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The Art of the Length-of-Stay Upsell

Hotels often talk about increasing the average length of stay (LOS) at their property. This is a great goal, because the longer guests stay, not only do they spend more on the room but they also spend more on additional services. Hotels have traditionally used two primary methods to increase the average LOS on property:

  1. Invoking LOS controls that restrict short stays
  2. Selling longer stays at lower ADRs than shorter ones

These are applied tactically and strategically based on various factors such as supply and demand forces, room category, rate category etc.

Both of the above methods are useful and do help increase the length of stay. However, neither of them truly upsell the length of stay. What they do is really capture business from specific market segments:

  • In the first case, the hotel weeds out the shorter stay market segment by applying minimum length of stay controls
  • In the second case, the hotel attracts (arguably from the competition) guests from the price sensitive market segment by offering discounts for stays longer than a minimum threshold.

To truly upsell the length of stay, a hotel would need to convince guests to stay longer than they originally planned. To do this the hotel would let the guest pick a room and stay dates, then present an enticing offer for the guest to extend his or her LOS before the guest completes the reservation process (i.e. – before checkout).

Travel Tripper recently implemented technology that does this – and the evidence of its success is below.

Travel Tripper’s new version 2.0 of the RezTripTM booking engine includes an “Extend-Your-Stay” (EYS) upsell widget. If enabled by the hotel, this widget is presented to the guest on the page where the booking is reviewed, right before the guest completes the reservation. The widget offers the guest the opportunity to extend their stay (by checking in earlier than planned, checking out later than planned, or both) and shows the additional price for the extended stay. The hotel can even use slash-through pricing to offer a special value to the traveler for extending his or her stay at this late stage in the reservation process. The widget looks like this:

Now the hotel is really upselling the length of stay. This guest was going to book one LOS but the widget led him to extend to a longer stay. Using RezTrip, hotels can use this powerful new LOS increase tool and simultaneously use the more traditional approaches to increasing the length of stay. Below are results1 we’ve seen with two hotels using RezTrip 2.0 to power their website for online bookings.

In the chart below , “w/o EYS” is before the Extend Your Stay widget was available (our previous version of RezTripTM) and “w/ EYS” is with the Extend Your Stay widget, available in RezTrip 2.0.

Both hotels experienced a very substantial increase in the length of stay – 53% for Hotel 1 and 32% for Hotel 2. It also makes sense that the hotel with the traditionally shorter length of stay saw a higher percentage increase in the length of stay as an extension of a single extra night represents a higher percentage increase in Hotel 1 than it does in Hotel 2.

[1] A little explanation on the data:

  • The “w/o EYS” and “w/ EYS” look at a total of 186 bookings and 199 bookings respectively.
  • The “w/ EYS” look at all bookings immediately following the implementation of RezTrip and the “w/o EYS” looks at the same booking window for the previous year.
  • Why only two hotels: RezTrip 2.0 is a brand new product and was implemented for just two hotels to ensure general stability of the new application – a beta phase of sorts. We are now planning and about to commence the roll-out of the remainder of our hotel customers to the new platform.

In conclusion, hotels using Travel Tripper’s new RezTrip 2.0 online booking engine can (and are) upselling LOS at their property – thus increasing RevPAR and other key performance metrics.

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