Baierl Ronny

Professor of Business Administration with Emphasis on Tourism at Campus Dresden

SRH Hochschule Berlin, The International Management University, Dresden, GERMANY



Special offers earn growing interest in the international hospitality industry. As an example, HRS Deals enlarged the application area from national to international contexts. However, consequences of such special offers are still underresearched. Besides first insights from an empirical study with a sample of about 100 German hotels presented in 2014, only few research on that interesting and timely topic is available. Therefore, we carefully collected data on 339 international hotels that participated in a special offer between August 2013 and November 2014. Our efforts in collecting this data were twofold. First of all, we collected variables that are available from the respective special offer (e.g., discount, number of stars, evaluation). Moreover, we complemented this data with information gathered via an intense Internet inquiry (e.g., distance to main station, number of inhabitants of the respective town).

Our analysis shows that the original price varies from 38€ to 275€ (M = 113€; SD = 37€) with a discount from 48% to 66% (M = 51%; SD = 3%). Even more interestingly, the quality indicated by guest evaluations was quite high in all hotels (M = 77%; SD = 11%) and correlates significantly with the number of stars (M = 3.7; SD = 0.6). A special focus of this year’s study was on the offered additional benefits. Overall, 1 to 13 (M = 4; SD = 2) additional benefits were offered. Some additional F&B was included in 40%, spa entrance in 45%, parking in 49%, Breakfast in 54%, and Internet access in 78%. Therefore, Internet access remains the most important additional benefit in such special offers.

Our additional Internet inquiry resulted in an average capacity of 129 rooms (SD=187; min=5; max=2500) much higher than in the German subsample. The average distance from the hotel to the main train station was quite low (M=16km; SD=29km; min=0km; max=300km). The number of inhabitants varies from 50 to more than 20 Million. First analyses indicate that the offered discount is very stable. However, as larger the town, the lower the hotel’s guest evaluation and the lower the amount of additional benefits are. Despite capacity and some details on the additional benefits, no significant differences between private and chain hotels are observable. Further results based on multiple regression analyses are presented at the conference.

Keywords: Special Offer, International Hotel Market, Empirical Analysis



During the last few years special offers typically distributed via relatively new online channels earned growing interest by hotel managers and customers. However, scholars missed the chance to evaluate the nature of these offers in a systematic way. Therefore, this paper focuses on special offers in the German hotel market. Although other suppliers such as the international corporation TravelBird or the German speaking portal are present, this paper focuses on special offers by HRS (Hotel Reservation Service) covering more than 250 000 hotels worldwide and having about 80 million users per year (HRS, 2014a). As such HRS in general and HRS Deals in particular represent the most valuable example for the German hotel market.