Thursday, May 27, 2010

AAA - Still as Relevant as it Once Was?

Do people, planning their "vacation" sit down and scan the AAA book to decide where to go, and, once having decided, do they then look through the listings to further evaluate their choices, or, is this simply a discount vehicle for a shrinking segment of the market, who do not use computers and are probably "seniors" by standard definition.
My point is more perhaps in the area of what it does or does not mean anymore to be a 3 diamond or a 4 diamond property, and the ever greying line between the two as properties have significantly raised the bar to such an extent in some of the new builds, that what would have traditionally been a 4 diamond property upon opening, is instead labelled as a 3 diamond property, by virtue of how far the bar has been raised over the last 5 years or so.
Does that arbitrary decision, by one man I might add, have a significant impact on your ADR?
Does it potentially impact who will or won't book with you, or, as I speculated above, is it all but irrelevant as the savvy consumer is relying on their own determination as it relates to their destinations, and, their Hotel within that destination.
Hasn't the internet, in providing the level of access and transparency, provided consumers with their own way to evaluate a property, and in doing so, allowed them, as we have seen in so many other ways, to have taken the drivers seat and changed the playing field.
I think so, and I don't think the value or ROI is there anymore to have to pay thousands of dollars for an "ad" in the AAA book. It just isn't what it used to be, and I think, in some ways, it will go the way of the dinosaurs, or, it will need to adapt, in order to become more relevant again, to a smarter consumer, with I would argue, much higher expectations than in the past.

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