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“Bad Economy = Great Hotel Discounts”

Well, the good news about hotel bookings is that the numbers are tumbling so fast, the hotel deals are increasing.

But first, never pay the Rack Rate, and never hesitate to make a deal. The desk clerk may baulk, so ask for the manager and explain your budget constraints.

I bet you’ll get an on-the-spot discounted rate.

In the meantime:

• Starwood, for example, is offering 50% off the second night of any two-room stay

• Disney World is giving away three free nights with the purchase of four

• In Vail, The Resort Company was promoting a 40% discount

Resorts everywhere are offering deals and discounts from free spa treatments to gift cards.

Travel giant Expedia said it was “in the middle of the biggest hotel sale in the history of the company.”

Apparently Las Vegas is showing the steepest decline in bookings and thus some of the best deals and discounts on shows and stays.

But popular places like Cabo, Cancun and Riviera Maya are offering anywhere from 3-6% off typical prices

Some hotels shun the idea of offering discounts because they fear (rightly I think) that customers get so used to the discounted price…they won’t come back when prices become normal.

So they’re offering “value added” extras instead, like gas cards and free parking or in some cases even donating to a customer’s favorite charity

Check out the “Race to Savings “ deal at Travelocity for discounts  they say are running from 40-70%, even for New York!

Travel discounter, Travelocity is showing a big increase in bookings, in spite of their obscure booking process.

They’re even considering a “name your own price” service in Europe next year.

Is this silver lining enough in a dismal economic storm?

Probably not.

But such deals and discounts at least give the sense that the consumer has some clout, and saving a few bucks is a always a big deal in anybody’s family.

Headline: Never pay the hotel Rack Rate, and never hesitate to make a deal. Here’s why

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