One of the most noticeable changes that I have noticed in my travels both here in Australia and recently in Germany and Austria is the way that airlines and hotels are offering or including packages.
For me, as earlier with the ever more important social media, the verdict is out as to whether that is all worthwhile.
Let’s start with Jetstar’s online booking and support service. Being a Qantas Club and frequent flyer member since 1988 I jumped on their site to book a return ticket to Cairns. The most cost effective flight up and back to Cairns was going to be with Jetstar. That having been established, I was diverted to their very attractive but lengthy, and for me annoying, site.
No, I did not want a hotel, hire car, airport parking, insurance – just a reserved seat, flexibility in case the meeting that I was to attend, was changed and of course frequent flier points. Had I been able just to remain on the Qantas site I would have finished the whole exercise much quicker. So for me most of the add ons were not helpful – on another occasion perhaps. A quick tick boxes (with the cost default box not ticked so if you missed reading it you would be charged) would have sufficed and from there for those who needed hotels or hire card then choices would show up.
Then up in the skies to the alps where we had booked in to a beautiful chalet for a couple of nights. Cost was a factor, bed and breakfast another; we had planned sightseeing and walking while eating in restaurants nearby. Our British friends who provided their car, had stayed at the destination many years ago for skiing holidays, so a snowless September would provide a different perspective. Apart from finding that the accommodation was well out of town we could not have chosen a better place nor at a better rate, some 50% less than we would have paid back at home. As an indication of service, mine hostess packed up breakfasts on the last day as we had to leave before dawn. None of this: “breakfast starts at 7am, like it or not”.
What made the stay even better was that the B&B gave us a free card that allowed us one free bus and chairlift per person per day. This made our whole stay that much more enjoyable and cheap – although we splurged on the final dinner at the best restaurant in town.
However the B&B had had to pay for those free cards and one hostess explained that very few accommodation houses had taken that offer up. Whilst for the visitor it was great. For the accommodation owner, unless that had been part of the original marketing spiel and had helped persuade us to stay at their place in that destination, then it was not a cost effective marketing exercise.
At another alpine resort overlooking a beautiful lake and mountains, again at rates at less than 50% of offerings here in Queensland, we were given a small brochure with a map of the area, walking trails and also a list of attractions for which we could obtain a discount on presentation of that brochure. I have to confess that although we visited several of those attractions we never took up any of these offers. Just forgot, or not savvy enough?
The real find for us, that might appeal to those larger organisations, was the Red Bull Museum at Salzburg Airport. I had only seen this on TV in Australia and then alerted my Pommie friends to this attraction. What was amazing is that nowhere in the attractions brochure display at our Salzburg B&B was any information on this museum, nor signs to be emblazoned on the side of the road. The, surprise, surprise there was no entrance fee at all to this enormous glass museum full of racing cars and vintage aeroplanes; the only charge was at the two restaurants and the only promotional material was the photos that we took (the Maybar offered Brain Food, Mood Food and Beauty Food to reflect clients thinking for the day).
So methinks this is a magnificent chance for mining magnets as Clive Palmer to open up a ancient cars/dinosaur park free of charge in the Palmer Resort in the Sunshine Coast or for one of his colleagues one further up the coast on Mining through the Centuries complete with equipment to sit in. All FOC but of course to promote the tourism industry.
So while many of us offer packages with dining and massages – and some associations offer discount vouchers, it can be argued that unless you are in the Red Bull category – we need to think through carefully any partnership marketing so as to assist our potential clients in their choice and delivery what they need easily and without annoyance or inconvenience.
AccomNews is not affiliated with any government agency, body or political party. We are an independently owned, family-operated magazine.