The Travel Department

Many hoteliers in Mexico and the Caribbean are considering the addition of a Membership Club for their hotel(s). Over the years, they have witnessed the many benefits and the profitability of doing so by their competitors; Sirenes Hotels, Karisma Resorts, Iberostar Resorts, AMResorts Hotels, Palace Resorts, Hard Rock Hotels, and many more. Moreso, during these trying times with the drop in tourism, do they feel the impact of not having their Loyal Base of travelers and the additional income from Club sales.

The profitability of a Club based operation, if done correctly, will surpass the net income of hotel operations within a short period, doubling the net profit for the hotelier. Moreover, a Club program with a happy member base will generate a positive “snowball” effect for both the hotel and the Club, “The Hotelier.”

  • Incidental income from existing Hotel Guests increases dramatically from Membership sales.
  • Loyal members statistically return more regularly and upgrade their membership
  • Loyal members bring or send family and friends who purchase club memberships.
  • Exchange members increase hotel occupancy and buy club memberships.
  • Club marketing programs drive club sales and higher hotel occupancy.
  • Income from Hotel Services increases when used as the primary gift for attending the Club Presentation.
The critical question for every hotelier is; How do I create a Club that will withstand the scrutiny of Social Media, enhance the profitability of my hotel operations, and generate happy members for years to come?

Beware of the False Prophets

Unfortunately, many Hoteliers fall prey to the “False Prophets” of our industry. These self-proclaimed experts declare they can set up a Club and generate happy members and produce the desired bottom-line profit. However, they do so using the same traditional “timeshare” sales and marketing tactics that work in the short term but create a weak foundation for long-term success. In many cases, these “False Prophets” are people with years in Timeshare but with limited knowledge in setting up and running a successful club operation in today’s World of Social Media. Their focus is driving bodies into the salesroom and selling them with whatever it takes. They have no conception of how the “Seven Elements” of a successful Club work strategically hand-in-hand for long-term success. The Hotelier mistakenly equates “expertise” with the False Prophet’s years in the Club industry as a closer, sales manager or exchange club representative. Twenty years as a front-desk hotel manager for the Marriott does not make for an expert in the opening and running a world-class hotel.
Since entering the Timeshare industry in 1976, I’ve seen more times than not a developer who opens their Club operation, leaving everything to their chosen “expert,” with no direct involvement other than asking for the monthly profits report. Oh, yes, developers love our industry for the immediate “cash” results, but the developer’s lack of involvement fails to take notice of the incidental income received by their “expert.” Inflated marketing location costs, packed prices for “questionable” add-on products, fictitious expenses, personal use of the spiff account, and split overrides with friends given undeserved management positions. These are just a few of the areas the “expert” makes unauthorized income. Then comes the “complaints” that are the result of the traditional marketing and sales tactics and a ripple effect that causes not only problems for the Club but also the developer’s associated businesses. Once the “golden cash” period has passed, the developer is left holding the bag filled with complaints and upset members that were sold unfulfilled promises by the “expert” who has moved on to the next novice developer to help start-up their Club.

So a fair warning to all hoteliers wanting to open up their own Membership Club. It isn’t difficult, but do not throw caution to the wind when choosing your expert. Moreover, involve yourself weekly, if not daily, during the start-up period, and for the first year, the Club is open. Your participation will facilitate the resolution of many of the obstacles, plus you will realize the many synergetic areas the Club and the Hotel can work together as “ONE.”

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Beware of the False Prophet!

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