tripadvisor on a mobile phone

2020 was a terrible year for U.S. hotels. Last year, thanks to the pandemic, occupancy sat at just 44%, down from 66% the year prior.

NB: This is an article from Motley Fool

And for the first time ever, hotels found themselves with more than 1 billion unsold rooms.

Unfortunately, 2021 isn’t looking too rosy as far as hotel projections go. The American Hotel & Lodging Association expects hotel occupancy to average just 52% this year — a definite improvement over 2020 but nowhere close to pre-pandemic levels.

All told, hotels are seriously starved for revenue, and at a time when a lot of people are still hesitant to book travel, many may not see a significant uptick for months. But travel platform TripAdvisor recently launched a new service that could benefit not only members but the hotel industry as a whole.

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More visibility, more revenue potential

TripAdvisor has introduced a new subscription service for travelers called TripAdvisor Plus. For $99 a year, those who sign up will enjoy perks like discounted room rates, specialized service, and in-room benefits (for example, higher-end toiletries or a complimentary bottle of wine or champagne upon arrival).

But it’s not just travelers who can benefit from this arrangement. Hotels that opt to participate in the program will also enjoy more visibility on TrapAdvisor’s platform. The result? The potential for more bookings.

Best of all, hotels can opt into the program for free. There are no upfront costs, commissions, or fees involved. Hotels can also opt in and out as they choose — there’s no annual commitment, which means hotels can choose to participate when bookings are sluggish and opt out when occupancy is more robust and they’re not looking to discount rooms.

A lifeline for the hotel industry?

Between a slow vaccine rollout and the general economic impact of the pandemic, a lot of people aren’t in a position to book travel right now, and that’s hurting hotels in a meaningful way.

Read rest of the article at Motley Fool