Will a lack of creativity in the concept of deal making cost Northern European hoteliers?  

Today’s traveller is better informed than ever before and expects quality, choice and innovation.

So it’s unfathomable how many Northern European hotel managers in the 21st century still insist every guest in a group has to eat the same food  – even when offered a bigger budget to give each guest choice.

Is their inflexibility to give what the guest wants driven by an archaic model of cost plus pricing? Why are they not confident to challenge the norm?  

Perhaps the solution is to look west. The UK is a naturally entrepreneurial environment so its hoteliers are comfortable with a market pricing model and therefore deal making. They’ll often offer a free place or the group rate even if you don’t hit the minimum numbers. In the USA offering value-additions to the end consumer is normal.

The enterprising approach of Turkey and the East means that Europe, with its protectionist policies including its rigid labour market and unimaginative management, is in danger of being left behind. This would be a pity as with its infrastructure, natural heritage and general tourism experience, mainland Europe ought to be the foremost region for quality experiential travel. But for that hoteliers need to show creativity and courage.

A good start would be to take a look at their river cruise counterparts. The warmth and hospitality in these floating premium hotels while gliding along our European waterways truly compete with anything on offer globally.