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How Big is the Impact for Hoteliers in a City Hosting the Super Bowl?

In New Orleans, Bookings Already  Up 220% Over Last Year; A Few Tips for Your Playbook

BELLEVUE, Wash., (October 18, 2012) - - -Football is officially in full swing across the U.S., and even though we’re only six weeks into the professional football season, bookings in New Orleans for Super Bowl weekend already are up more than 220 percent compared to the same weekend last year.
 
Any hotelier that has experienced an event of this magnitude in his or her market understands the important role that smart revenue management plays in effectively capitalizing on what for many cities is a once-in-a-lifetime event.  To help hotels leverage this unique opportunity and make the most of their time in the spotlight, Expedia’s New Orleans-based market manager Ted Bogan III is sharing key market insight and strategies to help hotels make hay when the big game comes to the Big Easy.

The Stats:
  • With 35,000 rooms, the size of New Orleans’ hotel market is relatively similar to Indianapolis, the host of Super Bowl XLVI.  For the 2012 game, Indianapolis properties commanded an Average Daily Rate (ADR) of $375.  Previous host cities Dallas and Miami, with market sizes of approximately 100,000 rooms each, only commanded ADR of $216 and $246, respectively, likely due to a wider selection of lodging options for visitors.  Compare that to New Orleans’ current ADR of $284, with 13 weeks until the playoffs conclude.
  • New Orleans is already outpacing Indianapolis on length of stay, as well.  While game-goers in Indianapolis had stayed in town just over three nights, New Orleans is up 41 percent with the average guest staying nearly 5 nights.  
The Playbook
  • Call smart plays.  If you have available inventory for dates of the event, make it available now while there is limited competition in the marketplace and build your base of bookings early on while there is still time left on the clock.  Expedia data shows that nearly three-quarters of bookings in Indianapolis for the 2012 game were made within 28 days of arrival. Plan to yield rates up in the weeks leading up to the event as your occupancy needs narrow.
  • Show your highlight reel.  Remember that most out-of-town visitors have no idea that a hotel in Metarie is located a mere 20 minutes from the Superdome and the French Quarter.  Will you offer a shuttle to game-central attractions?  It’s imperative that relevant location and services information is featured prominently in your online content.
  • Short yardage plays are nail-biters, and short term booking windows lead to lower rates and shorter length of stay.   Save your manicure and open inventory early.
  • Watch out for the blitz.  Be aware of your competition, and that’s not just the hotel on the other side of the street or even on the other side of town. Baton Rouge and Biloxi/Gulfport have a great deal of available inventory at reasonable rates. Both markets are about an hour drive from New Orleans and are already seeing occupancy benefits by offering four-star hotels for about half the rate of a two-star in the Quarter.
  • Get the field goal. The majority of fans plan their trip from Friday through Monday.  Incent guests to stay extra nights by offering a discount for Thursday and Monday nights.
  • Go for two.  The two most popular Mardi Gras weekends happen to fall the week before and after the Super Bowl.  Consider discounting the middle of the week to get guests to string together two popular weekends. 
So whether you’re a New Orleans hotel looking to score the Most Valuable Property (MVP) award, or simply trying to leverage the year’s most anticipated game to generate business, as they say in New Orleans: “Laissez les bon temps rouler,” – let the good times roll.

About Expedia, Inc.

Expedia, Inc. is the largest online travel company in the world, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes some of the world’s leading online travel brands, including:
  • Expedia.com®, the world’s largest full service online travel agency, with localized sites in 30 countries
  • Hotels.com®, the hotel specialist with sites in more than 60 countries
  • Hotwire®, a leading discount travel site that offers opaque deals in nine countries on its eight sites in North America and Europe
  • Egencia®, the world's fifth largest corporate travel management company
  • eLong™, the second largest online travel company in China 
  • Venere.com®, the online hotel reservation specialist in Europe
  • Expedia Local Expert®,  a provider of in-market concierge services, activities and experiences in 18 markets worldwide
  • Classic Vacations®, a top luxury travel specialist

The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market travel consumers through Expedia® Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world’s leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia® Affiliate Network.  (NASDAQ: EXPE)  For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.

Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners.  © 2012 Expedia, Inc.  All rights reserved.  CST # 2029030-50

Expedia and its services are not endorsed or approved or in any way affiliated with the National Football League (NFL) or the Super Bowl.

Contact: 

Daly Gray, Inc. for Expedia
Chris Daly /Lauralee Dobbins
703-435-6293
Chris@Dalygray.com
Lauralee@Dalygray.com

 


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