Online auction system empowers hotel guests to trade up

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Hotel ICON, a four-star independent hospitality provider, is the first in Hong Kong to partner with travel tech start-up UpsellGuru. This agreement has allowed the upscale hotel to offer online bidding for upgrades and ancillary provisions to its direct booking guests before they arrive. 

Guests with reservations confirmed through official Hotel ICON channels can now avail of higher-category rooms at a fraction of the original upgrade price. UpsellGuru’s online auction management system is also a cross-selling platform for other room amenities and services that are not originally part of these guests’ bookings, including but not limited to breakfast, airport transfers through electric transport and access to its 24-hour Timeless Lounge.

Richard Hatter, Hotel ICON general manager, explained, “Today’s travellers are digital natives. By leveraging on technology, they want to have control over their entire journey, from researching the hotels, comparing prices, to the actual booking process.

By offering our ‘book direct’ guests the opportunity to submit a competitive bid for a room upgrade prior to their arrivals, Hotel ICON is empowering them to decide what an upgrade to a higher room category is worth to them.”

“We are very excited to work with such a renowned hotel as Hotel ICON and are happy to see the level of response from their guests right from the first hours of launch,” said Hans Schmidtner, UpsellGuru co-founder and managing director. “By upgrading the offers to Hotel ICON’s unsold higher room categories, the hotel is able to increase revenue and average daily rate. As an added benefit, the standard rooms are freed up for re-sale, increasing occupancy.”

Staff of UpsellGuru client Hotel ICON

Hotel ICON, fully owned by Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management, is considered an innovation thought leader within the island city’s hospitality sector. Providing guests with wired and Wi-Fi internet connections, handy gadgets, and state-of-the-art LED TV units, the 262-key hotel has ranked as one of TripAdvisor’s top five Hong Kong hotels since opening in 2011.

In 2017, it became the first Hong Kong hotel to venture into contextualised open pricing, where rates continuously respond to shifts and patterns in potential demand from different markets and channels in real-time. It also won the PATA Grand Award for Education and Training in the same year.

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