BOOSTING OCCUPANCY RATES

An online service facilitating seamless room upgrades for guests has arrived in Australasia, offering hotels a chance to capitalise on unused premium rooms and suites.

Upgradus is a free online service that allows hotel guests worldwide to express their interest in an upgraded room at a heavily discounted rate. The service also allows hotels to offer upgrades direct to their guests in advance.

Customers simply log on to the site and enter their travel dates and location. The system aims to capitalise on the low occupancy rates of premium rooms and suites, by some estimates less than 25 percent.

"Most hotels have empty premium rooms for most of the year," said Guy Ratcliffe, CEO and founder of Upgradus. "Selling discounted upgrades to these rooms could easily add US$1bn to the US$570bn hotel market.

Guy Ratcliffe

"Resolving this problem is a ‘win-win’. I built the technology in Upgradus to make it happen and I’m now inviting other people who like to travel in comfort and luxury to join me."