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Hotels, customers typhoon season financial winners

Date Posted: 2005-09-29

When the weather was bad during this typhoon season, select hotels gave its guests free dinners.

A typhoon bearing down on Okinawa similarly rewarded hotel guests, as they saw their room rates discounted. It’s a new system sweeping the island with hoteliers working in tandem with insurance companies to promote business, and to keep business during inclement weather.

The concept was spawned following the super active 2004 typhoon season. As the typhoon season kicked off this year, it rained virtually every day in June. Such weather, in a tourist driven economy, is potentially disastrous, so hotels and airlines sought ways to reassure customers an Okinawa visit was still feasible during the rainy season.

Weather reports are now posted in hotel lobbies, complete with detailed information on if it will rain, and how much. A rainfall of 5mm or more results in a free dinner at the hotel the next day. Hotel industry officials say they’re doing to because they know customers can’t have fun in the rain. The exploratory program ends tomorrow.

Hotels also inked deals with insurance companies to cover themselves, their airline partners and customers by creating “set ticket” packages which included special provisions if bad weather interfered with business. The new promotional package was instantly popular, attracting more than 4,500 customers to buy tickets and visit Okinawa. That, of course, expanded hotel business as well.

What’s next for the promotion-minded officials? They say the coming year will see insurance packages that protect golf course patrons in the event weather messes with their tee times and rounds of golf.

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