What is a Hotel Ancillary?

The word “ancillary” has a variety of meanings for different sectors of the travel industry. In fact, the dictionary defines an ancillary in broad terms, describing it as “...something that functions in a supplementary or supporting role.”  A hotel ancillary refers to a supplemental product or services that a hospitality brand might sell in addition to its “core” hotel experience, which is staying in a room. There are several categories of ancillary products and services that fall under this definition:

Food - Room service, on-site restaurants, restaurant reservations.

Beverage- The hotel bar or minibar

Entertainment- Tickets to events including live sports, concerts, and theater

Tours and activities - Guided tours, day trips, and tickets to local attractions

Upgrades- Upgraded hotel rooms or access to special VIP lounges

Retail- Purchases made from on-site retail establishments like a gift shop

On-site services- Access to the hotel spa, golf, or fitness service

List of hotel on-property ancillary products and services

Which of these ancillaries is most popular with travelers? According to recent Skift research, food is currently the most popular category of hotel ancillary among consumers. When asked about hotel ancillaries they had purchased in the last 12 months, nearly 20 percent of respondents in a 2018 survey mentioned food. On-site services and upgrades were next, mentioned by 12 percent of respondents. In third place were entertainment ancillaries, mentioned by 9 percent of guests. 

These findings align with 2017 research into hotel ancillaries published by iSeatz in partnership with Phocuswright. When asked what supplemental travel products they would be willing to purchase or book from their hotels, travelers listed “dining at the hotel” as number one. “Early check-in/ late checkout” was the second most popular, while “museum and attraction tickets” was third. “Sightseeing or other tours” (fourth) and “room upgrades” rounded out the top five. 

This originally appeared in Winning the Engagement War: Building the Hotel of the Future with Ancillaries. To view this report, visit Blog.iseatz.com

To learn how iSeatz can help with your ancillary strategy, schedule a demo.

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