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Flash Sale Sites Lose Popularity with Hoteliers TravelClick survey shows dissatisfaction with group discount model

29 March 2012 – Hoteliers across Europe are yet to be convinced of the value of group discount websites as a way of filling empty rooms.

Flash sale websites such as Groupon and Living Social divide opinion when it comes to driving business with only 27% of properties claiming it as a sales tactic they would repeat, according to a survey by leading hotel market intelligence firm TravelClick.

A further 33% of hoteliers claimed they would not use flash sale sites, while 17% said they had tried group discounting once but would never do it again.

The survey, conducted amongst almost 400 chain and independent properties in mainland Europe and the UK, revealed five main reasons why hotels were unhappy with the group sale experience. These were:
- Did not make enough revenue per room
- Gave up too much revenue to the sale site
- Deal wasn’t as successful as expected
- Failed to see any repeat business, and
- Did not attract the right calibre of customer

“Group discount websites are a real success story and have grown incredibly quickly, but it seems word has spread in the accommodation sector that they don’t always deliver the results that hotels are anticipating,” explained Jan Tissera, President, TravelClick International.

“Anecdotal evidence has indicated that hotels are also concerned that a large percentage of the customers who book had actually stayed with them before and cannot be ‘up-sold’, which discourages incremental business.”

Hotels reported a number of reasons* that featured in their decision to consider flash sale sites, with increasing off-season occupancy (70%) and raising the property’s profile (60%) leading the way. Reaching a new demographic (35%) and keeping up with competition (24%) were also mentioned.

Of the flash sale sites, Groupon was used the most (60%), ahead of Living Social (28%) and JetSetter (15%).


Editor’s note: *Some percentages add up to more than 100% - respondents gave more than one answer

About TravelClick, Inc.

TravelClick ( is the leading provider of revenue generating solutions for hoteliers across the globe. TravelClick offers hotels world-class reservation solutions, business intelligence products and comprehensive media and marketing solutions to help hotels grow their business. With local experts around the globe, we help more than 30,000 hotel clients in over 140 countries drive profitable room reservations through better revenue management decisions, proven reservation technology and innovative marketing. Since 1999, TravelClick has helped hotels leverage the web to effectively navigate the complex global distribution landscape. TravelClick has offices in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Barcelona, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, Melbourne, Orlando, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo. Follow us on

Stacey Stockwell

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