New online platform dangles discounted hotel room upgrades

A free online service now allows guests at any hotel in the world to snag room upgrades at possibly a fraction of its original cost. Upgradus, which has launched in Asia, works with hotels to offer upgrades on empty premium rooms and suites at last-minute discounts.

Most hotels currently do not offer a paid upgrade for various reasons, whether it’s the lack of communication between guests and front desk staff, concerns over that offering room upgrades to guests may impede on the hotel’s efficiency and slow down the check-in process, or that the front desk staff are also generally not trained, authorised or incentivised to offer upgrades, according to Upgradus.

Upgradus allows hotel guests to score room upgrades at heavily-discounted prices

With its service, Upgradus allows hotels to directly offer upgrades to their guests in advance, during the period after booking and before arrival. Users simply log on to the company’s website, enter their hotel booking details and wait for Upgradus to get back with a discounted upgrade offer. Guests can then choose to claim the offer and make payment upon arrival at the hotel.

Guy Ratcliffe, CEO and founder of Upgradus, said: “Globally, hotel occupancy is around 67 per cent. Occupancy for premium rooms and suites is generally much lower, with some suites having occupancy rates of less than 25 per cent. This means that most hotels have empty premium rooms for most of the year.”

With Upgradus, Ratcliffe said hoteliers can better tap the revenue potential of offering room upgrades to guests.

He added: “Selling discounted upgrades to these rooms could easily add more than US$1 billion to the US$570 billion hotel market. So I thought resolving this problem is surely a ‘win-win’ (situation).”

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