Many of us stay in hotel rooms knowing that the premium rooms and suites down the corridor remain vacant and just out of reach. What if there was an option to upgrade to one of those rooms at a fraction of its original cost? Today a new online system – Upgradus – has been launched in Asia and is providing the answer to our hotel dreams.
Designed to act as the communicator between the customer and hotel, Upgradus is a free online service that allows hotel stayers, at any hotel in the world, to show an interest in an upgraded room at a heavily discounted rate.
Most hotels currently don’t offer a paid upgrade now for many reasons:
- There’s not much communication with guests between booking and check-in. Efforts are concentrated on promotion to get the room booked, and then delivering service when the guests arrive. The time in between booking and arrival is almost always inactive, with little or no communication.
- At the check-in the hotel wants to process guests quickly and efficiently, so they often don’t have time to discuss an upgrade and even so, an upgrade requires a significant decision by the guest as to the benefits and costs. That takes time for explanation and a decision, which often neither the guest nor hotel staff have. The reception staff are also not generally trained, authorised or incentivised to offer upgrades, so it doesn’t happen.
- Hotels are also understandably concerned that it could tarnish a stay by creating a ‘sales pitch and negotiation’ at a point that should be welcoming, smooth and enjoyable.
Despite the above, hotels are now grasping the huge potential revenue unrealised every single day. Ultimately, it would be better for the hotel to receive some money and enhance their customers stay instead of leaving a room empty.
Upgradus allows hotels to offer upgrades direct to their guests in advance, during the ‘silent period’ between booking and arrival. This allows the customer to spend time on a full consideration of the offer in private, without the embarrassment of a public discussion at check-in.
Customers simply log on, type in where and when they are staying and then Upgradus gets to work. It contacts the hotel, lets them know a customer is interested, and if the hotel wants to offer a heavily discounted upgrade just before the stay because the room is still empty, they can.
The customer can then choose to accept or decline the offer before they arrive, paying at the hotel as normal, so the process remains the same and everyone is happy.