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Last minute model poised for comeback

Last minute model poised for comeback, says HotelClub

-- Economic downturn likely to resurrect last minute accommodation offerings

Auckland 23 September 2008 – Discounted last-minute hotel accommodation offerings that almost disappeared during the recent worldwide hotel industry boom are set to make a comeback, says Commercial Vice-President of the Orbitz Worldwide HotelClub division, Tim Hughes.

He says the industry’s decade of prosperity, which saw both Australia and New Zealand operators chalk up as much as 16 per cent quarterly growth in bookings, meant accommodation yields were so strong operators were no longer driven to compete on last-minute discounts.

The golden period saw several operators either elongate the ‘last minute’ window, or abolish it altogether.

But he says growing global economic uncertainty and rising fuel prices, which are curbing travel spending, have put buying power back into the hands of consumers, who increasingly seek out better deals.

A recent online poll by HotelClub showed that 78 percent of New Zealanders would opt for a cheaper option as the most likely change to their winter holiday plans.

“So, somewhat ironically, the golden period that spawned many more rooms and saw the demise of the last-minute model will also drive its return. Not only are there now more rooms to fill but also there are fewer consumers to fill them. And the ones that are travelling want cheaper rooms,” Hughes says.

He says the pendulum has begun to swing back in favour of last-minute, citing the 2.8 million monthly visitors to www.RatesToGo.co.nz, which maintains a stable of 15,000 hotels and offers travellers up to 70 per cent savings on last-minute bookings.

ENDS

About HotelClub
HotelClub is a global accommodation specialist operating the following websites: HotelClub.com - bookings up to 12 months in advance and RatesToGo.com – bookings

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