways that hotels can stand out from their competitors and attract more looks and books. Knowing that package consumers are more likely to upgrade and spend more on property, hotels should target guests with special discounts and offers, value-add promotions and complimentary amenities leading up to their arrival,” recommended del Castillo.

One Response to More tourists opting for package deals – Expedia

  1. jrsmith August 30, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Why is our barbados tourist groups , seems to be always waiting on others to show up the happenings in the tourist markets …….


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