Black Friday lessons for hotels

It’s that time of the year again – suddenly politics, news , even celebrities are on the backburner as that phenomenal holiday herald called Black Friday shook people out of their slumber starting 12 midnight on Thursday! Preliminary results indicated that the operative word in the phrase was black as results on the registers were more along the lines of hope than expectation.

Considering that BF deals were the most searched most-discussed, probably the most emailed term/subject, perhaps the hotel industry could have got into the act – by tapping the frenzy into more room-nights. New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and myriad glittering shops for every kind of taste and budget and, as usual, made for an especially attractive for shopping package. The weakening US dollar certainly stoked the shopping appetites for many tourists – high-profile American brands and designer names were suddenly accessible to the rest of the world.

Perhaps the hotel industry could tap the holiday shopping mania in other ways (taking cues from a Target ad that endlessly drilled the early- AM- get- to- the- store mantra last few days)

– Offer a special BF alarm to motivate guests to beat the rush!
– Special transportation to take them to and fro – from store to store to cover all the specials. A “TG shopping circuit shuttle! ” – checkout times not included.
– Free high-speed Internet Cafe for guests who prefer to shop online (with a customized local webpage pointing to the best offers in the city)
– A specially fortified complimentary breakfast to get guests ready for the grueling challenges of bargain-hunting and deal-grabbing!

Shopping has become too ingrained in the American culture to dismiss as a weekend activity vacation! The travel industry must find ways to tap the flavor of the season and the huge hordes that frequent the all-enduring symbol of America – the retail mall! A travel equivalent of a BF blowout deal is yet to come by.

Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.