High Prices, Low Quality
If you’re traveling in the upcoming months, mentally prepare for your hotel room to be behind on maintenance – even if the price doesn’t reflect it.
Industry insiders estimate that prices for hotel rooms will remain higher-than-normal, even though the busy summer travel season has subsided. For the fourth quarter, it’s predicted that the average price for a hotel room will exceed $146, down just dollars from $153 in the high-volume third quarter.
Nevertheless, despite these high prices, many guests are complaining about less-than-ideal accommodations.
Fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is still being felt far and wide.
For the hotel industry, the pandemic led to a dramatic decrease in bookings. Most hotels redirected cash to necessities like leases, bills, and payroll during this time. This means that renovations and general maintenance got put on the back burner.
However, even with COVID restrictions lifted, challenges for the industry remain. Labor shortages have made plumbing, electrical, and HVAC repairs more expensive. Additionally, supply chain issues overseas make it more difficult to replace furniture or carpeting.
What Should I Do?
Right now, the hotel industry as a whole is scrambling to renovate and make up for the time lost during the pandemic.
In the short term, you should expect that there might be a few issues at the next hotel you book. If you’re planning for a big event, like a wedding, consider visiting the hotel in person, instead of trusting online photos. Or, you can lean on accommodations through services like Airbnb (ABNB), which tend to require less upkeep and may be in better shape.
Thankfully, over the long term, hotel executives expect hotel conditions to improve. Hotels, like many of their guests, just need some time to catch up.
Even if your lodging doesn’t meet your expectations, remember not to target your frustrations toward the likely-overworked hotel staff. That’s what managers – and/or bad Yelp (YELP) reviews – are for.
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