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Thread: Me And Travel

  1. #1
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Me And Travel

    Call me Weird... But I don't really think that I'm weird at all...

    This is MY style of Travel...



    1) I don't ride in the front seat. Here in Costa Rica, and in many other countries, taxi drivers look at me like I'm some kinda weird, because I don't sit in the front seat. Well... I don't Wanna ride in the front seat. I like to ride in the Back Seat. To Me... That's the Entire Purpose of riding in a Taxi or Limo. You ride in the Back Seat. It's not some "uppity" or "better-than-thou" kind of thing... It's just that if I'm riding in a car with a driver, I feel more comfortable riding in the Back Seat.


    2) I see a hotel online or I call a hotel and ask about room prices, and this is what I hear... "The 'Standard Room' is $50 per night... the 'Superior Room' is $80 per night... and the 'Suite' is $120 per night." Here's what I want to say... "I don't want to be 'Superior' to anyone, but I would like to be 'Above Standard.' How much is an 'Above Standard' room?" Yeah... That's what I thought. So how's about you describe to me the rooms that you have available? No matter where you go in the world, hoteliers are deathly afraid of actually describing the rooms that they have available... and I don't know why...


    3) Welcome to the 21st Century, folks... WHY is there a Check-In process at hotels here, in the year 2016? Everything that is necessary for check-in was already provided by you the moment that you reserved the room. Unfortunately, many hoteliers don't quite get this. I LOVE Marriott Los Sueños, right here in Costa Rica. Here's the check-in process... Walk into the hotel, walk into your room, go to the pool and/or bar. There is NO check-in process. Novel idea, right? Check-out is pretty much the same. Walk out of room, get into car, drive away. How Difficult is that... Seriously?

    I can't wait for all of the hoteliers to email me about this, telling me about how difficult it is to just let customers walk into and out of their hotels without any check-in or check-out process. To which I reply... "Well... Your competition is doing it."

  2. #2
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    That last part is something that comes up fairly regularly in the course of my business. It completely astounds me how often people tell me, "That's just too difficult", or, "That can't be done."

    "That can't be done" is a phrase that you'll hear a lot in Costa Rica. I hear it all of the time...


    They: That can't be done.

    Me: I just did.

    They: That's impossible.

    Me: Yeah. I heard that from a few folks. I did it anyway.

    They: That's impossible.

    Me: Keep saying that. It eliminates any potential competition.

  3. #3
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Hotel Amenities...

    The hotel will give you shampoo, conditioner, soap, a shower cap, towels, mints on the pillow, WiFi Internet access, coffee, 150 channels of HDTV, etc...

    But the hotel won't give you toothpaste or mouthwash. That's $3 for a tube of toothpaste or a 2-ounce bottle of mouthwash.

    When did THIS become Common Sense? Ridiculous.


    Then, there's the mini-bar. More ridiculousness. A shot of Vodka? $7. Gum? $3.50. Ridiculous. Why not just be decent and charge people a fair price for those items? I read surveys, all the time, from hotel guests who use every towel in the room to rub off their makeup, and who scam every bottle of shampoo in the place. It's a vicious circle... The hotels nickel-and-dime the guests, and the guests pilfer everything that they can. I have tried, on many occasions, to convince the hoteliers that they have to be gracious and take the first step... but they don't believe me.

  4. #4
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Regarding mini-bars...

    I did a study a few years ago, where we actually charged a fair market price for the items in the mini-bar, with a reasonable mark-up. We advertised it, too, with marketing lines such as, "Mini-Bar prices for the Average Guy... Coke for $0.65. Snickers for $0.70." The mini-bar consumption went up by over 300%. Net profit for the test hotel's mini-bar income went up by over 15%. In addition, the customer sentiment for the hotel increased by a dramatic 30+%. Travelers... especially tourists and the rich... HATE to be nickel-and-dimed. It's not too difficult to toss a few perks towards them, which cost the business owner very little, but greatly increase the customers' positive perception of the business. I consider myself responsible for the "Welcome Drink", in at least one major tourist area of Costa Rica. Toss a fruity drink at the customer, and they're completely enamored of you, for the rest of your entire stay.

    The all-inclusive deal is something that a lot of tourism-oriented business owners are missing out on. Of course, all-inclusive is not appropriate for every business. However, anyone who is involved in the all-inclusive realm of the tourism industry will assure you of two things... Your customer loyalty will go through the roof, and... Your referals will also go through the roof. If you're truly all-inclusive, you'll almost never lose your customers to a competitor. They're hooked after their first stay with you. Example... I took a good friend with me to an all-inclusive resort. My friend drank us out of Vodka on the first night. The next morning, he went to the reception desk to tell them that we were out of Vodka in our room. The receptionist told him, "I'm very sorry, sir, but your room won't be serviced until about 2 p.m. this afternoon... so... it would be better if you would just go to the main bar and ask them to give you a bottle of Stolichnaya Vodka." My friend dropped his jaw and asked the receptionist, "What? I can Do That?" She replied, "Of Course, Sir!" Five minutes later, he came trotting back up to the reception area with a bottle of Vodka and a bucket of ice.

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