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Say Goodbye to Your Hotel’s Overpriced Room-Service Menu

Say Goodbye to Your Hotel???s Overpriced Room-Service Menu
Photograph by Thomas Northcut/Getty Images

After a stretch in which the Great Recession successfully blew the tourism industry off course—global business travel dropped nearly 8 percent in 2009, as corporations slashed budgets—corporate road warriors, in addition to regular tourists, have at long last resumed their rounds. Hotel operators have responded by raising room rates.

Revenue generated by guest rooms increased 6.3 percent from 2011 to 2012, while the collective revenue from other areas—such as room service, spa use, retail, and in-room entertainment—suffered, with only 0.5 percent growth, according to a May 7 report issued by Atlanta-based PKF Hospitality Research. “In past recoveries, we haven’t seen this big of a disparity between the change in rooms revenue compared to the change in other revenues,” says Robert Mandelbaum, director of information services at PKF-HR. “Normally when the travelers come back after an economic downturn, the amount they spend on food and other categories is commensurate with the amount they’re spending on rooms. It’s not the case this time.”