Day passes help hotels fill revenue gaps in pandemic: Travel Weekly
As hotels and resorts continue to look for ways to attract tourists and local travelers amid the pandemic, day passes have gained new relevance.
Of course, the concept of the day pass predates the Covid crisis. It traditionally offered people who weren’t staying at a resort – locals, cruise passengers, stopover travelers – daytime access to a hotel’s amenities, such as its swimming pool, fitness areas or beach club.
But with the US hotel industry now heavily reliant on domestic leisure activities, some properties are focusing more on day passes and leveraging their ability to attract day trippers and restaurateurs and create a new source of income.
They are also exploring new ways to market their day pass offerings to the public.
ResortPass, an online booking portal specializing in “daycation” experiences at hotels and resorts, said it has seen a noticeable increase in demand throughout the pandemic as well as an increase in the number of hotel partners choosing to list packages and daily packages on the platform.
Romina Rozensztajn, global vice president of sales and account management at ResortPass, reports that the group’s bookings have tripled this year compared to 2019.
Among ResortPass’ more recent corporate partnerships is a partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts, the luxury hotel group rolling out day pass deals to a variety of their properties.
Chanaka Gamaethige, senior director of revenue strategy at Omni Hotels & Resorts, said the partnership “gives us the opportunity to optimize our cabanas and poolside amenities,” grocery store revenue and drinks by the pool, in particular, are expected to increase.
At the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown in Texas, for example, ResortPass users can book daily access to the hotel’s rooftop pool, with Wi-Fi and parking included, for around $ 35 per adult. At the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort in South Carolina, a $ 50 per person pass includes access to multiple pools and hot tubs, the resort’s private beach, fitness center, and more leisure facilities.
Day pass fees are just the tip of the iceberg, Rozensztajn says, with a ResortPass guest typically spending a bit more on incidentals while visiting.
“Typically, when a traveler comes to stay in a new city, they can stay at the hotel, but they are usually exploring that city and trying different restaurants,” Rozensztajn said. “Our users are different. They come to the properties to explore the properties themselves, so they want to experience the restaurant, the gift shop and all the amenities that the hotel has to offer. [big jump] in our users’ food and beverage expenses. “
Work cards and weddings
However, day passes aren’t limited to access to the pool, beach, or cabana. In line with the recent proliferation of ‘work from hotel’ packages in the pandemic era, with rooms being transformed into home office alternatives, some ResortPass hotel partners are also offering a work pass product.
At the Arlo NoMad in Manhattan, for example, a $ 119 work pass includes access to a private room from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and high-speed WiFi.
According to Jennifer Doncsecz, president of VIP Vacations, day passes are sometimes a necessity for destination weddings at all-inclusive resorts: guests who are not staying at the wedding property are potentially required to purchase day access. to attend the big event.
For these situations, Doncsecz reports that she usually receives a commission on day passes if they are built into the wedding fee.
Suzy Schreiner, owner of Azure Blue Vacations, said she rarely reserves day passes for guests, unless they’re coming from a cruise or need to take time out before a late flight, and that it does not generally collect a commission from them.
But Schreiner added that in the past she has been successful in booking commissionable day passes through Resort for a Day.
Resort for a Day, part of World Travel Holdings, focuses on day passes for cruise passengers looking for day trips to the Caribbean while in port. The platform currently has over 1,000 travel counselors registered under its affiliate program.
Two and a half years ago, the company also launched Daypasses.com, a one-day pass platform focused on non-cruise travelers to the Caribbean.
Although Resort for a Day has seen a pandemic-related lull recently, with some Caribbean properties also withdrawing day passes to better control capacity, Lynn Walters, product manager for Resort for a Day, reports demand is return. the rise.
“It’s certainly not back to 100% right now, but we’re now seeing a significant increase in requests for much further,” Walters said. “Traditionally, a day trip would be booked in a 14-21 day booking window, but with so many canceled cruises and so many customers now forced to book their cruise until 2022, we are seeing a corresponding demand for the cruise. day passes for 2022. ”