The sudden crunch in the global economy has not only affected Europe and the US. It has definitely hit countries in Asia like Japan, Taiwan, Philippines and even the small city-state of Singapore. Singapore, a rising metropolis in Southeast Asia, receives over 10 million tourists every year that spend more than S$14.8 billion. But in 2008, a decline of 1.6 percent in visitor arrivals had been recorded in the statistics of the Singapore Tourism Board.

In order to boost the occupancy rate in their hotel, Ibis Singapore, a part of French hotel and business services group, Accor, thought of a brilliant gimmick to attract more guests to their hotel.

In a time of crisis, no one wants to pay high room rates. No one wants to pay extra tax and service fees either. But anyone in their wishful thinking would want to pay the amount that he can afford and is very willing to shell out in exchange for a particular service availed. But that is no wishful thinking anymore for the loyal customers of Ibis Singapore. As a part of the hotel’s pre-opening treat for travelers last February 12, 2009, customers can name the price they are willing to pay for a stay in the hotel and actually pay for that amount!

Interested guests just logged onto the hotel’s website (paywhatyouwant.com.sg) during designated sale periods to put the price they were willing to pay. The fastest bidder won and got the chance to book a hotel room in Singapore Ibis for the price he wanted to pay.

There were no limitations with regards to the amount to be entered. Bidders could enter any amount as low as S$1! Hiro Inoue, Ibis Singapore marketing director, explained that they were actually expecting to receive bids starting at a dollar or so. But to their surprise, bids raised up to $100. Inoue emphasized that this occurrence made them feel even more confident that guests appreciate their services and are willing to pay amounts as much as $100 to avail a stay. Thousands of visitors already entered their bid the moment the promo was announced. And in no time, the hotel’s booking was almost full!

If guests are surprised with this cool treat and might be wondering about the logic behind this one of a kind promo, Inoue has an answer for them. Inoue explained that this bold move was done to test the waters of the hospitality industry in Singapore. With the pending threats of the global financial crisis, this bidding process would help the hotel management determine the particular amount the customers are still willing to pay in exchange of great hotel services and classy accommodation.

With the wave of the recession brushing the shores of many countries, businessmen, merchants and leisure travelers are trying to avail promos and discounted rates as much as possible to save up travel costs. But they are wise enough to discern which hotels can provide them the services and accommodation worthy of the value they pay for.

With the overwhelming reception of Ibis Singapore’s “Name Your Price Promo, “it is evident that many people opt to vie for quality services in reasonable prices. In Ibis Singapore, guests and travelers will surely find what they are expecting for!

By Harriet

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